thomas edison > a lifetime of invention : inventing the incandescent lamp
thomas edison > inventing the incandescent lamp : making the lamp practical, 1879


World Unprepared for Lamp but Demand Soared

The new lamp entered a world all unprepared for its coming.  It was here, with only the crudest of generators to supply it with the life giving current, without cables or insulated wires for distribution, without any of the devices necessary to make it burn in the home, office or factory, and without even a socket in which to put it. 

It was not until October, 1879, when Edison produced the incandescent lamp after the leading scientists of the world declared it impossible, that the industry received its first great impetus.  As soon as the world knew that electric current could be subdivided among many small electric lights, of greater or less candlepower, the commercial possibilities of electric lighting were apparent.  This created an insistent demand such as no other industry has ever experienced, for new and better apparatus for research and invention.

Sources: Schenectady Museum Archive Historical File 44-4.

  thomas edison > website navigation thomas edison > home page thomas edison > timeline : early life thomas edison > timeline : inventing the incandescent lamp thomas edison > timeline : after lighting thomas edison > timeline : legacy of invention thomas edison > classroom thomas edison > interactive modules