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Another one for the "strange & marvelous uses of bamboo" file...
It seems Thomas Edison used thin slivers of madake bamboo for the filament in many or most of his light bulbs. He apparently found the cell structure of madake "ideal" for this use. He created bulbs with madake filaments that would burn for 1200 hours back in 1880. http://home.frognet.net/~ejcov/hammer.html Apparently carbonizing (coating or converting?) the bamboo is necessary for it to conduct electricity with the right properties.