Today in 1847 the most famous and iconic inventor of the industrial age was born, Thomas Alva Edison:
Although not the invenor of the light-bulb (a common misconception), he greatly improved its design. He is rightly credited with the invention of the phonograph and the carbon microphone amongst many other things. He is also one of the most beloved inventors ofthe Steampunk genre, possibly only eclipsed by Nikola Tesla.
Edison also features prominently in the backstory of the steampunk role playing game Space 1889 as the inventor of the Ætherflyer which made space exploration in this setting possible.