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EPI Team's GPR Project at Thomas Edison's House

A ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey was conducted by Bob Wiencek of EPI, at the former house site (now a field surrounded by a wooded area) of American inventor Thomas Alva Edison in Edison New Jersey. The project was performed for the Archaeological Society of New Jersey in association with the Middlesex County Office of Arts and History and the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park.

The GPR survey focused on locating subsurface features under what was the kitchen portion of the house that would aid in the archaeological investigation.

In the early 1920s, the kitchen wing of Edison’s house was severely damaged by fire. The house soon fell into a state of disrepair and was subsequently razed in 1924.

The geophysical survey identified two separate anomalies, that when excavated by archaeologists, represented two brick and stone foundation walls associated with the kitchen section of the house. Household items recovered from excavation units near the foundation walls included bottles, burnt glass fragments, and ceramic sherds. Architectural materials including nails and portions of a marble fireplace mantel were also discovered during the archaeological excavation.

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