Thomas Edison Exhibit Draws Interest from All Ages at Ohio Historical Museum, Ballots Sought for U.S. Capital Statuary Hall Candidate

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"Edison, Best Choice for Ohio in Statuary Hall" was the message presented at the May 1 Ohio Historical Museum day as part of an exhibit featuring many of Thomas Alva Edison's most popular inventions. The Edison exhibit including the Grammy recently awarded to Edison will be part of the May 18 Milan, Ohio, Cruise-in featuring an “Old-Fashion Sousa Concert in the Park" broadcasted from original Sousa cylinders played on a Thomas Alva Edison phonograph.

At the May 1 Ohio Historical Museum event to honor 10 Ohioans, visitors to the Thomas Edison exhibit identified new words to describe the “Man of the Millennium.” Edison and nine others are in the running as the next U.S. Capital Statuary Hall recipient.

“Of the 300 visitors to the Edison exhibit last Saturday, 75 percent felt Edison is best described by these two words: persistent and amazing,” said Don Gfell, Vice President, Edison Birthplace Association.

“Edison, admittedly has been my hero and hobby during my lifetime, but the presentations I have made throughout the state this past year convinced me that Thomas Edison represents a form of stimulus for Americans and Ohioans in particular," added Gfell. "Yes, Edison is a name easily recognized especially by foreign visitors to our nation’s capital, but when they and other Americans look among the statues in Statuary Hall, it’s good that the statue emulate someone they respect and who has impacted America and the world through many life-changing acts not just a single event.”

The most consistent comment received when I ask if Edison should be Ohio’s next U.S. Statuary Hall recipient is, “Yes, where would we be without him.”

Gfell urges Ohioans of any age to remember to cast their ballot by June 12. That is the deadline to vote for one of ten Ohions as the best Ohio representative for U.S. Statuary Hall. Ballots can we easily downloaded from, dropped at one of the 36 museum sites or mailed to: Ohio Statuary Vote c/o Ohio Historical Society, 1982 Velma Ave. Columbus, OH 43211.

The Thomas Edison Birthplace and Museum in Milan, Ohio will be showcasing the newest artifacts from Edison. The village of Milan is hosting two new events. The mobile Edison exhibit can next be seen on Tuesday, May 18, 6:30-7:30 pm, during the Cruise-in on Milan’s Historical Square. An “Old Fashion Sousa Concert in the Park" will entertain guests. Don Gfell, Edison historian will MC the concert and broadcast the music using original Sousa cylinders played on a Thomas Alva Edison phonograph.

May 22 is Free Admission day at the Thomas Edison Birthplace and Museum in Milan, Ohio. Special Edison artifacts will be unveiled including a never before seen 1916 “camping scrapbook” recalling the experiences of Edison, Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford. Edison’s recently awarded 2010 “Grammy” will also be displayed, as well as, new interactive activities for children.

For more information and museum hours visit


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