A History of Inventing in New Jersey:
From Thomas Edison to the Ice Cream Cone
Since Edison opened the first research and development
laboratory in Menlo Park, the Garden State has been
known as the Innovation State. As Alex Magoun, former
director of the David Sarnoff Library, put it, “The state’s
twentieth-century history is filled with the technologies we
take for granted, from electronic television and antibiotics to
the transistor and liquid crystal displays.”  
New Jersey inventors and innovators have changed the
lives of   people around the world. From the phonograph to
the electric guitar, from the telegraph to Telstar and from
baseball to college football, hundreds of products and ideas
got their start in New Jersey.        
What makes New Jersey the state where ideas grow? Is it
because we’ve been home to so many communications
and  pharmaceutical companies, including Bell Labs,
Sarnoff, Johnson & Johnson and Edison’s invention
factory? Is it our proximity to  Philadelphia and New York?
Or does the fact that we’re the most  densely populated  
state mean that bright people are also densely  packed in
the Garden State?
$20 plus $4.00 shipping
I had a chance to read your new book on
New Jersey inventors last night on my
Kindle. A fascinating read -- finished the
whole thing before going to bed!
Congrats on an excellent book. I will be
adding it to the reading list for my History
of New Jersey class at
Centenary next semester.
Raymond Frey, Ph.D., Professor of History,
College Historian, Centenary
Wrap. Bar codes. The modern submarine.
What do all of these things have in common?
Give up? They were all invented in the great
state of New Jersey!
New Jersey is truly the land of inventions.
M&M’s, solar panels, transistors, flexible film
and Graham crackers are but a few of the
useful and unique creations from the minds of
Garden State residents. Not to mention the
1,093 patents issued to Thomas Alva Edison.
Whatever the reason, New Jersey has
produced hundreds of thousands of new ideas,
including innovations in the fields of

(the steam locomotive and the
steerable balloon),
communications (satellites
and cell phones),
household improvements (air
conditioning and the electric knife),
entertainment (movies and the phonograph),
food (condensed soup and the ice cream cone)
medicine (streptomycin and the artificial
the nation’s first and, to date, only statewide
hall of fame for inventors. In 1977, the U. S. Patent and
Trademark Office began comparing by state the number
of patents issued. New Jersey companies and residents
have received 115,000 patents since that date. Only
California, Texas and New York have more, and those
states have much larger populations.  
A History of Inventing in New Jersey and discover
the unique and fascinating inventions and ideas that
have shaped and changed the lives of people throughout
the world.