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Free Fun on Edison Day

Credits: NPS

Join the National Park Service and the Friends of Thomas Edison National Historical Park in celebrating Edison Day on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at Thomas Edison National Historical Park, 211 Main Street, West Orange. Entrance to the park and all activities are free, no reservations are needed and all are welcome. Activities start at 10:00 am and will take place rain or shine.

Kids should make sure they visit the Friends booth for the perfect photo opportunity. Get dressed up in period costume and sit in a child-size replica Ford Model T, just like the real version owned by Thomas Edison that will be on display in his garage at the Glenmont Estate.

Back by popular demand is the wax cylinder recording session.  Drop in throughout the day and watch as live musicians perform and record onto a wax cylinder phonograph just as they would over 100 years ago. Musicians performing include The Red Hook Ramblers, a New Orleans-style hot jazz band, coming straight out of Brooklyn; Slavic Soul Party, a New York based brass band that mixes Balkan music with American funk and jazz; and Alex Greenleaf who plays "Hot Swinging Jazz from the 20's & 30's with a dash of Yiddish Soul and Jug band magic."  

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During the day, visitors will have the rare opportunity to visit the Archives in Building 4 and view some of the documents relating to the opening of the Laboratory Complex 125 years ago. Get the chance to go to the movies and watch some of the historic Edison movies as well as more recent productions from the Black Maria Film Festival. Visitors are sure to find a topic of interest during the day with talks on a wide range of subjects ranging from the life and work of an early 20th century machinist to a talk on Thomas Edison’s camping trips with his famous friends, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.

The Kids Corner at Glenmont will feature some of the Edison family’s favorite games and activities for younger visitors. Glenmont will also host an electric car built from the ground-up by students at West New York Memorial High School. The car, modeled after a classic Lotus7 design, has a stunning image of Thomas Edison painted onto the hood and will join Edison’s own two electric cars in the garage at Glenmont for the day. Alternative energy will also be discussed with an exhibition and talks on geothermal energy and tours of Glenmont’s geothermal system.

“Although we have been celebrating our annual Edison Day for a number of years, it is always a special day,” said Jill A. Hawk, Superintendent at Thomas Edison National Historical Park. “On Edison Day we offer a much wider range of activities and events at both the Laboratory Complex and the Glenmont Estate. We hope that people will come out and join us in enjoying the day”.

“We are very happy to support Edison Day”, added Friends Chairman Hap Bojsza. “We encourage anyone who has not yet had a chance to visit to take advantage of this fee free day and discover what the park has to offer”.

In addition to the Edison Day activities, all the usual park exhibits will be open. Visitors can spend time exploring the Main Laboratory Building; take a tour of the house and grounds at Glenmont; and visit the garage to view Edison’s cars.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a National Park Service site dedicated to promoting an international understanding and appreciation of the life and extraordinary achievements of Thomas Alva Edison by preserving, protecting, and interpreting the Park’s extensive historic artifact and archive collections at the Edison Laboratory Complex and Glenmont, the Edison family estate. The entrance fee is $7.00. Children under age 16 are free. The Visitor Center is located at 211 Main Street in West Orange, New Jersey.  For more information or directions call 973-736-0550 ext. 11 or visit:

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