• Heavy Machine Shop

    Thomas Edison

    National Historical Park New Jersey

Visitor Learns More About Grandmother During Park Visit

November 07, 2013 Posted by: Bruce Spadaccini, Museum Technician

Betsy Lane Shepherd, undatedUpon finishing a talk and demonstration of the phonograph in the Music Room, a couple waited around to ask a few questions to Ranger Carmen Pantaleo. The woman said that her grandmother had actually sung for Edison. After explaining that the pictures on the walls were some of the recording artists from Edison's time, Carmen began reading some names off. The visitor then told Carmen that her grandmother's name was Betsy Shepherd. According to Carmen, "As I made my way around the room I approached the coat rack. I told her, 'You won't believe this, but here is a picture of Betsy Lane Shepherd.'" The visitor was so amazed and surprised, and Carmen took plenty of photographs for her to take home.

"She said she was shaking and had goose bumps from this experience. She just couldn't believe that there was an actual picture of her grandmother there on the wall. It is amazing how you always hear stories about someone's relative who had worked for Edison over all the years, but to have some kind of actual proof is just amazing. I know that on that day I made someone's dream come true of connecting a family member to her family history."

A number of Shepherd's recordings survive and can be listened to here, courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Recording Artist, Betsy Lane Shepherd

1 Comments Comments Icon

  1. Brian - Williamsburg, Virginia
    November 12, 2013 at 04:11

    Good Article Bruce! Come see me down at Independence some day!


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Did You Know?

A large birdfeeder on the lawn of Glenmont just outside the conservatory.

Mina Edison was an avid bird watcher. She had many feeders and birdhouses around the grounds of Glenmont. She even had a heated birdbath. In the winter she flipped a switch in her bedroom that would turn on the birdbath in the yard below her window and it would melt the ice.