Which are the most famous monuments related to Edison?

The Menlo Park area of Edison in Middlesex County, New Jersey proudly hosts the Thomas Edison Centre, which is also known as the Menlo Park Museum or the Edison Memorial Tower. The centre consists of the Art Deco Edison Memorial Tower and a small museum and education centre. The tower was dedicated on February 11, 1938, the day of Edison’s 91st birth anniversary. It stands right at the place where the Menlo Park laboratory had once stood. This place is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange is another monument kept to maintain Edison’s memory. It includes the West Orange Laboratory and Glenmont, the house where Edison lived.

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What made Thomas Alva Edison a legendary as well as controversial figure?

Like most persons of a legendary stature, Edison had his critics, too. There are some who say that his greatest invention was his own fame, which he built at the cost of his associates as well as rivals. Edison’s supporters defend him, however, saying that his brilliance really deserved whatever fame he earned.

It has to be remembered, anyway, that Edison’s idea of inventing something was not always to create something out of nothing. For instance, many other people had made incandescent lights before Edison, but none of them were practically successful. What Edison did was to find a perfect, practical version of the idea. In any case, nobody can deny the fact that it was he who set the stage for a modern electric world.

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When did Edison die?

As Edison crossed eighty, his health started to decline with a series of ailments. He fell into a coma on October 14, 1931 and died four days later. He was then 84.

Henry Ford had made a strange, yet touching request to Edison’s son Charles to seal a test tube of air in the great inventor’s room soon after his death. This test tube is put on display at the Henry Ford Museum near Detroit. Also made were plaster casts of Edison’s face and hands.

The whole of America mourned the passing of this legend. Electric lights in streets and buildings across the country were switched off or dimmed. Yes, it was as if the world had turned dark, as it was before Edison switched on the first ever light-switch.

Edison’s wife Mina passed away in 1947.

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Why Edison is considered a folk hero in America?

The achievements of Edison were legendary. Starting as a tramp telegraphist, he had grown into a great inventor and businessman. This rags-to-riches success story has always caught the world’s imagination, and no wonder America looks at him as a folk hero.

It is not that all his inventions made a lot of money. Yet he built a huge business empire and employed thousands of assistants, engineers, machinists and researchers. He was not always an easy-going boss to his employees, and was ruthless to his rivals.

At the time of his death, his inventions were reported to have contributed about fifteen billion dollars to the national economy. He was a pioneer in the technological revolution of the modern a world.

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How was the electric light honoured on Edison’s 50th birthday?

The 50th anniversary of Edison’s electric light was celebrated in 1929, and its highlight was a new museum at Greenfield Village, Michigan. It was a reconstruction of Edison’s invention factory! This was done by none other than Henry Ford, a great admirer and close friend of Edison.

No doubt, Edison was flattered to see a model of his workplace, and joked that the real place used to be much dirtier!

The electric light’s golden jubilee was celebrated in a grand manner, co-hosted by Ford and General Electric. It was attended by great persons like Marie Curie, Orville Wright, George Eastman, President Herbert Hoover and John Rockefeller Jr.

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