Help Restore the Edison Electric Cars

An historic treasure of Edison’s electric cars from the 1900-1914 period are awaiting restoration in the Edison garage. Check out this article, and suggested levels of giving below. Be a part of this restoration!

It was built in 1908, and to this day houses one of the earliest electric vehicle charging stations….testimony to Edison’s vision about the importance of electric vehicles and the ability to charge them at one’s residence. Energy savvy folks and writers opine today about electric vehicles being charged in one’s own garage, while Edison was doing it every day … four generations ago. The Edison garage remains home to a variety of the great inventor’s personal cars as well as his wife’s vehicles. This stately structure is on the grounds of his historic home Glenmont.

Front view of garage

Front view of garage

Mina Edison’s Personal Electric Vehicle

Mina Edison’s Personal Electric Vehicle

The Edison Innovation Foundation is busy developing plans to conserve this structure; and inaugurate a new education center for teachers and students on the second floor where visitors will learn about Mr. Edison, the Glenmont site, electric vehicles, practice STEM principles, do special design/invention challenges, and delve into the use and application of alternate energy technologies. The first floor of the structure can hold six vehicles. Special features of its construction include poured concrete walls, a vehicle turntable, a revolving overhead washing system with hose, a battery charging station and a gasoline pump. The second floor of the building once housed the Edison family live-in chauffer and his family.

Edison Battery charging station

Edison Battery charging station

Famous Edison Nickel-Iron Storage Batteries

Famous Edison Nickel-Iron Storage Batteries

Today, the building houses a:

  • 1908 Locomobile
  • 1911 Detroit Electric Model L-1
  • 1914 Detroit Electric Model 47
  • 1922 Ford Model T
  • 1936 Brewster (once belonged to Edison’s son- former. Gov. of NJ 1941-44)

These cars will be conserved, as well as the interior of the garage itself which will be cleaned and re-painted.

Ford Model T, a gift from Henry Ford

Ford Model T, a gift from Henry Ford

1936 Brewster, vehicle owned by Charles Edison

1936 Brewster, vehicle owned by Charles Edison

To show the immense advances in electric vehicles since Edison’s pioneering work, several new state-of-the-art electric vehicles will be obtained and displayed near the original vehicles; and have their own re-charging station. These vehicles will be used for transportation duties, visitor demonstrations, and educational purposes within the Thomas Edison National Historical Park [TENHP], which includes the Glenmont estate and garage.

Readers are encouraged to make a donation to underwrite this projected $2.5 million historic restoration effort-see suggested levels of giving below. We hope you will contribute to making this restoration project a success. Use the “Donate” button on this page, or directly contact the:

Edison Innovation Foundation
Riverfront Plaza
1037 Raymond Blvd.
STE #340
Newark, NJ 07102
973-648-0500

 

Thomas Edison on Time Magazine

We thank you on behalf of the 70,000 visitors who come every year to see the home of the world’s greatest inventor.

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”

Time ® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.

Garage Restoration – Suggested Levels of Giving

Level 1: $1 – $999

  • Recognition of gift on website.
  • Commemorative “Thank You” letter.

Level 2: $1000 – $9999

  • Photograph of Donor with any Edison electric vintage car.
  • Recognition of gift on appropriate signage at the Edison Garage.

Level 3: $10,000 – $99,999

  • Photograph with any Edison electric vintage car.
  • Photograph at Edison’s original desk in his Library.
  • Your name/organization listed on www.edisonmuckers.org.
  • Recognition of gift on appropriate signage at the Edison Garage.

Level 4: $100,000 – $999,999

  • Photograph with any Edison electric vintage car.
  • Photograph at Edison’s original desk in his Library.
  • Your name/organization listed on www.edisonmuckers.org.
  • Recognition of gift on appropriate signage at the Edison Garage.
  • Cocktail party for ten (10) people chosen by you at the Edison Garage on the Edison home lawn including tent.  Drive and display your vintage car.

Level 5: $1 Million and above

  • All of the above.
  • Naming recognition of the Edison Garage with appropriate signage.
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Thomas Edison Would Applaud Women in Engineering [FemGineers]!

As middle and high schools implement the integrated subject teaching paradigm known as STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math], it is natural that increasing amounts of female students would become more interested in what engineers do, and how they solve problems. This head and hands approach to solving problem has shown young women to be quite adept at designing and building activities. Young ladies with a keen interest in taking these courses in school and also participating in after-school classes and design competitions are informally known as “FemGineers”. Here is a New Jersey story about these amazing young ladies.

The first educational program in the nation to offer a formal woman’s oriented engineering and design curriculum was launched 10 years ago at High Point Regional High School in Sussex, NJ. As part of their technology education program, this activity remains vibrant, with many of its former students continuing their technical studies in college and/or having found employment in science and technology related careers.

