The History of GE

December 3, 2008


General Electric was created when to brilliant minds decided to join forces.  Thomas Alva Edison was a young inventor living in New Jersey who invented the first successful incandescent electrical lamp in 1876.  After the success with his invention, he was able to create the Edison General Electric company.  Edison’s brilliant mind was always powered by the need to provide service to the general public.  Edison’s character is revealed through one of his famous quotes. “I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give to others.”


Meanwhile a respected business man by the name Charles Coffin had just started his on company known as the Thomas Houston Company. Coffin was a humble man with a business savvy like no other person of his time. Coffin was known as “a man born to command, yet who never issued orders.”    


Edison General Electric and the Thomas Houston Company became huge competitors.  Offering similar services, the intense competition was creating negative effects for both companies.  The two companies finally merged in 1892 creating the General Electric Company.  This was the beginning of endless possibilities for these two men.  Edison possessed the inventive and innovative knowledge while Coffin was able to use his keen business skills in a market that was eager to adapt new technology.


In 1900 GE opened its first research and development laboratory.  From there, GE has evolved into a complex organization that provides a variety of products and services that benefit society.




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