Menlo Park, New Jersey

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Menlo Park, New Jersey
Menlo Park is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Menlo Park
Menlo Park
Location of Menlo Park in Middlesex County Inset: Location of county within the state of New Jersey
Menlo Park is located in New Jersey
Menlo Park
Menlo Park
Menlo Park (New Jersey)
Menlo Park is located in the United States
Menlo Park
Menlo Park
Menlo Park (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°33′54″N 74°20′15″W / 40.56500°N 74.33750°W / 40.56500; -74.33750Coordinates: 40°33′54″N 74°20′15″W / 40.56500°N 74.33750°W / 40.56500; -74.33750
Country United States
State New Jersey
Elevation141 ft (43 m)
GNIS feature ID878259[1]

Menlo Park is an unincorporated community located within Edison Township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States.[2][3]

In 1876, Thomas Edison set up his home and research laboratory in Menlo Park, which at the time was the site of an unsuccessful real estate development named after the town of Menlo Park, California.[4] While there, he earned the nickname "the Wizard of Menlo Park".[5] The Menlo Park lab was significant in that it was one of the first laboratories to pursue practical, commercial applications of research.[6] It was in his Menlo Park laboratory that Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and developed a commercially viable incandescent light bulb filament. Christie Street in Menlo Park was one of the first streets in the world to use electric lights for illumination.[7] Edison left Menlo Park and moved his home and laboratory to West Orange, New Jersey in 1887.[8] After his death, the Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum was constructed near his old Menlo Park lab and dedicated in 1938. Edison's old lab site and memorial now make up Edison State Park.[9] The municipality in which Menlo Park is located, which was called "Raritan Township" while he was alive, was officially changed to Edison Township on November 10, 1954, in honor of the inventor.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Menlo Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ Locality Search, State of New Jersey. Accessed February 10, 2015.
  3. ^ Spies, Stacy (2001), Edison, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 9780738505497
  4. ^ "The Origin of New Jersey Place Names", New Jersey Public Library Commission, May 1945, p. 20.
  5. ^ Walsh, Bryan. "The Electrifying Edison". Web: Time 5 Jul 2010.
  6. ^ Gordon, John Steele. "10 Moments That Made American Business". American Heritage (February/March 2007). Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved March 18, 2017. But even more important than the inventions themselves was the process. Laboratories in the past had mostly pursued pure research, with little or no regard for the practical applications that might flow from that research. Menlo Park was all about practical application, turning ideas into products that would have commercial potential.
  7. ^ Township History Archived 2016-07-07 at the Wayback Machine, Township of Edison. Accessed June 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Thomas Edison and Menlo Park, The Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park. Accessed June 21, 2016. "In 1886, Edison started building a new facility in West Orange, New Jersey. In 1887, his laboratory moved out of Menlo Park and into the new, much larger laboratory in West Orange."
  9. ^ About Us, Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum. Accessed March 22, 2012.
  10. ^ Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606–1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography, Trenton, New Jersey, 1969. p. 170 re Edison Township, p. 173 re Raritan Township. Accessed November 20, 2016.