In 1887 Thomas Edison began construction of a new research complex in West Orange New Jersey. In this facility Edison perfected his phonograph, developed motion pictures, a nickel-iron-alkaline storage battery, and many other technologies. Edison earned 1,093 U.S. patents in his lifetime, most for innovations that came out of the West Orange lab.
This is the heavy machine shop where Edison’s employs could make anything they needed for their experiments and the manufacturing of their inventions. Edison wanted to be able to create everything needed without having to leave the complex. He felt that his company could build anything from a “locomotive to a lady’s watch.”
All of the machinery in the shop was powered by a series of belts and shafts driven by two 40-horse power DC electric motors, which you can see at the far end of the room.