Let There Be Light ~ Today In History

As we look out our windows this morning, Colchester appears bleak and cloudy, a foreboding of our winter to come. But inside, we are warm and our rooms are brightly lit, among all the benefits that a modern energy delivery service can bring. If we take a moment today we can trace the evolution of an industry that we take for granted back to this day in 1879 when Thomas Edison and his scientists at Menlo Park successfully tested the first incandescent light bulb. Although the bulb’s filament lasted only 13 hours, it was the forerunner of today’s modern illumination technologies. We celebrate today, not just the invention, but the tenacity, drive and persistence in the face of continuous failure that leads to success.


While Edison’s personality and focus did not make him universally loved, he was possessed of a mind that was continuously at work, knowing that trying and failing was an integral part of success. Among quotes attributed to him are:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

“The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil”

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless”

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” 

So when you flip a light switch today or use your coffee brewer, have a little celebration not just of Edison, his genius and tenacity, but of a system that we live and thrive in that allows us to succeed in the face of adversity, failure and criticism. As Edison would say “There’s a way to do it better – find it.”

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