Inventor Thomas Edison created such great innovations as the practical incandescent electric light bulb and the phonograph. A savvy businessman, he held more than 1,000 patents for his inventions.
In 1869, at 22 years old, Edison moved to New York City and developed his first invention, an improved stock ticker called the Universal Stock Printer, which synchronized several stock tickers’ transactions. The Gold and Stock Telegraph Company was so impressed, they paid him $40,000 for the rights. With this success, he quit his work as a telegrapher to devote himself full-time to inventing.
While Thomas Edison was not the inventor of the first light bulb, he came up with the technology that helped bring it to the masses. Edison was driven to perfect a commercially practical, efficient incandescent light bulb following English inventor Humphry Davy’s invention of the first early electric arc lamp in the early 1800s. Over the decades following Davy’s creation, scientists such as Warren de la Rue, Joseph Wilson Swan, Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans had worked to perfect electric light bulbs or tubes using a vacuum but were unsuccessful in their attempts.