Cheap Thrills: Edison Museum Reopens


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Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Alva Edison

I’d love to say that the most-played music in my car is some lovely bit of classical jazz. But like most parents, the tunes heard the most belong to the kids, and often include “No!“, the 2002 album by the Brooklyn indie rock group They Might Be Giants. That is due, in no small part to The Edison Museum, the group’s witty take on one of New Jersey’s most famous landmarks. And for the last few years, every time we drove past the West Orange exit on 280, the kids would ask when the museum would be reopened.

This November, they finally got their wish. The factory complex where Edison perfected recorded music and movies was reopened to the public after a five-year-long refurbishment.

The National Parks Service has done a good job of it, using technology that would probably meet with Edison’s approval. Every visitor gets a hand-held listening device that lets them explore the museum at their own pace. When the kids found an exhibit that interested them, they just keyed the number on the sign into their device and listened. And yes, you will have to explain what a record player and a movie projector are.

The museum, located near the center of West Orange, is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids get in free and adults pay a modest $7. The nearby parking lots are small, but at least they are free.

As for that song, here’s a rendition from YouTube to help you prepare for your trip.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].



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