THE SECRET LIFE OF MACHINES - The Electric Light
by Tim Hunkin
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A Scottish chemist called Joseph Swann tried passing electricity through fine wires (filaments) to make them glow white hot in 1860. Despite enclosing them in bulbs and pumping out the air, they quickly broke or blackened and Swann abandoned the idea. 17 years later, finding a better vacuum pump, he tried again. With no air left inside, the filament light bulb became a practical proposition.


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The Electric Light cartoon

 

Cartoons copyright (C) 1988-1994 Tim Hunkin. All rights reserved.
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