Thomas Edison received an appropriately incandescent birthday wish this morning. Google devoted its homepage to the American inventor, transforming its usual banner logo into animated blueprints of some of his greatest innovations.
Google owes much to Mr. Edison. Where would YouTube be without Edison's motion picture camera? Where would Google Finance be without his stock ticker? Where would Android phones be without "The Wizard of Menlo Park" first inventing direct current batteries, recorded music, or improvements in telecommunications?
Edison held 1,093 US patents, the most famous of which is for creating the light bulb. But did he actually invent light bulbs? Historians have found more than 20 people who independently "discovered" incandescent lamps before Edison. So why do we credit Edison? Just as Apple didn't invent MP3 players, it simply perfected the formula with its iPod, Edison's light bulbs were tougher, brighter, and cheaper than past attempts.
Today marks Edison's 164th birthday, again raising the question: Does Google hate round numbers?
This is the second Google doodle in a single week. On Tuesday, the company honored author Jules Verne with another animated graphic.
IN PICTURES: Google's best doodles