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This Day In Market History: Edison Founds GE's Predecessor

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

· 10/15/2020 11:33

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

What Happened: On Oct. 15, 1878, Thomas Edison founded Edison Electric Light Co. — a firm that would later morph into the now-struggling General Electric Company (NYSE:GE).

Where Was The Market: The Dow wasn't established for another seven years.

What Else Was Going On In The World: Germany was about to declare an end to socialism, and yellow fever epidemics were ravaging American communities.

An Infant GE Is Born: Edison founded the Edison Electric Light Co. to produce the incandescent light bulb. The company issued 3,000 shares of $100 stock and became funded primarily by J.P. Morgan & Co.

After a series of mergers, it took the name Edison General Electric Co. in 1889, and three years later, it merged with rival Thomson-Houston Electric Co. to form General Electric Co.

Today, GE still retains elements of Edison’s original business, including lighting, transportation and power transmission. The latest version of Edison’s entity has suffered significant hardships, recently culminating in its removal from the Dow and a series of leadership changes.