Model T that Ford gave to Edison is on its way to NJ Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy of NJ Hall of Fame
Steve Edwards, president of the New Jesey Hall of Fame, stands in front of the Ford Model T that Henry Ford gave to Thomas Edision.

WEST ORANGE — A 1913 Model T Ford that Henry Ford gave to Thomas Edison made a visit to West Orange last week before heading to the New Jersey Hall of Fame in the American Dream Mall, where it will serve as the centerpiece of a simulated ride to the moon for visitors.

“We want Edison’s spirit of innovation to inspire new generations of inventors at his new home at American Dream,” said John Keegan, president and chairman of the Charles Edison Fund and Edison Innovation Foundation and Chairman Emeritus of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Edison moved to West Orange with his second wife Mina in 1886 and opened his research laboratory on Main Street where Edison worked until his death in 1931. Edison’s former facility and home are now part of the museum controlled by the National Park Service.

A ceremony was held April 16 at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park with several hundred guests witnessing the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s unveiling of the Model T.

The iconic Model T Ford revolutionized transportation and was renowned for its reliability.

In many ways it symbolizes the spirit of ingenuity that sparked innovation in the early part of the 20th century.

It further signifies the many pioneering contributions of both Ford and Edison to modern industry and the development of technology we know today.

Edison was among the first to be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2008, receiving more public votes than any other inductee.

Now, 16 years later, Edison’s Model T is among the first to arrive in the Hall of Fame at the new Entertainment and Learning Center opening at American Dream in June.

The 10,000-square-foot Entertainment and Learning Center becomes the permanent home for New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees and state-of-the-art exhibits like the simulated space ride called “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Visitors can sing on a karaoke stage alongside holograms of Gloria Gaynor, Wyclef Jean, Frankie Valli and many other musical legends. And they’ll be able to interview holograms of Danny DeVito, Jason Alexander, Connie Chung, Laurie Hernandez and many more notable Jersey greats in the “Late Night Jersey” Television Studio.

“Thanks to the Edison Innovation Foundation for letting us showcase this Model T, a model of American business innovation, at our new American Dream home,” said Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. “Soon, New Jersey will be one of the only states in America with a Hall of Fame, showcasing our state’s best from all walks of life. Our patrons will be inspired to become their best through this one-of-a-kind Education and Learning Center.”

The New Jersey Hall of Fame honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey and the world beyond.

Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 15 ceremonies for more than 200 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame.