Thomas Edison House
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.
Backstory and Context
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.
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.