Madeleine Edison Sloane
Affectionately nicknamed "Toots" by her relatives, Madeleine Edison was born May 31, 1888, the first Edison child to be born at Glenmont. With her intelligence and sharp wit, she might well have been brought into the family business had she not been a female. She attended BrynMawrCollege in Pennsylvania for two years.
Demonstrating typical Edison independence, Madeleine married John Eyre Sloane in the Drawing Room at Glenmont on June 17, 1914. Her parents were not pleased. They would have preferred their daughter to marry the son of an industrialist, not an aviator. Mina Edison was especially upset that her new son-in-law was a Catholic. Madeleine and John had four sons, who happened to be Thomas Edison's only grandchildren from either marriage.
A lifelong Republican, she briefly ran for Congress in 1938 as a reformer. During World War II she gave much of her time to blood drives for the New Jersey Red Cross. She also administered the Edison Birthplace in Milan, Ohio after her mother's death. In the 1950s she served on the Board of Directors for Western Union. She died on February 14, 1979, leaving an endowment to the Edison Birthplace.
Did You Know?
Was Teddy Ruxpin the first talking doll? Think again. Some of the first phonographs that Thomas made were actually talking dolls. The dolls were 18" tall and each had a very small phonograph in its body. The dolls repeated nursery rhymes. You could even buy dolls that spoke different languages.