People often say Edison was a genius. He answered, "Genius is hard work, stick-to-it-iveness, and common sense."
1876 was also the year that Thomas Alva Edison opened a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where he could explore the possibilities of the dynamo and other electrical devices that he had seen in the Exposition. Out of that laboratory was to come perhaps the greatest invention of the age - a successful incandescent electric lamp.
By 1890, Edison established the Edison General Electric Company by bringing his various businesses together.
During that period, a competitor emerged. The Thomson-Houston Company became a dominant electrical innovation company through a series of mergers led by Charles A. Coffin, a former shoe manufacturer from Lynn, Massachusetts.
As both businesses expanded, it had become increasingly difficult for either company to produce complete electrical installations relying solely on their own patents and technologies. In 1892, the two companies combined. They called the new organization the General Electric Company.
Several of Edison's early business offerings are still part of GE today, including lighting, transportation, industrial products, power transmission, and medical equipment. The first GE Appliances electric fans were produced at the Ft. Wayne electric works as early as the 1890s, while a full line of heating and cooking devices were developed in 1907. GE Aircraft Engines, the division's name only since 1987, actually began its story in 1917 when the U.S. government began its search for a company to develop the first airplane engine "booster" for the fledgling U.S. aviation industry. Thomas Edison's experiments with plastic filaments for light bulbs in 1893 led to the first GE Plastics department, created in 1930.
Almost everyone can name the man that invented the light bulb.
Thomas Edison was one of the most successful innovators in American history. He was the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” a larger-than-life hero who seemed almost magical for the way he snatched ideas from thin air.
But the man also stumbled, sometimes tremendously. In response to a question about his missteps, Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”