Thomas Edison's New Jersey

You can't go far in New Jersey without seeing a sign that says Washington Slept Here, but what about Thomas Edison Slept here?! Edison had a love of napping. "You know when I am working on anything I keep at it night and day, sleeping a few hours with my clothes on." TAE, May 23, 1889. This robust map shows the important sites in New Jersey related to the life, naps and work of Thomas Edison. Take a look and let us know what you think!


Elizabeth, 1869: A year after receiving his first patent, Edison moves here.

Jersey City, 1869: Operates a small telegraph equipment site here.

Newark, 1870:  Lives and works here for the next six years.  Opens his first major telegraph shop, patents many improvements for the telegraph industry. Gets married and starts his family.

Menlo Park, 1876: Lives and works here for the next five years, creates his first invention factory, patents 400 inventions and improvements to telegraphs, telephones, and writing machines. Also invents the first machine to record and playback sound (the phonograph) in 1877. Soon after, he reveals his new electric lighting and power system, and begins the commercial production of electric lamps in 1880. 


Map of metro NY/NJ area

New Brunswick, 1879: Receives an honorary doctorate from Rutgers College.

Harrison, 1882: Opens a new lamp factory and laboratory.

Roselle, 1883: Creates the first village electric lighting system to use overhead wires.

West Orange, 1886: Moves here with his second wife, opens "the best equipped and newest laboratory" in 1887. His base for the next 45 years, it is where he develops the movie camera and builds the first motion picture studio, "the Black Maria." It is also where he mass-produces phonographs, designs new batteries, and experiments with recording technologies. Edison's home "Glenmont" is just up the hill in exclusive Llewellyn Park.

Bloomfield, 1887: Rents a factory to manufacture phonographs here; in 1890 opens another factory at Silver Lake (Bloomfield/Belleville area), where he opens the Edison Chemical Works.

Ogdensburg, 1890: Builds a multi-million dollar plant for milling iron on Sparta Mountain, and spends much of the next ten years working here. For a while, the place is called, "Edison." Also operates a limestone quarry nearby on the Sparta-Lafayette Township border.

Stewartsville, 1900: Opens the Edison Portland Cement Company at "New Village." His concrete would be used for buildings, dams and even Yankee Stadium.

Burlington, 1906: Buys a farm here for his son, Thomas, Jr.

Sandy Hook, 1917: Conducts experiments on underwater acoustics during World War I.

  Map of NJ




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