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History Of Glowsticks

By admin | July 24, 2008

The glowstick was invented over 40 years ago by Edwin Chandross, a chemist at Bell Labs. Glowsticks use chemical energy to product light. At the time it was quite a remarkable achievement because either electrical mains or battery were the energy sources for most light producing devices.

Many scientists took Chandross’ work and refined the process further. Unfortunately for Chandross, the patent for Chemical Light Device was registered by Richard Taylor Van Zandt in the US Patents office.

Glow sticks are a single use device can come in various different sizes and shapes in translucent plastic tubes. One of the chemicals used in the device are contained within a brittle inner case surrounding by another chemical needed for the reaction. When the brittle case is broken the two chemicals combine and produce light through a chemical reaction known as chemoluminescence.

40 years on glow sticks are used all over the globe as a source of light in a wide variety of applications and colors. Last year alone, it is believed the United States Department of Defense used 15 million chemlights (as they are known in the military).

Some of varied uses of glowsticks are:

-Glowsticking is a dance form that has gained widespread popularity. Glow sticks are used for fun and entertainment in dance clubs, concerts and parties especially ravers. If there is a pop culture association with glowsticks, it’s with the teen ravers crowd.

-They are commonly being associated with festivals and holidays. Glowsticks are used extensively during the Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong. For Westerners where Halloween is celebrated, you will find parents and kids alike using illuminesent lights when trick or treating. In addition to adding to the spooky atmosphere from the eerie light produced by glow sticks, it allows parents and drivers to see where children are wandering about much more effectively than reflective tape.

-Glowsticks have 4 properties that make them favorite tools of divers, campers and the military. They are disposable, inexpensive, waterproof and can withstand high pressures.

-They are also used in emergency situations. Even when there are explosives, gas or chemical leaks the sticks can be used as they do not use electrical filaments, batteries and do not cause sparks to ignite the dangerous substances.

Glowsticks saw a huge surge in popularity in the 1980s, but even today they are just as popular. In order to get the best bang for your buck, it is advisable to get a stick that lasts. Cheap glow sticks fade out rather quickly. The better the quality the stick, the longer and stronger it will last. Good quality glow sticks will usually last for 12 to 24 hours.

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Topics: Glowstick, History |