The history of carbon fiber is full of constant trial, error, and revision. Despite its initial debut in the 1860s, carbon fibers are popularly known for being used as filaments by Thomas Edison in one of the first incandescent light bulbs to be powered by electricity. Its resistance to heat was what boosted the material's fame among scientists and science enthusiasts.
Multiple processes to manufacture higher quality carbon fiber composites have taken place throughout history to get to where it is today. In 1958, Robert Bacon attempted to produce carbon fiber that consisted of only 20% carbon content, resulting in a product that was too low in strength and stiffness properties. Another attempt was made in the early 1960s by Dr. Akio Shindo from Japan, producing a carbon fiber that consisted of 55% carbon, and another attempt 3 years later was made by W. Watt, L. N. Phillips, and W. Johnson that produced a carbon fiber that was much stronger than any of the ones made in previous manufacturing processes.
People began to see the value carbon fibers can offer to the world at large, that carbon fibers produced today have surpassed their predecessors in terms of quality. Since the 1970s, multiple types of carbon fiber have been developed and are continually being sold in markets and used in various industries up to this day.