Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was the most famous inventor of his time. While Edison was born in Ohio, he spent the majority of his life in New Jersey, busy shaping the design of today's modern world. Edison's ground-breaking inventions can be studied at the The Thomas Edison National Historical Park, and Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory. Take a drive on Edison's One Mile Concrete Highway.
Begin your tour at the Visitor Center where you can watch a short film on the history of Thomas Edison. The park is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10am - 4pm. Entrance fee is $15, children under 16 are admitted free. Rent an audio tour device for just $5. Tickets are given on a first come first served basis. Check out the fun souvenirs in the Visitor Center gift shop.
The impressive research library located in the main laboratory building, is the first room on the tour. The library also served as Edison's office, where you can see his desk. Look for a small bed found in the corner for his late night inventing sessions.
The Heavy Machine Shop contained tools such as drill presses and metal grinding machines. Parts made here were used for new inventions and machinery.
Located on the second floor is Room 12. This was Edison’s personal laboratory and a favorite room where he spent more time in here than he did in his own office.
The Music Room is found up on the third floor and displays Edison's phonographs.
Many live musical performances were recorded in the Music Room. Check the schedule and listen to a lecture that is given a few times daily in this room.
Thomas Edison’s chemical laboratory was one of the most advanced chemistry labs in the world. Disk shaped records were one of the products developed in the lab. The chemical laboratory is only open during Ranger guided tours.
The Black Maria, was the world's first movie studio. An exact replica is located on the complex. Covered with black tarpaper, the studio had a retractable roof to let in the bright sunlight needed for early film production. The name Black Maria was penned by employees who thought the cramped, dark studio resembled police paddywagons known as Black Marias. The first movies were filmed right here on the grounds and included magic shows, short plays and vaudeville acts.
Located just one mile down the road from the laboratory is the 13 acre Glenmont Estate. Thomas Edison bought the grand 23-room Victorian mansion as a gift for his bride, Mina. Guided tours are given daily. Pick up an entry car pass at the Visitor Center.
Edison's Concrete Mile
Milepost 3, Route 57, New Village, NJ
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