Thomas Edison's Visit to Schenectady

On view through January 29, 2023

In June of 1886 Thomas Edison moved his machine works from Manhattan to two vacant buildings in Schenectady, New York. These two buildings were the first piece of what would become world-changing manufacturing and research facilities in the Schenectady area.

In 1922, after an absence of more than 30 years, Edison personally returned to Schenectady to visit the facilities, which had grown to 300 buildings occupied by nearly 20,000 employees. He personally visited scientists disrupting the world with their inventions, and he met with the workers making the United States’ electrification possible. Through historic photographs, film, and audio this exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of Edison’s historic 1922 visit and the rapid expansion of what had by then become the General Electric Company.

Photographs on display include Edison visiting Charles Proteus Steinmetz and his million-volt lightning generator; a photograph of Edison’s science team from the 1880s; an image of international radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi at the Schenectady laboratories; and photographs of Edison inspecting the newest vacuum tubes that made advances in radio and X-ray technology possible.