Edison "New Year's Eve" Lamp

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Thomas Edison used this carbon-filament bulb in the first public demonstration of his most famous invention, the first practical electric incandescent lamp, which took place at his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory on New Year's Eve, 1879.
As the quintessential American inventor-hero, Edison personified the ideal of the hardworking self-made man. He received a record 1,093 patents and became a skilled entrepreneur. Though occasionally unsuccessful, Edison and his team developed many practical devices in his "invention factory," and fostered faith in technological progress.
National Museum of American History
Edison, Thomas Alva
Edison, Thomas Alva
Credit Line
from General Electric Co.
Physical Description
carbon (overall material)
glass (overall material)
platinum (overall material)
copper (overall material)
overall: 6 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in; 16.51 cm x 6.985 cm
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Industry & Manufacturing
National Treasures exhibit
Artifact Walls exhibit
Domestic Furnishings
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
American Enterprise
Energy & Power
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Place Made
United States: New Jersey, Edison, Menlo Park
United States: New Jersey, Edison, Menlo Park
United States: New Jersey
used date
Object Name
light bulb
incandescent lamp
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America
National Museum of American History. Treasures of American History online exhibition
Related Web Publication