Thomas Alva Edison was a scientist who invented items including the electric light bulb, the moving picture camera and the phonograph. He patented 1,093 inventions in the United States under his name alone. Edison's theories and research have been noted in universities and museums all over the United States. His influence is seen in the monuments and memorials bearing his likeness or his name. Although there are memorials in states he never visited, a handful of locations stand out because of the quality of the exhibits.
Menlo Park Museum
This museum is in Edison, New Jersey. Menlo Park is also the home of the tower where Edison's original science laboratory was when he was married to his first wife, Mary Stilwell. The museum and tower were opened on Feb. 11, 1938. The museum often features events for children and summer programs for young would-be scientists.
Edison Memorial Fountain
Although he was born in Ohio, Edison grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. The town was near Detroit, so it's little wonder that Detroit's Grand Circus Park is home to the Edison Memorial Fountain. The fountain was dedicated on the 50th anniversary of the light bulb. The large, circular fountain, made of limestone, is on the park's west side. Thomas Edison attended the dedication on Oct. 21, 1929.
Thomas Edison Depot
Port Huron, Michigan is home to the Thomas Edison Depot, a museum in the actual depot where Edison once worked as a news butcher, roaming through crowds selling newspapers, magazines and peanuts. The museum opened Feb. 11, 2001, and tells the story of young Edison and the family support that helped him achieve so many contributions to society. A railroad car on the site shows what Edison's portable laboratory and office once looked like, and how the scientist continued to work even while he traveled.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Located in West Orange, New Jersey, the Thomas Edison National Historical Park is where Edison's home and laboratory were. The location is owned by the National Park Service and protected as a historic landmark. After his first wife died and Edison married Mina Miller, he purchased this home and moved his family. The park includes an estate, Glenmont; the grounds where Edison and his wife once strolled; and the original laboratory buildings where Edison worked.
Edison Birthplace Museum
This museum is in Milan, Ohio, and marks where Thomas Edison was born. Edison's descendants are involved in running this museum. Edison was born in the house on Feb. 11, 1847. He lived there until 1854, when his parents sold the house and moved to Port Huron, Michigan. Today, the museum offers tours of the restored 19th-century home. Antiques from the Edison family are throughout the museum.
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