Grateful American® Foundation

What did the “Wizard of Menlo Park” demonstrate today in 1879?

December 31st

1885-2December 31, 1879 — Thomas Edison (aka: “The Wizard of Menlo Park”) worked his magic today when he privately demonstrated incandescent light. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention.

The American inventor and businessman developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

The year before, Edison had formed the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City with several financiers, including J. P. Morgan and the members of the Vanderbilt family.

Words of Wisdom

We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.

— Thomas Edison, on the first public demonstration of his incandescent light bulb on December 31, 1879, in Menlo Park, NJ

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