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The New Electric Light

The New Electric Light image
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[Fnmi the New York Hurald.l Edison' eleetrie light was made the butt of ridiculo by the American GasLight As.sociation members who stel here this week, and tho groat inventor was sought out to-day to see what ho had (o siy for bimself. " Are you positivo," I inquirod, "that you have found a light that will take the place of gas, and bo miu'h oheaper to consumere? "There can be no doubt about it," he replied. "Is it an eleetrie light?" I asked. "It is," he answered, "electricity and nothing else." He snid that an eleotrio light was no new disoovery, and he only clainiqd that ' he had found out how to utilizo it. His first experimenta wero made long ago. He .spent a month trying to discover a light that woiild takc tho place of gas, but met with little suecess, and iinally gave it up. After his removal to Menlo Park ho made his own giis, and tho trouble witli the eifectrio light was, it could not be subdividcd. "I worked hard on it, houwer," he said, "and then I discovered the necessary secret, so simple that a bootblack could understand it. It suddenly carne to me, tho same as the secret of tho speaking phonograph. It was real, and no phantom. I was us I sure it would work as I was that the phonograph would work. I made my first machine. It was a suecess. Since fchen I have made nearly a dozen machines, each ditïerent, and tho last ones improvements upon those first made. The subdivisión of light is all right. Tho only thing tobe actual! y determined ■ is its oconomy. I am already positivo I that it will be oheaper than gas. but I have not detenüined how much oheaper. To determine its economy, I am now putting up a brick building back of my laboratory here. I have already ordered two 80-horse power engines lor tuis building, with which to mnke the electricity. We use no batteiïes. We aimply turn the power of stcam intö electricity, and tho grêatér steara power we obtain the more electricity wc gct. I havo already told you that eloctric lights havo had mavked intonsity and a low quantity. I am turning it the other ! way - reducing tlie intensity and inereasing the quantity of the light as far as i possible. It requires a good deal of exjjorimonting to iseertain how far this can be dono. You alter the nature of the eleetrie light when this is dono. I ! have already done it to a certain extent, and don't think it was ever before attempted on the line on which I am at work." On being questioned concerning the articles of incorporation of the Edison Electric Light Company, Mr. Edison said that they proposed to light the city, public buildings and private residenoes with eleetrie lights. The electricity would bc made by twenty or moro engines, stationcd in different parta of the city. "We could lay tho wires right through the gas-pipes, and bring theni into houses. All that will bc neeessary will bc to remove the gas burners and substituto electric burners. Tho light can bê regulated by a screw, tlie same as gas. You may have a bright light or not, as you wish, and you can turn it down or up just as yon please, and can shut. it on' at any time. No match is afeèded to light it. You turn the cock, tho eloctric connection is made, the platintim burner eatches a proper degreo of heat, and there is your light. ' There is neither blaze nor flame, and ; there is no singing nor flickcring. I don't pretend that it will give a much botter light than gas, but it will be winter and stoadior than any known light. I do know now that it will be oheaper than gas. It will give no fumes nor smokes. Xo oarbonic acid gas will be thrown off by combustión. It will be a great thing for compositor, ongravers, and all forced to work during hot summcr nights, for it will throw out searcely any heat. Shades may be used, the same as shades upon Kus Hglits, but there will be nonecessity ior tliem. The wind can't blow it out. There eau be no gas oxplosions, and no one will be suffocated, because tho electricity is turned on, for it cannot be turned on without lighting tke burnor. A person may have lainps made with llcxiblo corda, and carry them froni onc point to another." Mr. Edison says that eleetrie generating machines could be placed upon steamboats and locomotives, and the boats and care Iiglïted by the action of tho ongincs, but the instant that the I machiiiery stopped the lights would go out, and ho thinks that it may be nocesI sary to have an extra ongine in each sta; tion in cities to be prepared for acci, dents. If the iirst engine should break down, tho seoond one could be usod to i feed tho lights. Country towns, with i the uso of tho electric generating i chinos, could be lighted by water-power. Any power could be used, provided it was strong enough to turn tho shaft of 1 tho machine with the necessary rapidity. Tho professor then exhibited an electric gonei-ating machine. It was what is known as the Wallace machine. A knotofmagnetsran around the cylinder, facing each other, and wires were attached to it. Mr. Edison slipped a bolt over the machine, and the engine usod in his manufaetory began to turn the oylinder. He touched tlic point of the wire on a small pieee of metal near tho window-casing, and thore was a flash of blinding white light. It was repented ut eaeh touch. ''Tliere is your steam power turned into an electric light," ho ml. There was the light. cleiu1. colil and boantiful. The intense brightnoss was gone, and thero was nothing irritating to tho oye. The mechanism was s simple and ierfect that it explainea iiseli'. The strip of platinum that acted as a burner did not hum. It was incandoscent. It threw off a light pmi' and whito, and it was set in i gallows-like frame; but it glowed with tho i)lus)ihorescent efftilgenco of tlio star Altair. Yóu could trace the veins in your hands und tho spots and lines upon your ringer-nails by its brightness. All the surplus biecfaricity had boon turned oft', and the platinum shone with a molloiv radiance through tlie small glass globe that surrounded it. A turn of the screw and its brightness became dazzk'ag, and reduced itself to the fainteat glimmer of a glowworm. It seemed ]ierfect. ''1 would gladly givo up the secret to the public," he said, "butthepatents are not perfected. Yoti know my trouble with the telephpnein England. A burnt ehild droads the fire. Tho public may not know, but I do know, that if a I scription of this invention rcached ! iniuiv, Austria, and other countries in EurÖpe boforo a patent is obtained, none can bc securcd. I lost the telephone patent in Germany through the newspapers."


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