Creating A Buzz: Electrical Inventions That Changed The World
We’re pretty proud of our engineering here at Rubber Box, but none of our power distros would be possible without the historical innovations by other electricians. There are too many to mention here that we’d need to do proper justice to, so we’ve just picked some of the very biggest historical game-changers. Without these, not only would our rubber boxes not exist, but probably most of our industry wouldn’t either.
Powering Lighting With The Lightbulb
If we ask you “who invented the light bulb?”, the first answer that springs to mind might be Thomas Edison, the famous American engineer. But if you did say that, you’d only be half right! The light bulb actually doesn’t really have a single inventor, but instead is a product of the collective inspiration by several engineers – some historians claim it was as many as twenty.
In 1802, a scientist named Humphry Davy invented the first proper electric light, which consisted of a battery connected to a piece of carbon. The power flowing through it caused the carbon to glow, producing light. Davy’s invention was known as the Electric Arc Lamp, but the light was much too bright and short-lived to be of much practical use. Further advances were made by British scientists Warren de la Rue and Joseph Wilson Swan, as well as Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans. The latter eventually sold their patent to Edison, who mastered the design, making it efficient and powerful, and began selling it to a wider market in 1880. Some historians claim it truly ended mankind’s reliance on daylight for productivity. We know that without it, a lot of the events that our rubber boxes power wouldn’t be possible!
Powering Machines With Alternating Current
This is another story involving Edison – you can see why his name crops up a lot in engineering circles! Though his rival Nikola Tesla didn’t discover electricity, he did discover alternating current. As opposed to direct current – in which electricity flows in one direction – alternating current, well, alternates. Instead of just moving in one direction, the electrons act more irregularly, moving first one way and then the next. Alternating current is more efficient than direct current, the latter of which was fiercely advocated by Edison. There was even a ‘War of the Currents’, in which Tesla and Edison competed to have their current chosen to continue running the United States electrical grid. Because of its increased efficiency, alternating current was eventually chosen, and it remains the preferable choice to power many modern inventions. For example, it makes devices like motors and transformers possible, which is the basis for thousands of technologies we use today – not least our power distribution systems here at Rubber Box!
Powering Technology With Transistors
The transistor is perhaps the most important discovery in the history of engineering. At its most basic level, it’s essentially an electronic switch; it can turn currents on and off automatically, and is crucial to almost all modern electronic circuits. Transistors changed the face of technology across the entire planet – without them we’d have no computers, no smartphones, not even things like electrical scooters and only very basic communications (just to name a few). We certainly wouldn’t have any power distribution systems! The first transistor was built by AT&T’s Bell Labs on December 23rd 1947, and eventually won its creators the Nobel Prize for Physics. Quite right too! For reference, the transistors in modern computer chips are too small to see with the naked eye – a contemporary model from Intel holds about 820 million of them.
At Rubber Box, we don’t make products that claim to change the world – but they might be perfect for powering your event. You can browse our full range of products here – or if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can order a bespoke distro designed from scratch by our engineers. You can call us on 01282 677 910 to discuss them, or for any other queries you might have!
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @Rubberbox