• Heavy Machine Shop

    Thomas Edison

    National Historical Park New Jersey

Marion Estelle Edison Oeser

A young Marion Estelle Edison.

A young Marion Estelle Edison.

NPS Photo

Mary and Thomas Edison's first child was Marion Estelle, born on February 18, 1873. As a child, her nickname was "Dot," a reference to the Morse code used to send messages on telegraphs. Between her mother's death and her father's remarriage, 12-year-old Marion spent a great deal of time with her father. He even sent her out to buy his cigars. She claims to have seen Edison propose marriage to Mina Miller using Morse code.

Marion boarded at Somerville Seminary in Somerville, New Jersey, and BradfordAcademy in Bradford, Massachusetts. In 1895 she married Karl Oscar Oeser, a German army lieutenant, and lived in Germany even through the First World War. Although she described her marriage as "one long drawn out honeymoon," it ended in divorce in 1921. She then returned to the United States, where she died on April 16, 1965.

 

Did You Know?

Fluoroscope

Clarence Madison Dally an employee of Thomas Edison at his West Orange research labs volunteered to work on the newly discovered x-rays. Using a fluoroscope, made of a fluoride gas filled light and two pieces of cardboard to focus the x-rays, Dally would expose himself to high concentrations of radiation eventually leading to radiation poisoning. After Dally’s death when Edison was asked about x-rays he would respond with “Don’t ask me about x-rays. I am afraid of them.”