Did you know that Independence Day was Thomas Edison’s favorite holiday? According to historical documents, Edison woke up early each Independence Day to spend time with his children and set off a giant firecracker in his yard. The children dressed in holiday costumes and they all tossed Chinese firecrackers. Edison even made his own fireworks with TNT added and called them “incendiary torpedoes.” As part of the holiday celebration, the family enjoyed ice cream and watermelon, just as many American families do today.
An invoice from 1893 on the Thomas Edison National Historic Park website lists the purchases made for the holiday. It included “2 dozen packages Electric Torp., 1 Dragon’s Nest, 1 Devil Among the Tailor, 1 Surprise Box, 1 Floral Fountain, 1 dozen Rockets, 1 dozen B.R. Candles, 1 lb. Colored Fire, and 1 Firework Balloon 20 ft.”
On July 4, Edison and Ford Winter Estates will be open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Guided tours will be offered every hour, on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting. Click here for tour information.