The Wizard’s Toys
Inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born in 1847 in Ohio, but would find fame and fortune once he moved to New Jersey. He established a laboratory in Newark in 1874, which was ultimately moved to Menlo Park in 1876, thus earning him the name: “Wizard of Menlo Park.” A year later, in 1877, he invented a device that could play back the recorded sounds of the human voice. He called his invention a “phonograph.” This phonograph is a very early model of Edison’s invention. Edison went on to create hundreds of scientific breakthroughs in New Jersey, many of them unfolding in his giant research and development facility in West Orange, which he opened in 1887. Edison helped make New Jersey a center for technological innovation before his death in 1931.