Posted by: Kirsten | Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Thank you Mr. Edison for our Christmas Lights

What would the holidays be without a string of lights wrapped around the tree?  Don’t thank Santa — thank Thomas Edison! And thankfully, the National Park Service’s Edison National Historic Site maintains Edison’s former home and laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey for all of us to visit. 

“Al,” as he was called as a boy (short for his middle name Alva), went to school only a short time. He did so poorly that his mother, a former teacher, taught her son at home. Al learned to love reading, a habit he kept for the rest of his life. He also liked to make experiments in the basement.  And the rest, as they say, is history!

As you’re putting up those Christmas lights this year, don’t let this learning opportunity pass you by.  Look around your house and try to identify the things that wouldn’t be possible without the tireless work of Edison and his family, friends, and business partners.  You’ll be amazed at how many things around the house were either invented, improved upon, or made possible by Edison.

While the Edison laboratory is undergoing renovation at the moment, you can still visit his home, Glenmont, and make use of the park’s educational resources, many of which are listed below:

I’ve also found that the park staff has been more than generous when fulfilling requests for educational materials and answering e-mails.  They are dedicated to educating our kids!

The following schedule is in effect for tours of Glenmont during the holiday season (thru January 6, 2008):

  • Tours given Wednesday through Sunday.
  • House tours are from 12:00pm – 4:00pm and begin on the hour.
  • Special evening open house – Thursday, December 13, 2007 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. 
  • Grounds are open 11:30am – 5:00pm.
  • Glenmont is open year round — check the park’s website for further details.

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