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Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park

Menlo Park Thomas Edison’s father built the laboratory at Menlo Park in 1876 on a 34 acre parcel of land that had been purchased by Edison in late 1875. The complex consisted of six buildings.

Edison moved to Menlo Park to work in an area were he could be free from interruption, which Menlo Park he believed would assist him on becoming very successful. Its close proximity to New York made it possible for businessmen to visit the laboratory to investigate the products produced by Thomas Edison.

Edison moved into the laboratory in the spring of 1876, and began working with his team of about 25 men on projects and inventions that would change the world forever. The laboratory Menlo Park was the first industrial research laboratory in history and ranks as one of the great historical places of technology.

Menlo Park was Thomas Edison's "invention factory". From 1876 to 1882, Edison and his skilled assistants created an amazing assortment of products, including inventing the phonograph and recording, developing methods of vacuum packing foods, developed the 3-wire system, invented a method of sending wireless tones, invented the grasshopper telegraph, which enabled train operators to use the telegraph without the use of wires, developed the first commercial power station, invented the megaphone, invented the electric fuse, invented the electric usage meter, invented the electric light bulb, including everything needed to create an electrical lighting system, and invented the mimeograph machine. Edison also made significant improvements to the telephone, telegraph, incandescent light bulb, electrical distribution system, the electric railway, and wax paper.

Edison himself considered his most productive and happy years were spent in the Menlo Park laboratories. In the seven years he was here, he filed for over 400 patents for real inventions or improvements.

The picket fences around laboratories were to keep the cows out since Menlo Park was located in the country near a neighboring farm.

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