Thomas Edison 1883 Signed Original Patent Application For The Light Bulb (PSA LOA)

Rare Piece of History

*Reserve not met

This custom framed piece measures 42" x 38" in size.

Today, the light bulb has come to represent more than simply artificial sunlight. Having transcended its original function, the light bulb is the universal symbol for creative genius--the icon, for example, that appears in the bubble above cartoon characters who have just had the epiphany idea of a lifetime. When Thomas Edison patented the light bulb, he created the archetypal definition of what it means to invent.

Presented here is the ACTUAL Patent Application for the Light Bulb. With Edison’s American Patent secured, the inventor set his sights on the world.

On August 11th, 1883 Thomas Alva Edison filed this patent application to the Governor of India.

This Original Historic document is titled “The Petition of Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park, New Jersey, United States of America to file under Act 15 of the Legislation Council of India” and reads as follows:

“That your Petitioner has obtained Her Majesty’s Letters Patent, dated the 29th day of December 1882 and numbered 6206 for “Improvements in incandescing conductors for electric lamps and in moulds for the carbonization of the same, and that such Letters Patent are to continue in force for fourteen years, that your Petitioner believes that the said Invention is not now and has not hitherto been publicly known or used in India. The following is a description of the Invention - The Invention relates to a flexible carbon filament for an incandescing electric lamp, formed of a number of separate continuous filaments consisting of natural vegetable fibers, secured together, and each capable of independent expansion and contraction. The Invention also relates to a mould for the carbonization of straight filaments, having a moveable block or blocks for the reception of one or both ends of the filament and allowing for the contraction during the operation. Your Petitioner therefore prays for leave to file a specification of the said Invention pursuant to the provisions of Act No 15 of 1859 of the Legislative Council of India. And your Petitioner will ever pray etc. The twenty third day of June, 1883.”

The patent application concludes with a flamboyantly bold signature in black fountain pen, “Thomas Alva Edison.” This is the first full Edison signature we have ever seen, and the fact that it is on this historic document, makes it even more remarkable.

This document is miraculously preserved and all the hand writing is darkly and clearly scripted, with the highest “10” rating. Accompanying the two page patent application is an identically dated, and similarly well-preserved letter of Edison’s intermediary in India, Arthur St. John Caruthers, which was served to verify the legitimacy of the great inventors patent.

The following is the transcript of Carruthers accompanying letter:

“I Arthur St. John Carruthers of 10 Government Place East in the Town of Calcutta Solicitor do solemnly and sincerely declare that I have been appointed by Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park New Jersey, United States of America an Inventor his agent for the purpose of applying for and obtaining from the Government of India an exclusive privilege or Letters Patent for ‘Improvements in incandescing conductors for electric lamps and in moulds for the carbonization of the same and I verily believe that the declaration purporting to be the to be the Declaration of the said Thomas Alva Edison annexed to the Petition was signed by him and the contents thereof are true. Dated this 11th day of August 1883.”

Due to the complicated and time consuming regulations of the U.S. Patent process, Edison actually received approval for this foreign patent before his marquee invention was secured in the United States.

For those of you hoping to see the American patent application show up on the auction block, it’s going to be a long, even eternal wait. The American patent application rest institutionalized: it will never see the light of day at any price. What we are offering here is the finest available alternative.

This patent application was kept on file in the country of India during it's 14 year enforcement where manufacturers of Edison's new invention were required to pay him and his laboratory residual fees. When the 14 year patent term expired, this document was no longer valid, and so returned to Edison's laboratory office in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

Few who worked in the offices of Edison's laboratory realized the historic importance of his expired patents as the 19th century came to a close, and so most of them were discarded, lost, or destroyed, - this most prized patent somehow survived, and after more than one hundred years of darkness, this document has been recently discovered.

This piece is displayed in a custom archival frame along with vintage photographs of Edison, a detailed plaque, a printed schematic diagram of his light bulb, and an original 1800’s magazine advertisement for his new invention: The Light Bulb!

This exquisite piece of World History is considered one of the most significant finds to be made available to the private sector. It comes complete with a Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA - the number one name in document authentication, and is housed along with a Letter Of Provenance in an elegant black leather slipcase with an embossed image of a light bulb on the cover, and embossed lettering on the spine that reads, “Patent Application for Electric Light Bulb” - Thomas Alva Edison - Signed”

This historical gem would easily be the center piece of most museums including the Menlo Park Museum, or the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and there’s no doubting it will illuminate even the most elite Edison collection, leaving all competition in the dark.

The autograph includes an official PSA/DNA hologram and matching LOA for authenticity purposes.

Authentication: PSA LOA

Due to the uniqueness of each item, please refer to the photos provided in this auction. We offer high resolution images of each item rather than a written description of condition.

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