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.