The American Chemical Society Recognizes Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory in Greenfield Village as National Historic Chemical Landmark

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The Henry Ford is proud to announce that Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory, located in Greenfield Village, has been recognized by the American Chemical Society (ACS) as a National Historic Chemical Landmark.

Menlo Laboratory was not only the home of some of the world’s greatest inventions, but it was innovative in the way that it inspired a collaborative working environment, one that is seen in the best research and development centers of today

The Henry Ford is proud to announce that Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory, located in Greenfield Village, has been recognized by the American Chemical Society (ACS) as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory is being designated by ACS as part of their program recognizing the chemical research and developments by Thomas Edison.

“We are honored to receive this designation by the American Chemical Society,” said Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford. “Menlo Laboratory was not only the home of some of the world’s greatest inventions, but it was innovative in the way that it inspired a collaborative working environment, one that is seen in the best research and development centers of today.”

The Menlo Park Laboratory, originally located in New Jersey, was itself a significant innovation and is considered the first modern industrial research laboratory. The setup of the laboratory was especially suitable for invention, product development and marked the transition from individual research that dominated at this time to the organized collaborative research that is prevalent today. It was here where Edison and his team developed the phonograph, the first practical electric lighting system, the carbon filament for incandescent light bulbs, the microphone and made significant improvements to the telephone, telegraph, typewriter and the electric railway.

A plaque designating Menlo Park as a National Historic Chemical Landmark will be presented during a special ceremony on the porch of Menlo Laboratory beginning at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 20. As part of the day, The Detroit Section of ACS will be doing hands-on activities for kids from 9:30 am – 11:30 am across from the Menlo Park Complex. Wrapping up the morning’s activities and celebrations will be a chemical magic show at noon, presented by the University of Detroit Mercy Chemistry Club. The activities are free with paid admission to Greenfield Village or membership

Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory is one of three buildings being designated by ACS this year. Many of Edison’s well-known inventions relied on chemistry, including the carbon filaments used in light bulbs, development of the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery, and research into domestic sources of rubber. The Edison Botanical Research Laboratory at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida and the Edison West Orange Laboratory at Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey were both recognized earlier this year.

ACS, a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress, is the world’s largest scientific society. ACS established its National Historic Chemical Landmarks program in 1992 to enhance public appreciation for the contributions of the chemical sciences to modern life in the United States and to encourage a sense of pride in their practitioners. The program recognizes seminal achievements in the chemical sciences, records their histories, and provides information and resources about Landmark achievements.

About The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan is an internationally-recognized cultural destination that brings the past forward by immersing visitors in the stories of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation that helped shape America. A national historic landmark with an unparalleled collection of artifacts from 300 years of American history, The Henry Ford is a force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow’s innovators. More than 1.6 million visitors annually experience its five attractions: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. A continually expanding array of content available online provides anytime, anywhere access. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus. For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.

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Melissa Foster
The Henry Ford
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