Sussex County History Events – September 6 and 11
Harvest Moon Celebration and Garlic Fest
Saturday, September 6
50 Neilson Road
Wantage, NJ 07461
Sparta Historical Society presents Thomas Edison, major local employer
Thomas Edison built a massive industrial complex in Sparta/Ogdensburg that employed 500 men at its peak in the late 1800s, only to close in 1900 forever. Vestiges of his operation are visible near the monument on Edison Road, but they barely hint at the story.
On Thursday, September 11 at 7:30 pm, the Sparta Historical Society welcomes Leonard DeGraaf, an archivist at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, who will present an illustrated program on this important piece of local history. While researching for his latest book on Edison, DeGraaf came across interviews of miners who had worked in this complex, including some who had known Thomas Edison, so he will share stories of innovation, business development, and lives of the workers as well as show photographs of Edison’s ore milling operation.
Before joining the National Park Service in 1991, DeGraaf was on the staff of the Thomas A. Edison Papers. He is the author of Historic Photos of Thomas Edison (2008), and in his 2013 book, Edison and the Rise of Innovation, he chronicles Edison’s life and work by making lively and lavish use of never-before-published primary sources. The book includes Edison’s personal and business correspondence, lab notebooks, drawings, and advertising material, along with both historic and modern photographs. Another famous innovator – Bill Gates – wrote its foreword.
DeGraaf’s books will be available for purchase and signing. Refreshments will be served.
This event will be in the lower level of the Sparta Ambulance Building at 14 Sparta Avenue, Sparta. Admission to this program is free to all members. Guests are invited to attend for a nominal charge of $1 per student, $3 per adult. For more information, please contact Ed Fritsch at 973-729-0644.
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