In 1878, Thomas Edison began serious research into developing a practical incandescent lamp and on October 14, 1878, Edison filed his first patent application for "Improvement In Electric Lights". He said that it burned for over 13.5 hours on October 21st, 1879. However, he continued to test several types of material for metal filaments to improve upon his original design and by Nov 4, 1879, he filed another U.S. patent for an electric lamp using "a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected ... to platina contact wires."
Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament including using "cotton and linen thread, wood splints, papers coiled in various ways," it was not until several months after the patent was granted that Edison and his team discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament could last over 1200 hours.
This discovery marked the beginning of commercially manufactured light bulbs and in 1880, Thomas Edison’s company, Edison Electric Light Company began marketing its new product.
Thomas Edison died on October 18, 1931 from complications of diabetes in his home, Glenmont, in West Orange, New Jersey with his family around him. “The great inventor, the fruits of whose genius so magically transformed the everyday world, was 84 years and 8 months old.”
- NY Times