Edison Birthplace Museum - FAQ
EDISON BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM: 
Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains a list of the questions commonly asked by visitors who tour the birthplace:

For additional information about Thomas Alva Edison, see Related Resources.

Q. How long did Edison live in Milan?

A. He lived in Milan for 7 years, from his birth, in 1847, until the family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, in 1854.

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Q. How long did he live in Fort Myers, Florida?

A. He spent 29 winters in Ft. Myers, usually February to April. His main home was a 23 room mansion, called Glenmont, in West Orange, New Jersey. He lived in West Orange for 45 years.

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Q. How old was Edison when he died?

A. Edison lived to the age of 84. He died at his home, Glenmont, at 3:24 a.m. on Sunday, October 18, 1931, with his wife Mina at his side. As he awoke from a coma his last words were, "It is very beautiful over there."

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Q. Is the Birthplace on its original site, or has it been moved?

A. It stands just where his father, Samuel O. Edison, built it in 1841-2.

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Q. Where is the first phonograph?

A. The first phonograph is displayed at the Edison National Historic Site in West Orange, New Jersey.

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Q. Where is the first successful incandescent bulb?

A. After determining that he had been successful with the cotton sewing thread filament, Edison turned up the current, and it burned out. Edison intentionally broke the bulb and looked at the pieces under a microscope. Thus, the first successful lamp was destroyed.

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Q. Are the laboratory buildings in Greenfield Village original?

A. In the 1920s, Edison found the buildings in Menlo Park, New Jersey, in ruins. (They had been abandoned since the 1880s). The main laboratory is half new wood and half original, according to Henry Ford in his book, Edison As I Know Him. The buildings are reconstructions and a testament to a wonderful friendship. Without the efforts of Henry Ford, we would have lost them completely.

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