identify your lightbulb > bulb identification key

Several Reproductions of Edison’s Famous First Successful Light Bulb

These are five of the many examples of reproductions of the first lamp made by Edison in Menlo Park, NJ in 1879 made to commemorate the occasion of Edison’s first successful electric lamp.  These particular ones were made in 1914, 1929, 1939, and 1979 respectively.  Note that none of these bulbs were replicated to the exact original specifications of Edison’s first successful lamp.  On most of these, the neck is shorter than that of the original bulb and the bulb is mounted in either a wooden stand (left-most three) or plastic stand (right-most). Examples of exact reproductions of the 1879 bulb: [see A05] || [see A06?] The wooden or plastic stand was commonly referred to as the “base” or “lamp base.”  But in the original successful lighting experiment in October of 1879 no base of any kind was used to mount the bulb [see A46].  This particular so-called base was originally made of wood [see A09] and was not conceived of until shortly after Edison’s first successful light bulb experiment.  Edison and his team designed that base to mount his first commercial light bulbs, which he sold in late 1879 to early 1880 before bulbs were fitted with threaded bases that were inserted into threaded sockets.

  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