EDISON BUILDINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
WEST ORANGE, N.J.
* The National Park Service charges admission to see the laboratory and Glenmont, Thomas A. Edison's home in the guarded community of Llewellyn Park, located within a mile of each other in West Orange. Tickets for both sites are issued only at the laboratory's visitors center on Lakeside Avenue. They are $2 for adults; children under 17 are admitted free.Skip to next paragraph
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The following buildings are open to the public:
Power house. Currently the site's visitors center and museum of Edisoniana, it is located at the far end of the main laboratory.
Main laboratory. Still contains the 1887 machine shop, stock rooms, and Edison's paneled, two-story combination library and office. Here, the inventor's roll-top desk, his day-bed where he would take catnaps, and some of his notebooks are on display. The library houses 10,000 research volumes.
In the shop, the machines are operated once a year on Edison Day which is usually scheduled in the spring. Visitors can still see elephant hide and other items used by Edison's ``muckers,'' the nickname used by his employees, in the ground-floor stock room.
Closed to the public are the second and third floors, which, respectively, contain office storage and Edison's sound-recording studio.
Chemistry laboratory. Left was it was in 1931 when Edison passed on. Along with test tubes and beakers can be seen remnants of Edison's experiment with goldenrod to make rubber.
Physics laboratory. Currently used by the park service for offices and occasional public display rooms.
Black Maria. 1954 replica of the world's first motion-picture studio, built in 1893, in which Edison filmed everything from ballet to boxing. Edison experimented with sound for movies beginning in 1905 and offered it in all his theaters in 1913. Ironically, the movie industry didn't switch over to talkies until 1927. This building is open only for special events.
Glenmont. Edison's Victorian-era home, which he shared with his second wife, Mina. Built in red brick and wood, its 23 rooms are furnished as they were when the Edisons lived there: damask-covered furniture, animal-skin rugs, and imported statuary and paintings. A park pass must be presented to the security guard at Llewellyn Park's gatehouse for admittance to the 16-acre estate.