This chapter describes the invention of the electric bulb by Thomas Alva Edison. After the successful lighting project at Menlo Park, Edison also displayed a new invention, called a phonograph, which could record the human voice. However, the need for creating an electric lamp that could be used in every home continued to haunt him, because he could see that the dynamo-powered arc lights provided such a bright, blinding light that they were unsuitable for homes. Finally, Edison was able to invent the platinum bulb, which gave off a gentle light useful for homes. He also advocated the execution of death-row prisoners by means of an electric shock, a method that is much faster and less ghastly than death by hanging. Edison was a shrewd businessman who successfully advertised his inventions through newspapers so that they could catch the public’s attention.
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