In 2008, the Heritage Middle School in Livingston, NJ also started a FemGineers program. Starting with just 10 students, this effort has grown to 35 students this year. The original students have now gone on to Livingston High School and established another FemGineers program at that school, with some of the students even coming back to mentor the middle school students! The plan is to grow the Livingston School District FemGineers program to 100 students by 2014. You can see the FemGineers in action below as they participated in a statewide competition to design new cities. Later, the young ladies also competed in the Edison Innovation Foundation’s Thomas Edison Invention Challenge for unique applications for alternate energy. They won awards in both competitions.

 

FemGineers First Design Their New City Model to Scale

FemGineers First Design Their New City Model to Scale

Building the Scale Model

Building the Scale Model

Presenting to an Engineer-Judge at Statewide Competition

Presenting to an Engineer-Judge at Statewide Competition

Proud of their Work!

Proud of their Work!

 

The main goal of the program is to empower young women to pursue interests in fields that are traditionally dominated by men.  The FemGineer concept, when introduced at the middle school level, provides the young ladies with a “social fit.”  They are accepted by their peers in the group and are not afraid of being judged.  This transfers to the high school as these girls enroll in courses that have been traditionally dominated by their male peers.  The program provides structure and the confidence needed for young women to eventually pursue careers in STEM related fields.

All this is music to the ears of engineering colleges, who for years have been trying to interest young women in becoming full- fledged engineers. Women have already made some significant inroads into engineering, but the profession can use many more; and introductory engineering programs in the middle and high schools can be a terrific way to spread the interest and fun of engineering.

By the way, tiny New Jersey was one of the first states to adopt a technology education curriculum back in 1986, leading to an international revolution in teaching students about the engineered world. This little state is ranked 4th among all states in the total number of inventions awarded to its many scientists, engineers, technologists, and inventors. And of course it is home to the greatest inventor in the world, Thomas Edison. Were he here today, no doubt he would be a supporter of this kind of head and hands, practical method of education. In his time, he made many comments about the state of education and the need for more focused methods of showing how school relates to work. How pleased he would be to see the FemGineers in action!

Editor’s Deep Dive

Thomas Edison on Time Magazine

To have a great idea, have a lot of them.

 Time ® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.

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Electric Vehicles + Solar Power Make Thomas Edison Smile

Many energy experts agree that for electric vehicles [EVs] to make faster inroads into reducing the use of foreign oil for traditional gasoline powered cars, there needs to be an infrastructure that will allow for charging EVs while they are parked. Stations located near shopping centers, places of work, and well-traveled areas would be ideal. Imagine driving to work and plugging your EV in at a convenient parking spot, assured you can make it home easily that evening; but wouldn’t it be even way more energy cool to charge your EV using electricity from the sun?

At Dell’s headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, a new shaded 50 car solar parking structure called the Solar Grove can re-charge EVs. The structure was built by Envision Solar, and fully operational should help avoid about 145,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Check it out here and in the photo below.

Dell’s Parking Lot for Solar Charging of EVs

Dell’s Parking Lot for Solar Charging of EVs

Recently, Bethesda MD implemented a new solar charging station (see photo below), the sixth such facility now operational in Montgomery County. Able to charge two vehicles at a time, this 1,410-watt facility uses a sun-tracking solar array. The system is manufactured by Advanced Technology & Research Corp. (ATR). The charging station would allow drivers of electric vehicles to pull up, swipe a plastic card and plug in their vehicles to be charged. Rob Lundahl, vice president, automation systems for ATR, said an hour of charging will yield roughly 20 miles of travel time for most vehicles. The cost for the system, according to Lundahl, is in the $20,000 range.

Solar Charging Station In Bethesda, MD

Solar Charging Station In Bethesda, MD

Take a look below at what Honda is trying in three cities in Japan to premier its solar charging stations for EVs. The program isn’t just for electric vehicles, but also plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters, and electric carts. Honda will monitor how effective the charging station is at generating electricity, and ways to improve the convenience and usability of the charging station for customers.

Honda Solar Charging Station in Japan

Honda Solar Charging Station in Japan

Of course, you also can install your own solar charging station on the roof of your house or garage and charge your car when the sun is out as well! What would Thomas Edison, famed EV pioneer and storage battery developer, have thought of this? Well, here is his famous early 1900s quote about alternate technologies – “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power. I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.”

That settles it!


EDITOR’S DEEP DIVE

Thomas Edison on Time Magazine

“The thing with which I lose patience most is the clock.  It’s hands move too fast.

Time ® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.

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