Canadian Inventions — The Lightbulb

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Hawksley Workman: Canadian
“Striptease”; ‘(Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves’ (2001)


Thomas Edison was still dicking with his wire while a couple of Canadians were busy inventing the lightbulb.

On July 24, 1874, Henry (or James, but probably Henry) Woodward filed for a patent on “The Woodward and Evan’s Light” — Mathew Evan was Woodward’s business partner and a bar owner… which makes a lot of sense considering they were Canadian.

In 1875 Edison purchased half of the patent, then in 1879 bought the rest of the patent and the prototypes from Woodward and several Canadian investors. Over the next five years Edison and a Brit named Joseph Swan worked together and fiddled with their filaments until they found one which could last over 1200 hours.

But it wasn’t until 1910, four years after the General Electric Company invented the long-lasting tungsten filament, that a GE employee named William Coolidge discovered a means of making low-cost tungsten filaments which allowed lightbulbs to become widely used.

For the complete history of the lightbulb [here].


James v. Henry: while researching this piece (and I use “research” fairly loosely) I encountered references to both James and Henry as first names to Mr. Woodward. Sometimes both names were found in the same article, sometimes even in the same paragraph. Except for his work on the light bulb, and the original patent letter, I can find very little information on Mr. Woodward. If there’s more information out there — other than what’s available on the immediate web, please feel free to leave a note.


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in America, Canada, Canadian Inventions, Canadian Music, Canadian News, Canadian Politics, CSN:AFU Greatest Hits, Great Britain, Humor, Humour, Punk. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Canadian Inventions — The Lightbulb

  1. Gary says:

    Well what do you know? Its a bit like the English inventing the hovercraft only to see the the USA profit from it. VBG

  2. The things you learn on the internet… you darn Canadians! ;-)

    i love Stargate. No, really, i LOVE that show. It’s just so sad they are filming their last season… wish i had the money to go visit them… *sigh*

    Oh. And that is called “fucking cold”. i keep trying to explain to my husband that i’m Mexican and we weren’t designed for subzero temperatures… LoL.

  3. Gabriel says:

    I only started to get into Stargate when the entire human cast from Farscape suddenly showed up. Waaay back in the beginning of SG-1 the effects were just a little too… Canadian, and you could so tell that they were running past the same stand of trees every episode. But the mythology they’ve managed to create is really intense. I love it when programs just assume you know what’s going on and don’t treat you like a moron with all the exposition in the narrative. Did you ever watch Babylon 5? I always thought that one never got a fair shake, but their mythology was really well put together. It was just getting really interesting when the funding ran out. Same with Farscape.

    It was -40 in Winnipeg today. Nobody fucks in minus 40C weather. There’s a really good chance that in five months it will be 34 to 36C above. We’re a country of great variety. And there’s the whole free pills thing.

  4. puddlejumper says:

    Babylon five was ace. I miss it.

  5. Queen Minx says:

    Hmmm … what kindsa free pills?! First weed … now pills.
    Canada is a nation of hippies!

  6. Pingback: Greatest Hits: Canadian Inventions — 'Radio' « …cultural snafu.

  7. Pingback: Self portrait Saturday « Vankleek Hill Photos

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