The Edison Memorial Tower
37 Christie Street, Menlo Park · Edison, NJ
Extending 131 feet, 4 inches above Menlo Park, the Edison Memorial Tower marks the spot where Thomas Alva Edison conceived the first practical incandescent light bulb. For 10 years, Edison worked here on some 400 patented ideas before eventually moving his Invention Factory to West Orange.
The Tower, which was erected in 1937, is topped by the world's largest working light bulb. The bulb is constructed of 153 individual pieces of 2 inch-thick, amber-tinted Pyrex glass, weighing a total of 3 tons. A sign reading No Ball Playing warns local youth that hazardous spheroids are not welcome.
A light snow was falling on the tower the day we pulled up, and unfortunately, it was closed for repairs and the bulb was not shining. Perhaps it needed changed. Luckily, however, the museum was still open to the public. We entered, shortly followed by several Czechoslovakian tourists. The curator, a pleasant old man named George, was more than happy to show us around. It was a small building, housing only a few items - photographs, Ediphone dictation machines, phonographs, a Kinetascope - but it was free of charge, and George let us know we were welcome back anytime.