Thomas Edison Butchertown House, Louisville

#82 of 156 in Things to do in Louisville
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Thomas Edison House is a historic house located in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. The house is a shotgun duplex built around 1850. Thomas Edison took up residence in the same neighborhood, possibly even at this location, a part of the time he lived in Louisville from 1866 to 1867. The house features a museum that honors Edison and his inventions.
In 1866, at age 19, Thomas Edison, a skilled telegrapher, came to Louisville to work for Western Union, which at that time had an office on the corner of Main and Second Streets. In August 1866, Edison left briefly, intending to take a trip to Brazil but was turned back at New Orleans because the waterway was shut down. So, he returned to work in Louisville and found lodging in a shotgun duplex on East Washington Street in what is now Butchertown.
In 1867, while working the night shift, Edison, already the experimenter, was working with a battery when he spilled sulfuric acid onto the floor and his boss' desk on the floor below. The next day, he was fired, and left town for good. Sixteen years later, in 1883, one of Edison's new inventions, the incandescent light bulb, was demonstrated in the largest installation to date in Louisville at the Southern Exposition.
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  • Edison may not have invented anything whilst living here but it's fascinating to see the exhibition of his creations. You know about the light bulb, but that's just a tiny part of it. Well worth...  more »
  • The house is tiny, but you can easily spend 45-60 minutes here with the tour. Our tour guide was awesome full of stories, info, dates and additional pictures and sound bites. Lots of cool Edison...  more »
  • Thomas Edison rented a room here for a year when he was 19 years old. Now it's a museum honoring his inventions. It's an adorable little house in an area that looks like it's on its way back up.
  • Honestly, I expected this place to be way busier! Our tour guide was a great guy who helped us not only with the museum but with the surrounding area. Definitely, go here if you have time and you're nearby.

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