Thomas Edison National Historical Park, West Orange

4.7
#2 of 10 in Things to do in West Orange
At the corner of Main Street and Lakeside Avenue in West Orange, New Jersey stands a group of red brick buildings. To the passing motorist the buildings betray little evidence of their glory days and of the people who worked inside. A short distance away is Glenmont, Thomas Edison's estate. Together, the laboratory and residence preserve the work and character of America's foremost inventor, Thomas Edison and the family, friends and business associates who played a key role in his success.

Mission

Our mission is to promote an international understanding and appreciation of the life and extraordinary achievements of Thomas Alva Edison by preserving, protecting and interpreting the park’s extensive historic artifact and archive collections at the Laboratory Complex and Glenmont, the Edison family estate.

Description

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is located in West Orange, New Jersey, a township approximately six miles from Newark, NJ, and fifteen miles from Manhattan. The park encompasses two sites – the Laboratory Complex and the Glenmont Estate, former home to Thomas and Mina Edison.

Thomas A. Edison embodied the spirit of invention that gripped America in the late nineteenth century. With his team of scientists and technicians, Edison earned 1,093 U.S. patents in his lifetime, most for inventions that originated in the West Orange labs. The park is a memorial to the man and a place where the roots of American inspiration and innovation can be discovered.

Today, Edison’s brick and concrete laboratories are well integrated into West Orange’s urban landscape but these solidly built Victorian buildings still retain a sense of their former prominence as the core of Thomas Edison’s “invention factory”. For forty-four years, from 1887 to 1931, the site served as the inventor’s research and development center.
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Thomas Edison National Historical Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
465 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The Edison National Park is a great place to visit. The park is located in the old Edison Factory that once employed over 10,000 employees. Touring the museum gives you an idea of the brilliance of Th...  more »
  • Tickets to see the Glenmont Estate are free, on a first come basis daily--cannot be reserved. We arrived at 10am, got passes for the 1pm house tour. Paying for the park visit is really the same price ...  more »
Google
  • A large historic center where you can see a ton of the inventions. My favorite part was visiting Thomas Edison's personal library. It was extremely ornate, beautiful, and inspiring. You truly felt he could walk in any moment and get to work. It was awesome to see how much space and items they were able to save and preserve. Definitely worth a visit and you can then drive down the road to see his actual home in a private community.
  • Fun to see all historic inventions. It’s good to have a little background knowledge on the site by watching videos in the visitor center. National Park Pass makes visits free. $15 per adult. Descriptions of some things are lacking, so get an audio guide. The audio tour is amazing. I have visited 16 National Park Sites from Maine to Tennessee. This is one of my favorites. Bring a camera. Check out the chemistry building, the Silicon Valley of the 1800s. The factory is big. Audio guide tour takes 45 minutes without extensions. Each audio guide is $2.50. Music room is fun. Check out phonographs on the 3rd floor of the factory.

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