Thomas Edison is praised as the inventor of America’s largest electric company, General Electric (GE). GE is a multinational conglomerate based in Shenectady, New York. The general headquarters are in Fairfield, Connecticut. The company has four major sectors; energy, consumer and industrial, finance and capital, and Technology. GE is among the largest firms in the US. Almost 135 years ago, Edison assembled the earliest form of electrical lighting in his home laboratory in New Jersey. In 1878, Edison’s friend, Grosvenor Lowry helped him with to start the Edison Electric Company. He developed the incandescent system of lighting but encountered difficulties in developing a filament that is easy to produce. Later, he discovered that he could use carbonized thread as filament and later used bamboo. In the later years, the bamboo filament was replaced with a metalized carbon and finally, the tungsten filament. Irving Langmuir developed a bulb filled with gas that had minimal blackening and more efficient. Other inventions, included a generator, and applied his lighting in the Columbia steamship. Edison Electric Company specialized in making lamps while Edison Machine Works produced generators. Both of these companies were based in Schenectady, New York.
In 1889, Edison conglomerated all his companies and formed the Edison General Electric Company. After he registered his company, Thomson-Houston Company, a competitor in the lighting business emerged. Although Thomas-Houston and Edison Electric Companies had their respective technologies and patents, both had problems in making complete installations. The Thomas-Houston Company had the patent for arc lighting using direct current while Edison’s company used direct current systems. In early 1892, both companies merged to form the General Electric Company. In 1896, General Electric was traded in New York Stock Exchange. In 1894, Edison sold a majority of his shares in General Electric and he shoes to remain a consultant, occasionally attending board meeting. The company established an industrial laboratory in America by the beginning of 1900. In 1903, the company acquired Stanley Electric Manufacturing Company, a manufacturer of transformers. In 1906, GE made a breakthrough in the field of technology, and introduced an electric range. In 1911, General Electric acquired National Electric Lamp Association and the lighting headquarters were moved to Nela Park in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, Nela Park is still the headquarters of General Electric. GE merged with Hughes Electric and Pacific Electric Heating Company, the makers of the electric range and Hotpoint iron respectively.
At the start of the 20th century, General Electric had diversified in various operations. Some of them include electric light bulbs, transformers, generators, and electric locomotives and motors. In 2003, GE acquired a British firm, Amersham plc, a producer of diagnostic agents, gene-sequencing tools, and drug development machines. The other merger is with Instrumentarium Corp, a medical-equipment firm that produces devices used to monitor patients and for devices used to catheterize patients. This has seen the growth of GE-Healthcare to a business valued at almost $20 billion.
Most of the inventions made by Edison formed the basis of the electric car, rail lines from the 19th century up until today. It is vital to note that Edison had patents for several small companies, which are part of General Electric holdings. General Electric has built fans that are used in planes. Inventions that have been made by General Electric include electric toaster, vacuum toaster, refrigerators and jet engines.
Other holdings that GE had include insurance operations and holdings in Radio Corporation America. However, it has withdrawn from insurance operations in addition to its exit from RCA because of antitrust considerations. In 2004, GE acquired Universal Records, a music recording and selling company and formed the NBC Universal Businesses. The company also prospects in starting a software center in California