The Light Bulb Conspiracy
This is the story of companies who engineered their products to fail.
The Light Bulb Conspiracy uncovers how planned obsolescence has affected our lives and the economy since the 1920s when manufacturers deliberately started shortening the life of consumer products to increase demand. Shot over three years in Europe, the U.S., and Ghana, the film combines investigative research, including internal company documents and rare archival footage, tracing the beginnings of planned obsolescence to 1925, when a cartel of industrialists calling themselves ‘Phoebus’ conspired to limit the lifespan of a light bulb to 1000 hours.
This film also profiles several well-known historical advocates — Bernard London, who famously proposed ending the Great Depression by mandating planned obsolescence, and Brook Stevens, whose post-war ideas became the gospel of the 1950’s shaping the throwaway consumer society of today.
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