Edison "New Year's Eve" Lamp

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.
Object Name
light bulb
incandescent lamp
Date made
used date
Edison, Thomas Alva
Edison, Thomas Alva
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
Place Made
United States: New Jersey, Edison, Menlo Park
United States: New Jersey, Edison, Menlo Park
United States: New Jersey
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Domestic Furnishings
Energy & Power
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Industry & Manufacturing
National Treasures exhibit
Artifact Walls exhibit
American Enterprise
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
National Treasures exhibit
Artifact Walls exhibit
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from General Electric Co.
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
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL
Additional Media

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