Thomas Edison's Menlo Park
A drawing is often the best way to communicate three-dimensional information. Exchanging ideas, making models, and obtaining patents requires that many people share the same image of the invention. Edison had a cyanotype machine, an early kinds of blueprint machine, setup here for making multiple copies of drawings and plans. Sunlight on chemically treated paper created exact copies of drawings faster and more accurately than redrawing or using the copy press in the office.
Glassworking was one of several traditional crafts that Edison needed in his "invention factory". Standard lamp bulbs, intricate glass tubing for scientific apparatus and hundreds of simple glass implements were made here. Two journey man glassblowers and their assistants worked under the direction of a master craftsman.
Edisons first master glassblower, Ludwig Boehm, was a talented but temperamental German immigrant who lived and worked in this shop on all types of glass bulbs for early light bulbs, and any other glass needed for the laboratory. In his spare time he would make glass swans for the children of the staff. Ludwig Boehm was replaced in 1880 by William Hotzer, an American glassworker more interested in mass production than artistic precision.
The building was moved in the 1910s to the General Electric Company in Harrison, New Jersey and
later to the recreation park Mazdabrook. The building was presented to Henry Ford in late 1929.
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