Edison Dynamo Used on S.S. Columbia, 1880

Summary

For Thomas Edison, successful experimental results were but a prelude to continual improvements that would lead to commercial implementation. This dynamo is from the first lighting system he sold -- installed on a ship, four months after the December 1879 experimental demonstration. Its crude finish, at odds with the highly advanced technology it embodied, suggests Edison's impatient eagerness to move from experiment to market.

For Thomas Edison, successful experimental results were but a prelude to continual improvements that would lead to commercial implementation. This dynamo is from the first lighting system he sold -- installed on a ship, four months after the December 1879 experimental demonstration. Its crude finish, at odds with the highly advanced technology it embodied, suggests Edison's impatient eagerness to move from experiment to market.

Artifact

Electric generator

Date Made

1880

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Made in America

Object ID

30.1123.2

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of General Electric Company.

Material

Iron (Metal)
Copper (Metal)
Steel (Alloy)
Wood (Plant material)

Dimensions

Height: 5.167 ft

Width: 2.167 ft

Length: 3.25 ft

Inscriptions

stamped on armature, on shaft end: 14 copper nameplate on side reads: Edison Electric Light Company

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