Thomas Edison House
Louisville KY 40202
- Tue: 10am-2pm
- Wed: 10am-2pm
- Thu: 10am-2pm
- Fri: 10am-2pm
- Sat: 10am-2pm
Every great inventor and genius has to start somewhere. Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb and holder of more than 1,000 patents, got his humble start as a telegraph operator. When he was just 19, he moved to Louisville and started working for Western Union, a job that allowed him to work during the day and experiment at night. During his time there, Edison rented a room in a shotgun duplex only a mile from his office and the busy Ohio River. This small home in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville is one of only six locations in the nation where a visitor can walk in the footsteps of the famous inventor and it is the only location still standing where Edison worked as a telegraph operator for a short time. Truly a hidden gem, this tiny museum has been completely restored and showcases the best work of the "Wizard of Menlo Park".
Parking and public transportation for the Thomas Edison House
Located in downtown Louisville, the Thomas Edison House sits squarely in the middle of the Butchertown neighborhood and is accessible on TARC bus by Route 15-Market Street stop. This will be a bit of a walk so the best way to get there is probably by car. Since the area is still a residential neighborhood, parking is free and on the street. Even during busy work days, there's usually parking on the same block. The tiny home sits today just as it probably looked long ago. Nestled down side streets, you have to be on the lookout for the historic plaque out front or you might miss it.
Best and worst time to go to the Thomas Edison House
This tiny museum is open daily, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest. Since it's a hidden gem, you'll practically have the museum to yourself on weekdays, which is the best time to go. The non-profit and volunteer-run museum does host large groups and school field trips occasionally, so if you want a more intimate visit, be sure to call ahead and check the schedule. You can also make a special appointment if the stated times don't work for your schedule.
Admission to the Thomas Edison House
The ticket cost is generally around $5, but there are discounts offered for seniors, students and young children. Your ticket price includes either a self-guided tour or a personally-guided tour, if you request it.
Other places to visit near the Thomas Edison House
The Butchertown neighborhood is part of NuLu, an area in Louisville known as "New Louisville" because of the renewed interest by locals and visitors. Located near busy Market Street, the area has plenty of unique restaurants, historic sites, artists' galleries and shops all within walking distance. If you're looking for other nearby activities, be sure to check out Muth's Candies, a 1920-ear candy making shop that has perfected the world famous bourbon balls. If you're thirsty after all that chocolate, head on down to Copper and Kings, Kentucky's only brandy distillery and newest distillery in the area.
Insider's tips for visitors to the Thomas Edison House
Read up on a bit of history before you go. The tour guides know all there is to know about Edison's life and inventions and can answer any question. They love to dish out little known bits of trivia with a just little encouragement and, if the day is slow, you might be able to see and hear an original, hand-cranked wax recording on a 1905 phonograph. It will cause you to have a new appreciation for today's music technology.
Author's bio: CC Thomas is freelance writer and Kentucky native who loves to travel. Follow the adventures at www.iknowfuntravel.blogspot.com.