Did Thomas Edison Actually Invent the Light Bulb in Wyoming?
Wyoming has its fare share of urban legends, ranging from ghost towns to ghost sightings. None of them is more historically significant than a tall tale suggesting that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb right here in the Cowboy State.
The famed inventor first visited the Wyoming territory only a year after patenting the phonograph. In July of 1878, Edison's group arrived in Rawlins to study an upcoming solar eclipse.
After failing to successfully photograph the total eclipse, his party headed west before returning to Wyoming later that summer. In August of 1878, Edison reportedly spent a week fishing and hunting near Muddy Creek.
It was there that some believe Edison developed the idea for this greatest invention, the light bulb.
According to folklore, Edison was at Battle Lake, when his fishing pole fell into a campfire. The glowing embers, allegedly, encouraged Edison to use bamboo filaments to emit light.
Unfortunately, the legend has been debunked. In fact, Edison's first successful experiment with incandescent light used cotton. Only after tinkering with thousands of materials did he later decide to use bamboo in his light bulbs.
It is well documented that Edison enjoyed his time in the Cowboy State. According to WyoHistory.org, a Laramie newspaper reported details of his trip, noting that the party "had a very pleasant hunt and fish, killing many elk, deer, antelope, etc., and bagging some 3,000 trout.”