|Thomas Edison National Historic Park, West Orange, New Jersey|
Thomas Edison National Historical Park preserves Thomas Edison‘s laboratory and residence, Glenmont, in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey. For more than forty years, the laboratory had a major impact on the lives of people worldwide. Out of the West Orange laboratories came the motion picture camera, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery.
The history of how the site became a National Historical Park is complicated. Edison’s home was designated as the Edison Home National Historic Site on December 6, 1955. The laboratory was designated as Edison Laboratory National Monument on July 14, 1956. On September 5, 1962, the 21-acre (85,000 m2) site containing the home and the laboratory were designated the
Edison National Historic Site and overseen by the National Park Service. On March 30, 2009 it was renamed Thomas Edison National Historical Park, adding “Thomas” to the title in hopes to relieve confusion between the Edison sites in West Orange, NJ and Edison, NJ. Following extensive renovations of the laboratory complex, there was a grand reopening on October 10, 2009.
In 1996, the alternative rock band They Might Be Giants recorded four songs on phonograph cylinder at the museum. One of these recordings, of the song “I Can Hear You”, appeared on their album Factory Showroom released later the same year. The other three songs (“Maybe I Know”, “The Edison Museum”, and a re-recording of the Factory Showroom track “James K. Polk”) were released on the band’s website in 2002.