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Advancing Sir Joseph Swan's Legacy

Messages  1 - 6 of 6


Message 1 - posted by Wearamuda, Feb 22, 2007

You may have seen the report recently about Australia considering a ban on conventional lightbulbs. Aside from their obvious benefit of being better for the environment, eco-bulbs are cheaper in the long run than ordinary lightbulbs, so switching over seems a rather obvious no-brainer.

Considering that Sunderland and Gateshead were key to the invention of the lightbulb, one of the region's truly great achievements (Sir Joseph Swan was from Sunderland; I believe he gave the first working demonstration of a lightbulb at Sunderland's Athenaeum buildings; Gateshead was where he had his workshops; I believe he made the first non-working demonstration of a lightbulb in Newcastle), it seems to make sense that both cities should lead some sort of effort to see the old lightbulbs phased out and eco-friendly ones phased in.

Obviously we have to do a lot more than just change our lightbulbs to prevent the unfolding catastrophe of global warming, but does anyone else think that Sunderland and Gateshead should be particularly vocal in this?

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Message 2 - posted by iansun31, Feb 22, 2007

a lot of good came out of sunderland :-D
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Message 3 - posted by Junk2Rubbish, Feb 22, 2007

There's too much rubbish written about global warming.

However, I do like the idea of cutting down on cost and waste.
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Message 4 - posted by Wearamuda, Mar 3, 2007

Sigh! Here is an extract from this week's In Our Time newsletter written by Melvyn Bragg:

'This new knowledge... convinced brilliant young American engineers, like Thomas Edison, to see if electric light could be made by running a strong electric current through a metal wire and getting it to incandesce in empty space...and by 1878/9 Edison had managed to build the system that could do this. He travelled to Paris in 1881 and suddenly the electric light system was born.'

Considering In Our Time is seen as a one of broadcasting's more intellectual programmes, I am surprised they committed such a bloomer as implying that Edison invented the lightbulb.
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Message 5 - posted by Wearamuda, Mar 16, 2007

Sigh again!

Poor Sir Joseph! He publicly demonstrates his invention almost a year before Edison; he then wins a court case against Edison who claimed he had the British patent, and yet over a hundred years later we have the BBC still saying that Edison invented the lightbulb.

This thread is rapidly becoming Swanwatch.
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Message 6 - posted by Junk2Rubbish, May 10, 2007

So, by being the first to mass produce them, Edison was the 'Henry Ford' of light bulbs and there are several others who can claim to be the real inventor ...
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