West Orange

Overview

Introduction

A primarily residential section of the Newark suburbs, West Orange is best known as the home of inventor Thomas Edison and the Edison National Historic Site, including Edison's home, Glenmont, which was recently renovated. Thomas Edison lived and worked in West Orange from the 1880s until his death in 1931. Some of his most famous inventions, including the first lightbulb, the phonograph and a replica of the first motion-picture studio—the Black Maria (a tar-papered room)—are housed at the laboratory complex, which is temporarily closed for restoration work (phone 973-324-9973 for reopening information). Through the 1980s and '90s, the site was the scene of many recording sessions by modern-day musicians, including jazz great Wynton Marsalis, who recorded there using vintage recording equipment invented by Edison himself. Glenmont has been preserved as it was when the inventor and his wife lived there. Also in the vicinity is the Turtle Back Zoo, a children's zoo that has a variety of animals and a miniature-train ride. 10 mi/16 km northwest of Newark.

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