Edison Laboratories

Thomas Edison National Historic Park, West Orange, New Jersey
National Register of Historic Places; National Historic Landmark

When constructed in 1887, Thomas Edison’s laboratory was the largest and best-equipped industrial research facility in the world. Volz & Associates, Inc. in association with HHM, Inc, had the opportunity to update a 1995 Historic Furnishings Report and Implementation Plan (HFR) for 8 rooms on the second and third floors of the Main Laboratory Building, adding new historical information and interpretive objectives. Our extensive analysis of historic photographs and the Park’s artifact collection enabled us to generate historic furnishing plans and object lists for some of the most interesting laboratory spaces, including the Precision Machine Shop, Music Room, Horn Display Room, Photographic Department, Drafting Room, and Edison’s Private Office.

Key Issues
• Client’s desire for a higher level of archival research, analysis and documentation
• Maintain active consultation with National Park Service staff to enhance site analysis
• Use of computer technology to extract detailed historic photograph information
• Research early 20th C. precision machinery and operation to enhance interpretation
• Thoroughly search the Edison Collection for artifacts seen in historic photos to incorporate into the historic furnishing plans