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“A Very Different Historical Site” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in West Orange
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
West Orange, NJ
Level Contributor
51 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A Very Different Historical Site”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

Everyone has heard of Thomas Edison, but a visit to the Edison Historical Site will be a real eye opener. Edison was much more creative than just the light bulb! Wow! His work with inventing the record player, artificial rubber, movies, and on and on. The self guided tour is pretty good, but see if you can get a guide. All visitors we bring are fascinated. No one can believe all of this is in West Orange, NJ. His fabulous home is across the street, and worth a visit also.

Visited February 2014
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3 Thank Doris K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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West Orange, New Jersey
Level Contributor
147 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Worth a visit when in north jersey”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014 via mobile

The factory tour is very interesting and easy to do own your own and even better with a guided tour
If Glenmount is opened. Worth the drive to see his family home and to see life in a wealthy Victorian /Edwardian home. American version of Downton abbey. Edison inventions are even displayed in his garage and green house

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank skatermom59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Orange, New Jersey
Level Contributor
85 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Genius at work, and at home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014

Thomas Edison was undoubtably a genius... but, to quote him "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% persperation" ... he is being too modest, but he definitely did work very hard for all that he achieved... and his facilities in West Orange are one of the main places where he did his work. His inventions and innovations have helped shaped the modern world. This historic site includes his office, library, labratories, machine shops, archives, the "Black Maria" (world's first film studio), and much more. It was his industrial research and development labratory and factory (possibly the 1st in the world). Nearby is Glenmont, Edison's home (a beautiful Queen Anne style mansion built in 1880).
This historic site was closed for many years for a complete renovation, and is so much better now that it has reopened. If you haven't been there in years, it is well worth a re-visit. More is open to see and tour than ever before. It is impressive and inspiring!
The site has free parking across the street. The tour starts at the Visitors Center/ Gift Shop where you get your tickets (very reasonable, only $7 for adults). When you get your ticket, you can also (hopefully) get a reservation to tour Glenmont. Glenmont tours are limited, and are only available on Fri. Sat. & Sun.).
There is an orientation film in the Visitors Center. Don't skip it, it is an excellent overview of Edison. After that, you enter the main building for a self guided tour. There are informative signs throughout, that let you know exactly what you are seeing. At certain points throughout there are staff people who are extremely knowledgable, and can answer any questions. The displays, rooms, signs, etc. are all well laid out and very informative. Allow 2 hours (or more) to see everything there.... before heading to Glenmont (you must be there by your appointed time), it is about a 5 minute drive.
Glenmont also has its own parking lot. It is recommended to be there 5-10 minutes before your reservation time... once the tour group goes in, the house is closed again. The Glenmont home has a guided tour. The house is absolutely beautiful, inside and out! The furnishings, art, artifacts, etc. are original to Thomas Edison and his (2nd) wife, Mina. Their final resting place is behind the house. The grounds are also beautiful. The guide is very informative and knowledable. Questions are encouraged.
Thomas Edison is a legendary inventor. This historic site and home are an essential part of US history. Edison's famous inventions and innovations like the light bulb, phonograph, recordings, motion pictures, etc. as well as lesser known inventions and innovations like batteries, cement, x-rays, natural rubber, household appliances, and many, many more are all exhibited and explained. Edison's advancements in electricity, chemistry, physics, business, engineering, and entertainment are awe inspiring. Seeing his office, home, personal possesions and archives also gives you some insight into the man. Check the website for special events such as demonstrations, lectures, special exhibits, that are sometimes offered. There are also special exhibits and programs for children.
This historic site gets my very highest recommendation... it is a MUST SEE... Enjoy!

Visited April 2014
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5 Thank Lester242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Wonderful piece of history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014

Thomas Edison had a lot to share and it's great that we are fortunate to see so much of it. The laboratory was amazing and holds so much of his creations. The buildings are set up for a self guided tour. If you are inclined, the entrance fee also includes a visit to Glenmont (his home) in Llewwellyn Park. The tour of the home is guided and there is NO photography of any kind. The house is truly one of a kind and well preserved.
This is great place for people of all ages although I wouldn't recommend it for anyone younger than 8 for the simple reason of attention span. Unless they've had any history of Thomas Edison in school, they will not get the full scope of what they are looking at. Plan for at least 1/2 hr at the house and probably 1hr or more, depending on your interest, for the laboratory.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank lucialover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Orange, New Jersey
Level Contributor
34 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Informative and Interesting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2014

We enjoy national historic sites. This one is informative and interesting, especially since the restorations. We have been there a number of times, both before and after the site was restored.

There are plenty of interesting artifacts to see and interactive exhibits kids would like We visited on a day that the rangers gave a lecture on Edison's sound recording and watched them actually record a live singing group on a wax cylinder. Everything worked! More than you can say for some current presentations using far more advanced technology.

We also toured Edison's home in a nearby location. Scheduled tours are offered at different times during the day. It was our second visit the Edison home. The tour was informative, and we learned new information on the second tour.

We live in the area, so we are accustomed to downtown West Orange, but visitors from elsewhere should know that the downtown is a bit shabby looking. So don't expect a lot of "atmosphere" off site.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank 161945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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