Edgerton received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1925. He worked for the General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York, in 1926. He earned a master of science degree in 1927 and graduated with a doctorate in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began teaching in 1932. His research in stroboscopic photography in the 1930s laid the foundation for the development of modern electronic flash. In 1926 he developed a light which produced a brilliant flash with a duration of less than one-millionth of a second. He perfected stroboscopic lights for both ultra-high speed still and motion photography.
Seeing the Unseen: Dr. Harold E. Edgerton and the Wonders of Strobe Alley. Rochester: George Eastman House, 1994.