Edison's "New Year's Eve" Lamp
Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Source, Artifacts
Date Posted: 2/2/2012
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.
Measurements: light bulb: 6 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.; 16.51 x 6.985 cm
Maker: Thomas Alva Edison
Date Made: 1879
Place Made: United States: New Jersey, Menlo Park
Credit Line: from General Electric Co.
Use this Investigation Sheet to guide students through describing the object and analyzing its meaning.
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
World History Standards (Grades 5-12)