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Thomas Edison artifacts on display in the library

The Edison Room on the top floor of Warner Library may just look like another study room to a student searching for a quiet place to write a paper, but it contains one-of-a-kind artifacts and photographs related to Thomas Edison.

This room was renovated by Friends of the Library last year, said Joy Dlugosz, reader services librarian at Warner Library and executive director of Friends of the Library.

The collection first came to the library in 1971. Thomas Edison’s son Charles Edison, former governor of New Jersey, split his collection between several local institutions, Dlugosz said.

“We wanted a permanent location for it,” Dlugosz said of dedicating a room to Edison’s collection. “We felt it was a way to give back [to the foundation].”

A photograph of Edison, in his workshop with shelves of glass beakers behind him, and original, handwritten notes and drawings are framed and hanging on the walls. The first 100-volt electric fan is displayed in the glass case, with an invention labeled, “Ear phone for private listening.” Other artifacts include books, such as Edison and his phonograph, and a sheet of stamps from 1947 commemorating Edison.

The display also features evidence that Edison worked in film, based on photographs from the 1903 picture Great Train Robbery produced by the Edison Company.

“He was into a lot of things, not just electricity,” Dlugosz said.

The library looks forward to the arrival of a particularly unique artifact – an original Edison phonograph – which should arrive before the end of April.

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