"New Type Edison" incandescent lamp

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts
Date Posted: 4/7/2016

Invention rarely stops when the inventor introduces a new device. Thomas A. Edison and his team worked to improve his electric lighting system for some years after the initial introduction in 1880. This lamp shows the changes made after six years of labor aimed at lowering costs and increasing production. The simplified base required little material; the diameter and thread-pitch are still used today. The filament was changed from bamboo to a treated cellulose invented by English chemist Joseph Swan. The bulbs were made by semi-skilled laborers blowing glass into iron molds. The cost had dropped from about $1.00 per lamp to less than 30¢.