Thomas Edison National Historic Park

West Orange, New Jersey

17 October 2012

Photo Slide Show HERE

I had wanted to visit the Edison lab in New Jersey for quite some tine.  For a long time it was closed for renovation and when it finally re-opened a lot of time passed before I got the opportunity to visit.  I asked fellow NEMES members Dave Osier and Rollie Gaucher if they wanted to travel with me and Frank Dorion was also invited to join us.  Sadly the evening before we were scheduled to go Frank came down with a nasty head cold and decided to forego the trip.  We met in Norwich CT and headed down I95 toward New Jersey.  The GPS did its' usual fine job until we were about three miles from the par.  Then poof!  Something went astray and we wandered about for a bit until we got the darn thing re-set.  

We had a great time at the museum and plan a return visit as we were not able to see all that there was to see.  

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Edison's library complete with a bed for taking a rest during long work sessions.  The photo on the far right is of a one cubic foot block of copper presented to Edison by the copper industry in appreciation of his vast purchases of the metal.

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Thomas Edison clocked in every day just the same as his workers, and he worked many hours each week!

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All the machinery in the machine shops is belt driven.  This cylindrical grinder is set up with its' work head perpendicular to the movement of the table for facing discs.  The radial arm drill on the right has an interesting feature that allow the arm to be tilted for drilling angular holes. See the arrow pointing out the tilt mechanism.

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This extraordinary horizontal shaper is unlike any other one I have seen.  A very wide bed allows the shaping head to move left and right to access dual knees.  

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The music room is on the third level.  The museum has a vast collection fo original Edison music cylinders and is in the process of having them digitized to make them available to a wider audience.  

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This room was set up to reflect the way the drafting room would have appeared back in the day.  I can picture the draftsmen in their long sleeve white shirt, probably with sleeve protectors on a hot August day working here.

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We were really interested in this nifty press but since we could not get around to the back side of non of us could figure how the cross arm went up and down.  The spindle is pretty obvious.

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This is a Pexto circle cutter.  In the left hand photo the single headed arrow points to the clamp which is free to rotate.  The cutters are at the left on the head stock and are turned with the crank and gears. The double headed arrow indicates how the "tailstock" can move to accommodate different size circles.


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A. Park person Victoria opens the chemistry lab for us.

B  Heated rollers for processing rubber samples

C.  A lump of rubber derived from the common weed Goldenrod.  Edison did many experiments to find an alternate source of rubber.

D and E Ball mill for crushing leaves

F-I Various glass ware for use in experiments

K  A clump of Goldenrod

L  Battery charger

M  No one knows what this device was for.  Built in what appears to be a draw from a desk or cabinet.

N  Gorgeous brick work at the main entrance

O  The small black building in the distance was Edison's original film studio.  On our next visit we will be SURE to see it more closely.

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