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A History of Inventing in New Jersey: From Thomas Edison to the Ice Cream Cone
Community Rm A+B7pm - 8:30pmWednesday, January 22

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Many people are familiar with Edison's 'invention factory" in Menlo Park, where he patented the phonograph, the light bulb, and many more innovations. Yet many other ideas have grown in the Garden State, too-New Jerseyans brought sound and music to movies and built the very first drive-in theater. In addition to the first cultivated blueberry, tasty treats like ice cream cones and M&M's® are also Jersey natives. Iconic aspects of American life, like Bubble Wrap®, the boardwalk, the Band-Aid®, and even professional baseball itself started in New Jersey. Life would be a lot harder without the vacuum cleaner, plastic, and air-conditioning, and many other important advances in medicine and surgery were developed here.

Join author Linda Barth as she explores groundbreaking, useful, fun, and even silly inventions and their New Jersey roots.

Linda has been a fan of New Jersey for a long time. A lifelong resident of the Garden State, Linda has written two books on the D&R Canal and three children's picture books. She has also authored A History of Inventing in New Jersey and New Jersey Originals. With her husband she has published The Millstone Valley Through Time and Somerville Through Time. She has also contributed to the Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Linda Barth spent 45 years in the Bridgewater-Raritan School District, teaching fourth grade and then substituting after retirement. She is the executive director of the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey and president of the D&R Canal Watch, a friends organization of the D&R Canal State Park.

Linda will be selling (and signing!) the following books after her lecture:


  • A History of Inventing in New Jersey, New Jersey Originals, Millstone Valley Through Time, and the two canal books are $20.
  • Alice Paul children's book, $15
  • Hidden New Jersey: paperback, $10; hardcover, $20.