The history of lighting is fascinating and includes philosophy, art, sciences and religion. Through an extensive timeline, we know that until early man discovered the element of fire quite by accident. He lived in darkness for half of his life. Lightning probably struck a nearby tree and set it on fire, revealing a source of light in addition to the sun and the moon.
But with fire, man could control it and generate heat for warmth and provide energy for cooking. This new source of light gave man a whole new definition of power and control moving him to the top of the food chain.
By bundling sticks together, fire became a torch to transport and light a path to other places. Later, man learned that grease and oil served as fuels for his fire and he could create holders for the fuel. He fashioned an animal horn, a shell, or a rock into a vessel for his fuel and fire. Then, man discovered how a wick added another measure of control, which eventually led to the invention of the candle.
Some people believe the greatest technology in history is the electric light bulb. It is the incandescent light bulb that freed our reliance on daylight. While candles led our way through darker ages, and gaslight was a little better, artificial electric lighting provided another level of control to take us from rudimentary technology to a new source enhancing our quality of life.
Thomas Edison is credited with the invention of the commercial electric light bulb and received a U.S. patent for his design. Edison received over 1,000 patents in his career and holds the record for the most patents granted to one person.
Today, light brightens the Earth from continent to continent as recorded by photography from outer space by satellites and Space Shuttle missions. The light bulb and electricity has afforded nations and humans to prosper and enjoy the fruits of modern technology, as we know it today.
To date, fire and electric lighting has moved our civilization and culture to further heights of luxury that only prosperity can provide. Now it is time to share with those who are less fortunate even in the 21st century. Some companies now donate a percentage of their profits to feed thousands of hungry children located in less fortunate nations. Some people choose to give back. What about you?