• Heavy Machine Shop

    Thomas Edison

    National Historical Park New Jersey




The American Chemical Society (ACS) will recognize the chemical research and developments of inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847–1931) as a National Historic Chemical Landmark in 2014. Applications of chemistry were a common theme in many of his inventions, including the carbon filaments used in light bulbs, plastic materials used in phonograph records, development of the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery, and research into domestic sources of rubber.Edison's work will be celebrated at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange on Friday, June 6, 2014, in partnership with the North Jersey Section of ACS. Media Information

Edison opened his West Orange laboratory complex in 1887 as an expanded site for research and product development. The complex was among the most modern and well-equipped industrial research facilities in the world and included a chemical laboratory and library of chemical information to support Edison's expansive research, as well as chemical manufacturing operations and factories to produce Edison's inventions. Chemical developments originating from the West Orange laboratory included plastics and waxes for disc and cylinder phonograph records, nickel-iron alkaline electric storage batteries, and improvements to the manufacture of Portland cement.

Additional celebrations of Edison's work in chemistry will be held by the ACS at the present-day locations of his laboratories. Edison's Menlo Park laboratory will be recognized at The Henry Ford, Greenfield Village, in Dearborn, Mich., on September 20, 2014, in partnership with the Detroit Local Section of ACS. The Menlo Park lab was moved from its original site in New Jersey to Dearborn in 1928 when it was reconstructed by Edison's friend Henry Ford. The Edison Botanical Laboratory at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be commemorated on May 25, 2014, in Fort Myers, Fla., in partnership with the ACS South Florida Section.

The American Chemical Society established the National Historic Chemical Landmarks program in 1992 to recognize important achievements in the history of the chemical sciences. Subjects recognized through this program have included Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic; the discovery and development of penicillin; and the work of historical figures such as Joseph Priestley, George Washington Carver and Selman Waksman. More information is available online at www.acs.org/landmarks. NHCL Booklet

Check out the American Chemical Society's youtube video about Edison too!


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.