Clio Logo

Thomas Edison came to Louisville in 1866, at the young age of 19, to work as a telegraph key operator. With his skill at receiving telegraph messages, Thomas Edison had little difficulty landing a job with the Western Union located on Second and West Main Street--about eight blocks from this home. Some of the interesting artifacts found at Louisville's Thomas Edison House include both cylinder and disc phonographs, as well as Edison Business Phonographs. An Edison Kinetoscope, the first home motion picture projector, is also on display in the museum.


  • Thomas Edison House
  • Thomas Edison's rooms in Louisville (image from Trip Advisor)
  • Thomas Edison's rooms (image from Trip Advisor)
  • Exhibit featuring Edison's inventions in Butchertown, Louisville (image from Trip Advisor)
  • Edison inventions on display (image from Trip Advisor)

About the Thomas Edison Butchertown House

Located in Louisville's historic Butchertown neighborhood, rooms in the house at 729 East Washington Street were rented to a 19-year-old Thomas Edison just after the end of the Civil War. The home itself is a shotgun duplex dating to the 1850s, and one of the few remaining in the area. Edison lived for Louisville for a year and a half, working as a telegraph operator for Western Union and conducting experiments at home in his spare time. He was fired for spilling acid at work, and moved to New Jersey in 1867. He returned to Louisville in 1883 for the Southern Exposition opening, which featured 4,600 of his incandescent lights. The Butchertown Edison house displays Edison inventions including phonographs, incandescent bulbs, and motion picture equipment.

1. Historic Homes Foundation. "Thomas Edison House." Accessed March 10, 2017. http://www.historichomes.org/thomas-edison-house/.

2. Kentucky Historical Society. Historical Marker Database: Jefferson County. Accessed March 10, 2017. http://migration.kentucky.gov/kyhs/hmdb/MarkerSearch.aspx?mode=County&county=56.