Thomas Edison and the Electric Lamp, Patented Jan. 27, 1880
On January 27, 1880, Thomas Edison received U.S. Patent No. 223,898, which was simply titled “Electric Lamp.” Perhaps Edison’s most famous inventions were the phonograph, motion pictures and the light-bulb. Truth be told, however, Edison didn’t really “invent” the lightbulb, but rather he improved upon the technology by developing a light-bulb that used a lower current electricity, a small carbonized filament, and an improved vacuum inside the globe. Edison’s invention lead to a reliable, long-lasting source of light. Prior to Edison’s invention lightbulbs lasted only a few hours and now they could last 50 to 60 days, making them practical. So it is entirely fair to say that Thomas Edison invented the first commercially useful lightbulb.