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Edison in West Orange

By 1887, Edison had outgrown his existing laboratories and built a new laboratory and manufacturing complex in West Orange, New Jersey. Edison’s new lab initially consisted of 60,000 square feet of space and a staff of 60. Edison had remarried in 1886 after the death of his first wife, and purchased a new home a short distance away from his new lab site.

Edison’s new lab was considered the first industrial research laboratory, designed with the intent to develop an invention and turn it into a commercial product. Edison possessed almost every material known to exist at the time, for use in his experiments.

Edison’s complex continued to grow, including the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria, and manufacturing facilities for his many products, including the phonograph and the storage battery. The heart of the West Orange facility is now the Edison National Historic Site.


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