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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Orange in Essex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Electrical Innovation

Thomas Edison National Historical Park

 
 
Electrical Innovation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 28, 2019
1. Electrical Innovation Marker
Inscription.  If buses are desirable for intercity traffic, the electric one is the only practicable one. It is noiseless, odorless, and can be stopped and started quicker than the gasoline vehicle, and is also more economic in operations.
-Thomas A Edison, 1913

At the turn of the twentieth century, the question of whether automobiles would be powered by gasoline, electricity, or steam remained open. Nearly 30 percent of the automobiles produced in the United States in 1900 were electric, and although Thomas Edison had predicted that automobiles would replace horses in 1895, he doubted that vehicles would be powered by electricity.

Four years later, he changed his mind and began experimenting on storage batteries in the summer of 1899. His goal was to create a lightweight and long lasting battery. He spent ten years and nearly $2.5 million developing a marketable nickel-iron storage battery for electric vehicles among other things.

Edison was enthusiastic about automobiles, owning a variety of electric, gas and steam powered cars through the years including a modified electric Locomobile, a c.1911 Detroit Electric
Marker detail: Edison’s Detroit Electric Model 47 image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Edison’s Detroit Electric Model 47
Edison’s Detroit Electric Model 47 was advertised in 1913 as having a range of 80 miles between charges, and a speed of 20 mph. During development testing, one vehicle powered by Edison batteries in the front and back of the car, ran 211 miles on a single charge.
runabout, a c.1913 Detroit Electric Model 47 Brougham, and a 1922 Model T, which are now on display in the garage at Glenmont.

Although the Edison battery found commercial success in other industrial applications, it never enjoyed the widespread adoption in the automotive industry Edison had intended. The relatively low cost, mass produced gasoline powered vehicles, especially the Ford Model T became the standard for the automobile industry and postponed the advent of the electric car for nearly a century.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 40° 47.063′ N, 74° 14.057′ W. Marker is in West Orange, New Jersey, in Essex County. Marker can be reached from Main Street south of Edisonia Terrace, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located near the Thomas Edison National Historical Park Visitor Center, at the south end of the parking lot on the west side of Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 211 Main Street, West Orange NJ 07052, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Access Granted (here, next to this marker); The Truck of the Second Commercial Electric Railroad Locomotive. (within shouting distance of this marker); The Black Maria (within shouting distance of this marker); The Truck of the First Commercial Electric Railroad Locomotive.
Marker detail: Charging station image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Charging station
Edison built a charging station for electric vehicles at his Glenmont estate in 1904. The charging station was most likely moved from the barn to the garage at Glenmont soon after its construction in 1908. The charging station remains in the garage today.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Black Maria Replica (within shouting distance of this marker); The Main Gate (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas A. Edison Industries (within shouting distance of this marker); Edison Cement Slab (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Orange.
 
Also see . . .  Edison Storage Battery. During the first decade of the twentieth century, Edison spent much of his time developing a storage battery that he intended for use in electric automobiles. However, it took him a decade to develop a commercially viable iron-nickel battery and by that time automobiles powered by internal combustion engines had become dominant. Edison did find an extensive market for his battery in a variety of industrial uses, and it was the most successful product of his later life. (Submitted on July 1, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesScience & Medicine
 
Electrical Innovation Marker (<i>wide view • this marker on left • related marker on right</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 28, 2019
4. Electrical Innovation Marker (wide view • this marker on left • related marker on right)
Two new electric car charging stations to the right of this marker!
Edison Storage Battery<br>(<i>on exhibit inside Edison's nearby laboratory complex</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 28, 2019
5. Edison Storage Battery
(on exhibit inside Edison's nearby laboratory complex)
 

More. Search the internet for Electrical Innovation.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 1, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 65 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 1, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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