EDISON BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM: 
Birthplace Tour

The World's Greatest Inventor first made his mark on the world from this home, which has been restored and furnished as it was in 1847. Planned by Edison's father, the three-story brick house sits on the side of a hill and consists of three floors: the basement, the street-level, and the second floor.

Your virtual tour guides are two of Edison's great-great-great-grandnieces. If you have any questions, see the Frequently Asked Questions page or send e-mail to the big guy, wizard.

Entering the house by the side door, the tour starts in the sitting room. One of the family antiques in this room is a portable desk that belonged to Edison's uncle, Simeon Ogden Edison, who was once a resident of the house. Hanging on the wall above the portable desk is the mirror presented to Edison's oldest sister Marion on the occasion of her wedding to Homer Page here in 1849.

Opening out from the back of this room is the bedroom where Thomas Alva Edison, the youngest of seven children, was born on February 11, 1847.

Birth Room of
Thomas Edison

The rope bed is decorated with a jacquard coverlet that was handmade in Ohio's Erie County in the 1840s.

The steep stairs opposite the front door lead to the two bedrooms on the second floor. The parents and the middle girls, Harriet and Eliza, slept in these rooms.

Walnut Room
(Master Bedroom)

Much of the furniture, including the painted pine set and the walnut furniture in the parents' bedroom, the spinning wheel, and the set of six chairs in the parlor, belonged to Marion Edison Page. The knitted "thousand shell design" spread on the walnut bed is attributed to the inventor's mother, Nancy. The straight-back chair to the right of the bed is the type used by girls and women of the time while buttoning their shoes, which explains why the seat is so low to the ground.

Both closets in the Master Bedroom have been converted to display areas. Clothing that belonged to Edison and his wife is on exhibit in this space.

Back on the street-level floor, the north side of the house is taken up by the parlor and a small bedroom directly behind it.

Parlor

Two pieces of Nancy Elliott Edison's own tea set and two of her coin silver spoons are displayed under the handmade glass dome in the parlor. Her portrait hangs to the left of the door leading to the small bedroom.

The room behind the parlor is now used for exhibits of Edisonia. Display cases contain various inventions, including a phonograph, a stock ticker, and a talking doll. Photographs of Edison with his family and of historic places related to Edison are also on display. A stairway at the back of this room leads down to the large basement kitchen.

Kitchen

Because the house was built into a hillside, the basement kitchen has a door to the backyard and several windows overlooking the flower garden. The kitchen is furnished with articles and utensils of the period. The wall clock was identified by Edison as the one which used to hang in the family kitchen and behind which his mother kept a disciplinary switch.

From the garden outside this room one can view the site of the Milan Canal turning basin. Volunteers from the local 4-H club planted the flower garden. In addition, the Milan Gardening Club maintains a garden next door, behind the building that serves as the
museum shop.

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