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Keys, lightbulbs tied to Thomas Edison sell at auction

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Thomas Alva Edison (1847 - 1931) with the his invention, the phonograph. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

DALLAS — Keys to the New Jersey lab where Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and some of the lightbulbs that he perfected have sold for more than $60,000 at auction.

The keys sold for $10,625 at an auction run by Heritage Auctions in Dallas Saturday.

A bulb created by a German inventor who claimed to have invented the incandescent lightbulb before Edison did was sold for $23,750.

A set of five of Edison’s bulbs sold for $30,000.

The items were owned by a Pittsburgh man who acquired them from his great aunt, who was married to one of the attorneys whose law firm represented Edison in patent lawsuits.

Tags on five of the six keys list the doors that they opened, including the Menlo Park lab which Edison opened in 1876 that became known as the “invention factory.”