A Brief History of the Lightbulb

A Brief History of the Lightbulb
Chicago History Museum / Getty Images

Bright Lights, Big Crash
In 1929, to trumpet the 50th anniversary of Edison's incandescent lightbulb, a countrywide celebration was scheduled. From May through October, events were held in honor of electric light. "Light's Golden Jubilee" culminated in an elaborate banquet for 500 of America's pre-eminent scientists and illuminati. Hosted by President Hoover, the evening was reported to be a glittering success. In fact, the Jubilee would be remembered as a decadent farewell toast to America's gilded age of invention: nine days later, the stock market crashed.

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