Edison National Historic Site preserves Thomas Edison's laboratory and home in West Orange, New Jersey. Though originally constructed in a rural location, the city has since grown around it. This was Edison's last and largest research facility, constructed in 1887. Most of the house's original furnishings are intact and many Edison inventions and prototypes are on display in the laboratory. The only major structural addition to the original site is an underground vault that holds Edison’s papers and the original prototypes of his inventions.
The only clapboard structure in the West Orange lab complex, Building 11 was dismantled in 1940 and donated to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. In recent years, however, the Ford Museum made changes in its interpretive plans and Building 11 no longer fit their needs. Museum officials therefore returned the building to Edison National Historic Site. It has now been reassembled at the site in West Orange.
The laboratory at Edison National Historic Site displays amazing artifacts and provides special insight into Edison's process of invention. Glenmont, the Edison home, has recently reopened to tours.
If You Go
Call the park's visitor information line at 973.324.9973 to determine operating hours and which buildings are open for tours before you go.
In 2003 the site closed for repairs. Glenmont, the Edison home, has recently reopened to tours. But the main body of the site, the laboratory itself, remains closed. Lack of funding has stalled the refurbishment.