Menlo Park, New Jersey
|Menlo Park, New Jersey|
Replica of Edison's lab, where he improved the light bulb and made it commercially practical. Henry Ford, Edison's longtime friend, built it at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.
|Elevation||141 ft (43 m)|
|GNIS feature ID||878259|
In 1876, Thomas Edison set up his home and research laboratory in Menlo Park, which at the time was the site of an unsuccessful real estate development named after the town of Menlo Park, California. While there, he earned the nickname "the Wizard of Menlo Park". The Menlo Park lab was significant in that was one of the first laboratories to pursue practical, commercial applications of research. It was in his Menlo Park laboratory that Thomas Edison invented both the phonograph and a commercially viable incandescent light bulb filament. Christie Street in Menlo Park was one of the first streets in the world to use electric lights for illumination. Edison left Menlo Park and moved his home and laboratory to West Orange, New Jersey in 1887. After his death, the Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum was constructed near his old Menlo Park lab and dedicated in 1938. Edison's old lab site and memorial now make up Edison State Park. The municipality in which Menlo Park is located, which was called "Raritan Township" while he was alive, was officially changed to Edison Township on November 10, 1954, in honor of the inventor.
- "Menlo Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- Locality Search, State of New Jersey. Accessed February 10, 2015.
- "The Origin of New Jersey Place Names", New Jersey Public Library Commission, May 1945, p. 20.
- Walsh, Bryan. "The Electrifying Edison". Web: Time 5 Jul 2010.
- Gordon, John Steele. "10 Moments That Made American Business". American Heritage (February/March 2007). Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
But even more important than the inventions themselves was the process. Laboratories in the past had mostly pursued pure research, with little or no regard for the practical applications that might flow from that research. Menlo Park was all about practical application, turning ideas into products that would have commercial potential.
- Township History, Township of Edison. Accessed June 22, 2016.
- Thomas Edison and Menlo Park, The Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park. Accessed June 21, 2016. "In 1886, Edison started building a new facility in West Orange, New Jersey. In 1887, his laboratory moved out of Menlo Park and into the new, much larger laboratory in West Orange."
- About Us, Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum. Accessed March 22, 2012.
- Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606–1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography, Trenton, New Jersey, 1969. p. 170 re Edison Township, p. 173 re Raritan Township. Accessed November 20, 2016.
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