MILLBURN, NJ - The members of the Friends of Edison Club of Millburn High School raised more than $500 to support the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange. The club achieved their goal of raising enough money to restore one of Thomas Edison’s prized possessions , a monument that was presented to him by representatives of the copper industry in 1911.
The monument is a cubic foot of solid copper that weighs over 450 pounds and is inscribed “Presented to Thomas Edison by American Producers and Consumers of Copper in Recognition of his stimulation by Various Inventions in Telegraphy, Telephony, Electric Lighting, Electric Railway, etc. to the Copper Industry – October Thirteenth.” The cube is on display in Thomas Edison’s library, and thanks to these Millburn High School students, will now be refurbished.
The Millburn Friends of Edison Club was founded by Carrick Irwin to help raise awareness about Thomas Edison’s house and laboratory, which are less than 20 minutes from Millburn, located in West Orange. Edison was a prolific inventor who held more than 1,000 patents and had a huge influence on modern life. He developed the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the first commercially viable incandescent light bulb and a system for electricity generation and distribution.
“The Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a true New Jersey treasure and should be visited by students everywhere, especially those interested in entrepreneurship and how new industries are created through technology and innovation,” said Irwin, President of the club.
Other officers of the club include Adam Israeli, James Nitti, Dylan Leslie, and Thomas DeBlis. There are over 30 members in the club. Their teacher-advisor is Peter Urban of Millburn High School and their advisor from the Thomas Edison National Historical Park is Karen Sloat-Olsen, Chief of Interpretation and Education. The club also has a corporate sponsor, Mailboxes Short Hills, owned by Daniel O’Connell.
Irwin said, “Our goal next year is to raise at least $1,000 for further restoration projects. In addition, we hope to facilitate the creation of clubs in nearby high schools.”