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Light Bulb Believed Made by Edison Stolen

February 17, 2006

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (AP) _ It was hidden in a shoe box inside a drawer, but the burglar who stumbled upon it must have thought the ancient-looking light bulb was worth something.

The light bulb’s owner said it was probably made by Thomas Edison, who is credited with developing a long-burning filament that made the incandescent light bulb marketable.

Helena Grimes, owner of the Waldeck Mansion that was burglarized this week, said the light bulb had belonged to her great-great-uncle. Grimes said she was told by a Smithsonian Institution expert that there are likely only 12 others like it.

Edison lived and worked in Louisville as a telegraph operator in 1866 and 1867. The Thomas Edison House in Louisville has appraised the bulb.

``We’re not interested in selling it, so it doesn’t matter how much it’s worth,″ Grimes said.

Instead, Grimes and her husband, David Gleason, are offering a reward for information leading to the return of the light bulb and some silver trays and trophies that were also swiped during the burglary.

The bulb has a wooden base and is about the size of a peach, with glass tapering to a point on the top, Grimes said. Though it has an electrical cord, it shouldn’t be plugged into an electrical outlet, she said.

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