History & Culture
At the corner of Main Street and Lakeside Avenue in West Orange, New Jersey stands a group of red brick buildings. To the passing motorist the buildings betray little evidence of their glory days and of the people who worked inside. A short distance away is Glenmont, Thomas Edison's estate. Together, the laboratory and residence preserve the work and character of America's foremost inventor, Thomas Edison and the family, friends and business associates who played a key role in his success.
The museum collections at Thomas Edison National Historical Park are by far the largest single body of Edison-related material extant. They are the product of Thomas Alva Edison's sixty-year career as an inventor, manufacturer, businessman, and private citizen. The collections are divided into three broad categories: History artifacts, archives, and natural history and comprise holdings at both the Laboratory complex and the Glenmont Estate. The sheer size of the holdings is daunting: the history collection is currently estimated to number over 300,000 items, while the archives contain approximately five million documents. The Natural History Collection consists of plant specimens collected from the Glenmont Estate as part of a 1995 plant inventory. In total, it is the third largest museum collection in the National Park Service.