History of Technology 1: We Want Better Lighting

What do we want? Better lighting! When do we want it? Mow! ...Wait, that might say "now." See, this is why we need better lighting. 

LanguageEnglish Language
TechnologyHistory of Technology

Transcript

00:25

electricity would affect more than just communication most of our appliances

00:29

gadgets and thingamabobs are powered by [Electric eel electrocutes a fish]

00:33

electricity. Blenders, toasters, vacuum cleaners and that annoying singing fish

00:37

on old people's walls you know the don't worry be happy' fish that thing. Each [Fish on a wall singing]

00:44

one needs electricity or needs to be smashed with a hammer but back in the

00:49

1890s people hadn't started to dream of all these crazy things yet the craze

00:54

back then with little simpler people wanted better lighting house not because [People in a poorly lit house walking into each other]

00:58

they wanted more flattering photos but because the lighting they had kind of

01:02

stunk in 1800s most cities burned coal gas for nighttime lighting. Four things we [Man burning coal outside]

01:07

hate about coal gas lamps then no that's not a weird sequel to 10 Things I Hate

01:12

About You. One: they were smoky and dirty Two: They had to be lit every night. Three:

01:18

they released toxic fumes. Four: they could explode at any time say what you will [Fumes bellowing into the air and a coal lamp explodes]

01:24

about that last one but it sure made bedtime story reading way more

01:27

exciting so yep the need for better lighting was pretty serious though

01:32

people got to work well the first electric light was called an arc lamp [An arc lamp dangling from the ceiling]

01:35

and it was fairly simple it took two conductive rods packed them in a glass

01:40

bulb with some gas and boom the electricity arc from one rod to the [Electricity moving from one rod to another in a glass bulb]

01:45

other the cons, arc lamps take up a bunch of power and while they don't last very

01:50

long still until late 1890s electric arc lamps were the only electric lighting in [Street of houses lighting goes out]

01:55

town then came incandescent bulbs about 23

02:00

different inventors came up with incandescent lightbulb before old Tommy

02:04

Edison that didn't stop Tommy E from putting the smackdown on all 23 of them [Edison smashing a green fist onto a table]

02:09

his design trumped the others in practical usefulness

02:13

Edison's bulb worked like this; electricity first traveled up a wire in

02:17

the glass bulb and then move through something called a filament the curly

02:21

part of the lightbulb and here's a fun light bulb surprise the filament is made [Lightbulb highlighting the filament]

02:26

of material that doesn't conduct electricity very well when the

02:31

electricity meets this resistance some of it turns into heat and light and that's

02:36

how Edison said let there be light kind of had a god complex [Edison preaching by a church window]

02:40

but Tommy's ego aside the lightbulb changed modern lighting forever and it

02:45

makes bedtime stories way safer [Girl turns bedside lamp on]