Is This The Most Inspirational Place On Earth?
Just the other day, I drove past the Edison Tower in Edison, New Jersey. I suddenly thought that I had driven past this same building Thousands of times. Many people do, and never realize the historical nature of the site. Let me clue you in…
It was here, in November of 1877, that Thomas Edison recorded the first sound onto a wax cylinder. An astonishing achievement, which led to vinyl records, video tape, cds, dvds and digital sound. Everyone with a smart phone and an mp3 player owes themselves to go to this shrine to Sound. But Tom wasn’t finished.
On a dark night in October, 1879, the world’s first practical incandescent lamp-light bulb was lit. As the old story goes, it was Edison’s 10,001st attempt to perfect the light bulb. I don ‘t have to tell you how important this event was. Just try to read in the dark and you’ll have some idea.
The site was fondly known by Edison and his staff as ‘The Invention Factory’. Over 400 of Edison’s most important inventions would be created here. Among them are the fluoroscope and the first two-way telegraph. The tower was dedicated on February 11, 1938, on what would have been the inventor’s 91st birthday.
And as a bonus, the street the tower sits on is Christie Street, the very first street in known history to be entirely lit by electricity. The whole area just swims in historical significance. Most people passing by either don’t know or don’t care. Their world and all of its conveniences and labor saving devices were invented there. Let that sink in.
Nikola Tesla also worked at the Menlo Park site with Edison for about two years. Think of that! Two of the greatest minds in world history working less than a mile from my house. The mind boggles. I now make sure that my travels take me past this spot at every opportunity. Having 2 Poke-Stops there doesn’t hurt either when I’m with my daughter.
I must say that knowing these facts has been of great inspiration for me. Several story ideas have popped into my head as I drive by. Just looking up at the tower puts a smile on my face. To me, it’s like having the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building in my neighborhood. Just this past weekend, I was hit with an idea for a new novel set in a Fantasy world that has already spawned 5 other novels. But this one is not at all serious, but about the wild adventures of a prince kicked out of his home castle to make his way in the world before he can be worthy of being a king. I attribute this to my daily passing of the Edison Tower, and the inspiration that it gives me just seeing it.
Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum is located at 37 Christie Street, Edison, New Jersey, 08817. It is easily reached off of the Garden State Parkway Exit 132. For directions, call 732–549–3299. Visit their site at: http://www.menloparkmuseum.org/