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Part of the everyday object series

I present to you: the everyday fay.
Its ancestor was born on the very first day.
It lives alone, but can work well in a team,
Only comes alive when its foot is engulfed in a stream.
Its head is what's most important to us,
The material therein is almost superfluous;
That which comes out, that is the prize.
Incorporeal, yet it made us modernize.

What is this everyday fay?

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I believe this is

A lightbulb

Its ancestor was born on the very first day.

The sun, our world’s original light source

It lives alone, but can work well in a team,

One bulb per socket, but multi-socket fixtures provide more light

Only comes alive when its foot is engulfed in a stream.

A “stream” of electricity

Its head is what's most important to us,

As that’s where the light comes from

The material therein is almost superfluous;

Light bulbs are basically vacuums inside, other than the slenderest filament

That which comes out, that is the prize.

The light, of course.

Incorporeal, yet it made us modernize.

The light bulb spurred electric power distribution grids and all that came with ready availability of electricity to households.

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It sounds like a

transistor

I present to you: the everyday fay. Its ancestor was born on the very first day.

perhaps this references the electron?

It lives alone, but can work well in a team,

A transistor is standalone, but works well in a circuit

Only comes alive when its foot is engulfed in a stream.

I think this refers to the need of current (a stream of electrons) for it to operate

Its head is what's most important to us, The material therein is almost superfluous;

the material of a transistor can vary, but doesn't affect how it works

That which comes out, that is the prize. Incorporeal, yet it made us modernize.

We are modernized because of the transistor

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  • $\begingroup$ Very nice idea, but not what I was thinking about. $\endgroup$ – Elmy Feb 28 at 18:04

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