NYC Day Trip

The Thrill of Invention At The Thomas Edison Center in Menlo Park, NJ

Don’t miss the thrill of invention at the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park, NJ

This monster incandescent lightbulb stands symbolically here on Christie Street

On December 31st, 1879, Thomas Edison flipped a switch and Christie Street made history as the first street to be illuminated by street lights.

Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb, but he did invent won’t that wouldn’t burn out in less than a minute.
Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb, but he did invent one that wouldn’t burn out in less than a minute.

NY Times ad on Dec. 28, 1879

Edison didn’t know if anyone would respond to his ad, announcing that he would demo his long-lasting bulb on New Year’s Eve, but a large crowd stepped off of the 11 pm train and, by 11:30 pm, he had 3,000 spectators!

This is just one of the amazing stories you will hear during the tour at the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park, New Jersey.

The museum is tiny but full of facts, demonstrations, artifacts and stories about both the inventor’s personal and professional life. Chuck, our museum guide, was full of excitement and was extremely knowledgeable. At just $5, you will never get a better tour for your money.

Edison’s years at Menlo Park were his most productive. The most famous of his Menlo Park inventions were the phonograph, the record disc (which allowed artists and publishers to sell their music) and the electric train.

How to plan your time

  • A trip to the Thomas Edison Center from Manhattan will take about an hour
  • The Thomas Edison Center visit will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
  • The trip back to Manhattan will take approximately one hour
  • Don’t forget that you’ll have to wait for the train in each direction

Plan 4 hrs.

Find out more at The Thomas Edison Center’s website:


  1. Nice post though I’m not much of a fan of Edison who is said to have stolen lots of Tesla inventions.
    Bill Bryson talks about it in one of his books, whose name I just can’t remember at the moment. It’s a kind of a history of stolen inventions.

    1. Yes, they did talk about the tension between Edison and Tesla on the tour, and the never-ending dispute. I can’t really give you an opinion since I don’t know enough about this.

      In any case, 1. The site is still home to world-changing inventions; 2. You have read just about everything, Bojana. Your level of knowledge is so impressive!

      1. I recommended you to a fellow blogger, who just got back from Cuba and is constantly posting photos he took, accompanied by some interesting stories. I thought he might want to see more of the Hispano world.
        Have you been to Cuba yourself?

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