A Brief History of Artificial Light

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, chemists Robert Bunsen and Henry Roscoe and showed that burning magnesium produces artificial light that’s similar to daylight. A man named Edward Sonstadt then brought the technology into the world of photography, and thus the idea for the photographic flash was born.

The Atlantic made this 2-minute video that provides “A Visual History of Light.” It steps through many of the most important artificial light sources that humans have used, starting...


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