American inventor Thomas Edison still holds the record with 1,093 U.S. patents awarded during his lifetime. Most of those came while running the massive laboratories in West Orange, New Jersey from 1887 until his death in 1931. After perfecting the incandescent lightbulb in 1879, it was here he employed hundreds to work on improving his phonograph, motion picture camera, alkaline storage battery, and Portland cement (one of his most profitable ventures). The park also includes the family estate, Glenmont, located one-mile away (a tour ticket is required to enter the house).
Historic laboratories and workshops, inventions on display, house tour
The multi-story Main Laboratory is handicap accessible and contains 400,000 artifacts from Edison’s prolific career. On display are some of the world’s first electric coffee-makers, waffle irons, and toasters marketed by his company Edicraft in the 1920s.
A self-guided walk around the grounds of Glenmont includes Edison’s gravesite.
At the West Orange laboratory is a replica of “Black Maria,” the world’s first movie studio originally built in 1893 on a track that allowed it to pivot for better lighting.
Open year round, but not every day of the week
$15 per adult or America the Beautiful pass
All roads paved
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