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De-Light: Making an Electric Light Bulb (1920)

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Details making an early electric bulb in a factory.

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Title: De-Light: Making an Electric Light Bulb (1920)

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An early educational film/documentary, this little film, produced by the Ford Motor Co. (as the language cards never let you forget), details the pains taking process of making an electric light bulb in 1920. The film progresses along the factory lines through each step of assemblage. It's intent is praise the march of progress in mass production forward. Written by SindyMac

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Documentary | Short


Not Rated




Release Date:

8 February 1920 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although all early factory line corporations, such as General Electric, Colgate, etc., produced educational film for genuine educational purposes, they also provided as "sponsorship" opportunity for the companies to slip in a little advertising for their own products. Such was the case for Ford, who had just started promoting the now famous Model T in 1914. See more »

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User Reviews

About As Exciting As The Title Indicates
22 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Ford Motor Company produced this 12-minute silent film about how electric bulbs are made. The company reminds you of this on every title card where the process is explained. We then see each process being done by some worker (s). It isn't really all that exciting, but it is informative and interesting (for a few minutes, but that's about it. Halfway through, one begins to be bored.) I mean, how many of us know how a light bulb is made? Not me. I went in with a good attitude but this "short" began to get "long" after six minutes.

There are quite a number of steps in hardening the tungsten, and then considerably lengthening it slowly to where it goes from brick form to wire thickness and long length. After that long process, the wire is put on spools and sent to a lamp company where we then see workers blowing glass or, as it is stated here, "blowing bulbs in molds to get the proper shape."

From there, we go to filaments and joining wires, etc., to make everything work together to give us light through a current.

Yeah, this is mostly technical stuff and would probably bore most audiences today. I can't say I was fascinated watching this. It IS boring. Sorry. My only question is, "How did someone figure out that tungsten could help produce electricity and light, in the first place?"

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