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Drawing of the Incandescent Light Bulb by Thomas Edison

Drawing of the Incandescent Light Bulb by Thomas Edison

1/27/1880
Records of the Patent and Trademark Office

Find further background information and a transcript of this patent on the list of 100 Milestone Documents of American history on www.ourdocuments.gov.

Additional Details from our Exhibits and Publications:

The incandescent light bulb

On January 27, 1880, The Patent Office granted Thomas Edison’s patent for the “electric-lamp.” His patent was an improvement on electric lamps, not the invention of them, but because of Edison’s design changes and the materials he used—such as a carbon filament—his patent allowed for an electric lamp that was reliable, safe, and practical.

Text adapted from “Teaching with Documents : OurDocuments.gov” in the November/December 2002 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication Social Education.

Document contains: 3 pages.