Any visit to New Jersey is a chance to come face to
face with history. New Jersey
has always been known as an industrious and innovative
state, and the genius that best exemplifies the heart
of New Jersey’s history is Thomas Alva Edison. Though
born out of state, Edison did much of his work in the
Garden State. Though he didn’t stay in one location
for his entire career, the years in the Menlo Park section
of what is now called Edison, NJ produced some of his
finest inventions. Edison himself, nicknamed the Wizard
of Menlo Park, said that many of his greatest accomplishments
came at Menlo Park. It is here that the Thomas Edison
Museum now stands, officially called the Thomas Alva Edison
Memorial Tower and Menlo Park Museum.
The Thomas Edison museum, established with the dedication of the Memorial Tower in 1937 placed right where the Menlo Park Museum used to stand, is a place to pay your respects to the greatest modern inventor. The way we live today is shaped, in large part, by the contributions Edison made. Thomas Edison’s inventions, including some of his incandescent light bulbs and phonograph prototypes, are available for viewing at the Thomas Edison Museum. In addition, there are many photographs of the labs that Edison operated here and others of Thomas Edison’s inventions that were developed at this historic site.
Though the site of the Thomas Edison laboratory is a rather small tribute to such an excellent inventor, it is an important site to visit for those interested in American history. The Thomas Edison Museum is an especially vital place to take your children, in order to bring the lessons about Thomas Edison’s inventions that they learn in the classroom to life.
A trip to the site of the Thomas Edison laboratory is a chance to view original pieces that Edison himself worked with, and also to experience some of the same things Edison loved about the Menlo Park area. For example, take a walk on the nearby walking trails to enjoy the natural setting that the Wizard himself hiked through.
Most importantly, the Thomas Edison museum is itself being invented, or reinvented, to form an even better tribute to the ultimate inventor. The modest structures that stand at the site of the Thomas Edison laboratory are not enough according to members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, who owe their field, in part, to some of Thomas Edison’s most foundational inventions. They are currently in the process of raising money to erect a new Thomas Edison Museum in Menlo Park.
Visiting the Thomas Edison Museum requires no fee, but guests are encouraged to donate toward the cause of reinventing this tribute to one of the great Americans of all time. The museum is open on Tuesday through Saturday, from 10-4. In the midst of your New Jersey golf vacation, or a tour of New Jersey spa locations, take some time to visit the Thomas Edison Museum. Perhaps a light bulb will illuminate in your own mind as you are inspired by the ingenuity that took place at the Thomas Edison laboratory.