Welcome to Part 5 of Our Sandusky Family-fun weekend! The final part in my series on all the major fun stuff we did in the Sandusky, Ohio area back in May. Two of the last places we visited was the Birthplace of Thomas Edison and the Milan Historical Museum.
Please note that information I share in this post about Thomas Edison was gathered from sources found online, during our tour, and in books I’ve read.
The Edison Birthplace
Both places are located on the same street in Milan, a place with small town charm and major historical significance.
Thomas Edison was born in this small house which according to records say his mother, Nancy Elliott Edison, purchased the lot in 1841 while his father, Samuel Edison, planned and started to build in the fall of the same year.
The pictures above show a bed in the very room Edison was born in, the youngest of seven children on February 11, 1847. The bench shown is a cradle bench that Nancy used for rocking her babies. The bench probably had a side rail on one end to keep the baby from falling. The lightbulb contains a bamboo filament from Edison’s lifetime and I believe I was told that Edison himself put it in that socket. I was also told that it still works.
Thomas Alva Edison was born February 11, 1847 and died October 18, 1931- aged 84 years.
Edison lived in this house till he was about 7 years old when the family then moved to Port Huron, Michigan for awhile. For 40 years the house was out of the Edison family’s ownership until Thomas’ sister Marion Edison Page bought it in 1894. Marion was married in the parlor room of this home back in 1849. Thomas bought the house from his sister in 1906 and was reportedly shocked to discover at his last visit to the house in 1923 that it was still being lit by oil lamps and candles. Edison has living family still involved with the museum.
Some interesting information about Edison:
- I was told during the tour of the house that he had a photographic memory and had within three months time read the complete primer used for school, as a child. His mother pulled him out of school after the teacher insulted her and her son when he was young and homeschooled him till he was 12. I’ve read that he only spent 3 months in formal school.
- I’ve also read that at age 12 Thomas was working on a railway selling newspapers to passengers and that in one of the train cars he had a lab set up to work on experiments – causing a fire in it!
- Thomas was married twice. His first wife died leaving him with two sons and a daughter. He remarried and had two more sons and another daughter. None of his four sons were able to have children of their own and only one daughter had children (by choice I was told). It is thought that perhaps the boys had been exposed to radiation or something due to Thomas’ work that may have left them sterile.
- Thomas’ second wife Mina along with their daughter Mrs. John Eyre Sloane opened the house as a museum in 1947 to celebrate Thomas’ life. Today the Edison Birthplace Association owns and maintains the museum and still has Edison family representatives on the board. Museum memberships/sponsorships are accepted.
- He reportedly holds 2332 Patents worldwide in his name.
You can visit the Edison Birthplace website (www.tomedison.org) for more information, admission prices and to take a virtual tour here. The Thomas A. Edison Birthplace Museum is located at 9 N. Edison Dr. (P.O. Box 451), Milan, OH 44846
To learn more about Edison, check out these or other books found on Amazon (using my affiliate link) or at your local library.
Milan Historical Museum
The Milan Historical Museum encompasses a few buildings/homes down the street from the Edison Birthplace. I think it was almost closing time by the time we got there so we didn’t spend a lot of time touring this part. We got a look at what life was like back in the 1800’s though. Visit their website here to learn more about Milan’s history and to get admission prices.
The Milan Historical Museum is located on the same street as the Edison Birthplace, just the opposite end.
*Admission to both museums was provided for me and my family to complete this review. This is not a paid post and opinions are mine. I have included some of my Amazon affiliate links in this post.
Did you miss a post in this series? Catch up here:
Part 1: Plan your Sandusky Visit with Lake Erie Shores and Islands
Part 2: Maui Sands Resort & How we saved on Food
Part 3: Miller’s Ferry and Put ‘n Bay Family Fun
Part 4: African Safari Wildlife Park
Part 5: Edison’s Birthplace and the Milan Historical Museum