Metuchen Edison History Features

Recollections of

Boyhood Days

In Old Metuchen


David Trumbull Marshall

Published by The Case Publishing Co., Flushing NY 1930

(Second Edition)- (c) 1930


Edison Lamp Works.

In 1878 my brother William graduated from Rutgers College at New Brunswick, N. J. After that he taught in the High School at New Brunswick, and in June, 1881, went to work in the first Edison Lamp Works, then located in an old factory building near the Pennsylvania Railroad, at Menlo Park.

My brother used to put in his day at the factory and in the evening went to New Brunswick to tutor two students who were preparing to enter Rutgers. One was Florence and the other Louis Bishop, afterward Doctor Bishop.

One day my brother Will got up against a problem in electricity which he was unable to solve.

He went to Professor VanDyck, at New Brunswick, and he and the Professor took a train for Menlo Park, crawled in through a window of the Lamp Works and worked all night on the electrical problem, solved it, and in the morning, there being no train convenient, Professor VanDyck walked the seven miles to New Brunswick.

That was the kind of professors they had at Rutgers when my brother was there, and when I was there later.

Professor VanDyck was the personal friend of every individual student that ever studied under him.

Mr. Edison never knew that he had had the services of an expert chemist and physicist gratis, for my brother did not tell of this incident. I had it from Professor VanDyck some years later.

My brother Will died of typhoid fever contracted at New Brunswick some time in September, 1881.

While he was ill Francis R. Upton came to our house to visit my brother. Will was dead a week later.

My brother John Trumbull was at that time working with a party of surveyors of the New Jersey Geological Survey.

He left the surveying and took the place of my brother Will at the Lamp Works.

He stayed at the Lamp Works for thirty years, until his death in 1910.

He was what was rated as an experimenter, constantly engaged in experiments to improve the electric lamp.

He was the inventor of several valuable appliances for, the testing of electric lamps.



Boyhood Days in Old Metuchen Title page

Thomas Alva Edison in Menlo Park page

Metuchen Edison History Features index page

Metuchen Edison Historical Society page

Old Metuchen Photos page

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Lasted updated 6/8/99 by Jim Halpin.