In the late 1800s and early 1900s, urbanization and new technological advances were on the rise which sparked an advanced modern era in America. Out of this time came inventions like the light bulb, telephone, sports like baseball and boxing, consumerism, and more.
A NEW SPARK
Backed by J. P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts, Thomas Edison worked to improve the light bulb. He utilized a carbonated bamboo that made it much cheaper and more efficiently than gas bulbs. Edison's bulbs became wildly used now, and his were featured in events such as the Paris Lighting Exhibit in 1881. Thomas Edison's improvement of the light bulb made them commercially practical. To make his light bulb more practical, Edison had to also invent an electrical distribution system to make the light bulbs practical on a city wide scale. This technology was completely new, and changed American cities forever.
With the light bulb, the sun no longer determined when it was time to go to bed. The new invention gave America longer working hours and the ability to enhance communication such as Morse Code. Around-the-clock work began, as factories brought workers in for different shifts, and cities were able to stay open all night. Over time, the light bulb became more commonly used around the world, therefore oil lamps and candles were packed away and only used during power outages.
Light bulbs were such a hit that they led to the need for a widespread electrical-distribution system. The world's first large-scale power station was built at Niagara Falls in 1895. At first, power was only distributed locally but that soon changed so that the power station could power streetlights and streetcars. Since street lights could now be operated, transportation became popular at night, not just during the day.
Lights bulbs brought electricity into homes, opening the door to a whole new world full of inventions. Homes could soon power appliances to make household tasks easier. Entertainment would soon begin to change as well. Families relied on playing board games, playing instruments and making conversation for entertainment, but with electrical devices such as the radio and television, all people would have to do is watch or listen.