Thomas Alva Edison liked to surprise guests at his parties with his new discoveries. On New Year’s eve of 1880, he invited a large number of friends to his laboratory at Menlo Park in New Jersey, 25 miles from New York. It was a cold winter’s night. The guests alighted at the railway station dimly lit by smoky kerosene lamps, and got into horse-drawn carriages waiting to be taken to the laboratory. Suddenly, the dark night disappeared miraculously, the white snow glistened brightly, the guests looked at each other and gasped. As they travelled up the road from the station, to the laboratory, they saw the whole way lit by hundreds of little glowing glass pears that hung that hung in a line from a wire just over their heads. Edison stood at the door of the laboratory. “Like it?”
“Yes, yes, of course! But what is it?”
“Electric light. Glad you liked it”.
The New Year’s party began in the the brightly lit laboratory. Edison had just produced world’s first incandescent light in the form of an electric bulb.