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Exhibits and Programs

Exhibits

IMG_9423The two-room museum at the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park includes both original artifacts and interpretive exhibits relating to Edison’s major inventions at Menlo Park. The themes covered include:

 

    • Establishment of the world’s first research and development laboratory
    • Perfection of the incandescent light bulb
    • Development of a complete electrical distribution system
    • Invention and progression of the phonograph, the invention that earned Edison the title of the “Wizard of Menlo Park”
    • Twentieth century commemoration of Edison’s accomplishments

Artifacts include a model of Edison’s laboratory, early phonographs and light bulbs, historic photographs, and a Menlo Park era electric generator or “dynamo.” Visitors are encouraged to take a guided tour of the museum’s collections, hear a demonstration of one of the historic phonographs, and try some hands-on demonstrations. The museum provides guided tours to a wide variety of visitors–students from kindergarten to high school, senior citizens, professionals, families, scouts, summer campers, and many others, from across America and around the world. These tours, which are tailored to the specific audience, can be scheduled either for days when the museum is open (Thursday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM).  Special requests can be made for tours on other weekdays.

 

In addition to touring the museum, visitors may also walk the grounds in order to:

    • Tower Pics and Gift Shop Photos 3-2013 078See the foundations of Edison’s office and library building
    • See the 1925 Menlo Park Memorial Tablet and the 1947 Edison Centennial Plaque
    • Explore the 36-acre Edison State Park along a nature trail adjacent to the museum

The museum’s gift shop has many items related to Thomas Alva Edison, Menlo Park, and the Edison Memorial Tower, including books, backpacks, light-bulb pens, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, coasters, T-shirts, replica light bulbs and other items.

 

Programs

The Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park provides numerous onsite programs, including:

 

    • Special Tours for schools or groups
    • Shining a Light on Edison program coordinated with the Edison township schools
    • Walking tours of the grounds of Thomas Edison’s “Invention Factory”
    • Training for museum volunteers (students age 15 or older and adults)
    • Edison Volunteer Fire Company No. 1’s annual wreath laying ceremony in honor of Edison’s February 11th birthday
    • Clean-up days with local businesses or organizations

Photos Museum 009Other outreach programs include

    • Lectures and demonstrations at schools and other non-profit organizations
    • Participation in regional and statewide history events
    • Coordinated programs with Rutgers University’s Thomas A. Edison Papers and the Thomas Edison National Historical Park (West Orange, New Jersey)
    • Metuchen Country Fair

 

Special Commemorative Programs

Upcoming Programs

  • Rededication of the restored Edison Memorial Tower

Past programs have included:

  • Rededication of the Edison Centennial Plaque
  • Museum Grand Re-opening Celebration, June 9, 2012
  • 85th Anniversary Celebration of the Menlo Park Tablet, May 16, 2010
  • Dedication of Menlo Park as a historic “Milestone” by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), September 2006