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Door 1: Henry Woodward (inventor of the electric light bulb)

Hand drawn portrait of Henry Woodward inside the survival module

1832-1921

I was studying medicine in Toronto when I invented the carbon filament electric light bulb, along with my friend Matthew Evans, who worked as a hotel doorman. I bet you didn’t know that. Though I invented something extremely useful, only a few details of my life are recorded by history.

The bulb I invented with Matthew in 1874 consisted of a nitrogen-filled glass globe containing a wide carbon filament. Passing an electric current through the filament caused it to heat up and emit light. Since nitrogen is an inert gas, the filament remained incandescent for a long time.

Our invention worked well, but it’s not enough just to have a good idea; you must also be able to promote it, and money is essential for marketing an invention. Since Evans and I didn’t have enough to put our light bulb on the market, we sold our patent to the famous inventor Thomas Edison. He refined our idea and made it marketable.

Most people think Edison invented the light bulb, so I take some consolation in the fact that you now know the true story.

But times change, and today’s light bulbs have tungsten filaments, which are much more durable than the carbon we used. If only Evans could see that!

In the game, you must activate a generator that transforms your muscular energy into electrical energy in order to power the different devices in the room.

You will notice that certain electrical devices use much more energy than others. A radio uses 50 watts, a microwave oven uses 900 watts, and a kettle uses 3,000 watts. In the survival station, your legs serve as an energy supply for the following devices: a light bulb (100 watts), a drill (300 watts), a vacuum cleaner (600 watts) and a microwave oven (900 watts). The microwave must be working for a full 15 seconds. You can also try to power the hair dryer (1200 watts), if you have extra energy!

On Earth, we are only worried about the electricity bill. But for a mission to Mars, we must continue research into making devices that consume less electricity and that use renewable energy more efficiently.

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