35 New Jersey Firsts – #3 – First Incandescent Lamp (Light Bulb)

by Alice Magdziak • February 12, 2014 • Third StateComments (0)1868

New Jersey officially recognizes 1664 as the year the state was founded when land owned by the Duke of York was given to Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley. That transaction record proclaimed that “said Tract of Land is hereafter to be called by the name or names of New Cesarea or New Jersey.” That makes this year New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary! To celebrate this major milestone, we’ve undertaken a project we’re calling 35 New Jersey Firsts where we highlight 35 things that first came to life in New Jersey.


The first incandescent lamp (now known as the light bulb) was made by Thomas A. Edison in Menlo Park in 1879. Others had come before him making lamps that didn’t last long or were prohibitively expensive.  Edison worked on a practical light bulb and finally hit the right mark in 1879.

He invented a carbon filament that burned for forty hours and placed his filament in an oxygenless bulb. Edison evolved his designs for the light bulb based on the 1875 patent he purchased from inventors, Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans.


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