"New Type Edison" incandescent lamp

Description (Brief)
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¢.
date made
ca 1886
Edison Lamp Company
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
plaster (overall material)
glass (overall material)
carbon (overall material)
overall: 15 cm x 5.5 cm; 5 29/32 in x 2 5/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Princeton University, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, thru Dean Howard Menand
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
American Enterprise
Energy & Power
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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