The Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower was built in 1937 and dedicated February 11, 1938, to commemorate Thomas Edison's 91st birthday. The building presently serving as the Museum was built in 1941, as a gatehouse and reception area for people visiting the Tower.
Located at 37 Christie Street in the Menlo Park section of Edison Township, the Tower is situated where Thomas Edison had his laboratory, the first modern research-and-development center in the world.
While in Menlo Park, Edison received approximately 400 patents on inventions, including the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the electric railroad car. His innovations at the site included wireless transmissions (nearly 20 years before Marconi), the carbon button transmitter (a major improvement to telephone technology), and the discovery of the Edison Effect, the foundation for the field of electronics. Thomas Edison remarked that some of his greatest triumphs were accomplished at Menlo Park. The Menlo Park Museum contains some of Edison's inventions, historic photographs, a selection of products from the Thomas A. Edison Company, and other Edison-related material.
Built in 1937 to mark the birthplace of recorded sound, Menlo Park also contains the world's largest light bulb, which is thirteen feet tall and weighs a staggering eight tons. Illuminated at night, this light bulb stands at the top of a tower marking the spot where Edison invented the light bulb. Keeping along in the theme of light bulbs, the tower's base contains one as well. This "highly exhausted" light bulb has been burning since 1929 when the tower was first built. Visitors can really feel as though they've discovered a unique part of New Jersey that no one else has tampered with and, in the process, truly enjoy the history contained within without tickets, crowds and time limits.
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