A Day of History at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park

New Jersey has a lot of history, and it’s residents have contributed a lot to our society. One man who created some of the world’s most important inventions is the Wizard of Menlo Park, Thomas Edison. But did you know you could visit his famous laboratory in West Orange? Here is what I got to see on my visit to Thomas Edison National Historical Park (211 Main St, West Orange, NJ).

The park is open year round, and it’s definitely something that you should put on your New Jersey bucket list. For a very nominal fee ($10) you can tour the laboratory complex, get to hear lectures by park rangers and volunteers, and view educational films on Thomas Edison. As a film nerd, I enjoyed watching “The Great Train Robbery” a silent movie from 1903 which was directed by Edwin S. Porter, a former Edison Studios cameraman.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is the third largest museum collection in the National Park Service. It contains over 300,000 of Thomas Edison’s 60 year career as an inventor, manufacturer, businessman, and private citizen.  If open, visitors can also get a pass to tour Glenmont Estate, his 29 room Victorian mansion (dates to tour the home are limited).  For a full list of everything you can see at Thomas Edison Historical Park, click here.

Touring the park is an amazing experience! You will probably spend 1-2 hours exploring this amazing place filled with history. I especially loved touring Edison’s library.

At the library you can see his desk, which has been left the same since his death.

Most of the laboratory has stayed the same since Edison’s passing. There are several stops along the tour that show photographs of how it looked originally and how it looks now.

Even the chemistry lab looks exactly the same! I was very impressed. All those lighting fixtures are original!

While I was there I learned that Thomas Edison created a lot of inventions that I had no idea he had anything to do with. The inventions are on display at the museum as well. Did you know Edison invented a waffle maker? I for sure did not.

The museum also has it’s own music room, filled with Edison’s inventions including the phonograph.

You can also listen to music on the phonograph as well. It’s very cool.

Like Edison, the park is very technology forward and has several “Selfie Stations” throughout.

Of course  my friend Hollie and I had to get in on the fun!

For additional information on Thomas Edison National Historical Park, visit their Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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