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Thomas Edison: Telephone, Electricity and Phonograph, 1915

Menlo Park

Edison built his first experimental laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, in 1876. This laboratory was designed to be staffed by scientists engaged in basic research rather than immediate commercial products. Such an approach to the creation and development of inventions was a novel concept in the United States, an original model for scientific endeavor that continues to this day, supporting the comment of Alfred North Whitehead that "The greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the invention of the method of invention."