Born on February 11, 1847, just months before the first United States stamps were issued, Thomas A. Edison changed the world many times over with his inventions. He made over one thousand important discoveries. Some of these—the gramophone, the incandescent light system, the megaphone, an energy storage battery, the electric valve, and the talking motion picture—formed the foundation for modern American technology.
Edison founded Edison General Electric, known simply as General Electric today, to create the complete electrical distribution system for lighting and power in the United States. The first central electric light and power plant was installed in New York City between 1881 and 1882.
The Thomas A. Edison Issue was released to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth. A total 156,540,510 stamps were issued by the Post Office Department for this issue.