kids encyclopedia robot

Edison, New Jersey facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Edison, New Jersey
Township of Edison
Edison Tower
Official seal of Edison, New Jersey
"Birthplace of the Modern World"
"Let There Be Light"
"Birthplace of Recorded Sound"
Map of Edison in Middlesex County
Map of Edison in Middlesex County
Census Bureau map of Edison, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Edison, New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey
Location in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey is located in the United States
Edison, New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Middlesex
Settled 1651
Incorporated March 17, 1870 (as Raritan Township)
Renamed November 10, 1954 (as Edison Township)
Named for Thomas Edison
 • Type Faulkner Act Mayor-Council
 • Body Township Council
 • Total 30.69 sq mi (79.49 km2)
 • Land 30.06 sq mi (77.86 km2)
 • Water 0.63 sq mi (1.63 km2)  2.05%
Area rank 88th of 565 in state
4th of 25 in county
39 ft (12 m)
 • Total 107,588
 • Rank 5th of 566 in state
1st of 25 in county
310th in U.S. (2018)
 • Density 3,339.0/sq mi (1,289.2/km2)
 • Density rank 198th of 566 in state
15th of 25 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Codes
08817, 08818, 08820, 08837, 08899
Area code(s) 732 and 908
FIPS code 3402320230
GNIS feature ID 0882166

Edison is a township located in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. Situated in central New Jersey, Edison lies within the core of the state's Raritan Valley region and is part of the New York City metropolitan area. Home to Little India, as of the 2020 United States Census, Edison had a total population of 107,588, making it the sixth-most populous municipality in New Jersey, having been ranked fifth in 2010.

What is now Edison Township was originally incorporated as Raritan Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 17, 1870, from portions of both Piscataway Township and Woodbridge Township. The township got its original name from the Raritan indigenous people. Portions of the township were taken to form Metuchen on March 20, 1900, and Highland Park on March 15, 1905. The name was officially changed to Edison Township on November 10, 1954, in honor of inventor Thomas Edison, who had his main laboratory in the Menlo Park section of the township.


Early history

Edison Township, comprising former sections of Piscataway and Woodbridge townships, was settled (by Europeans) in the 17th century. The earliest village was Piscatawaytown, which is centered around St. James Church and the Piscatawaytown Common, near the intersection of Plainfield and Woodbridge avenues in south Edison. The Laing House of Plainfield Plantation, the Benjamin Shotwell House, and the Homestead Farm at Oak Ridge, are buildings from the colonial era included in National Register of Historic Places listings in Middlesex County.

The community was previously known as "Raritan Township", not to be confused with the current-day Raritan Township in Hunterdon County.

The Edison era

Menlo Park Laboratory of Thomas Edison site of the Invention of the light bulb in Dearborn, Michigan at Greenfield Village The Henry Ford Museum from Menlo Park, New Jersey
Replica of Edison's lab where he invents the first commercially practical light bulb. Henry Ford, Edison's longtime friend, built it at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

In 1876, Thomas Edison set up his home and research laboratory in New Jersey on the site of an unsuccessful real estate development in Raritan Township called "Menlo Park", (currently located in Edison State Park). While there he earned the nickname "the Wizard of Menlo Park." Before his death at age 83 in 1931, the prolific inventor amassed a record 1,093 patents for creations including the phonograph, a stock ticker, the motion-picture camera, the incandescent light bulb, a mechanical vote counter, the alkaline storage battery including one for an electric car, and the first commercial electric light.

The Menlo Park lab was significant in that was one of the first laboratories to pursue practical, commercial applications of research.It was in his Menlo Park laboratory that Thomas Edison came up with the phonograph and a commercially viable incandescent light bulb filament. Christie Street was the first street in the world to use electric lights for illumination. Edison subsequently left Menlo Park and moved his home and laboratory to West Orange in 1886.

20th century

Near Piscatawaytown village, a portion of the Township was informally known as "Nixon," after Lewis Nixon, a manufacturer and community leader. Soon after the outbreak of World War I, Nixon established a massive volatile chemicals processing facility there, known as the Nixon Nitration Works. It was the site of the 1924 Nixon Nitration Works disaster, a massive explosion and resulting fire that killed 20 persons and destroyed several square miles of the Township.

In 1954, the township's name was changed to honor inventor Thomas A. Edison. Also on the ballot in 1954 was a failed proposal to change the community's name to Nixon.

21st century

Edison has been one of the fastest-growing municipalities in New Jersey. As of the 2000 United States Census, it was the fifth most-populated municipality in the state, after the cities of Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Elizabeth.

Edison is primarily a middle-class community with more than 75 ethnic communities represented. Edison has a large Jewish community next to Highland Park, with multiple synagogues located in Edison. Edison also has a growing Indian community and a number of temples serving the religious needs of the community. Reflecting the number of Edison's residents from India and China, the township has sister city arrangements with Shijiazhuang, China, and Vadodara, India.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 30.638 square miles (79.351 km2), including 29.940 square miles (77.543 km2) of land and 0.698 square miles (1.808 km2) of water (2.28%).

Edison is on the east side of Raritan Valley (a line of communities in central New Jersey), along with Plainfield, and completely surrounds the borough of Metuchen, New Jersey, making it part of 21 pairs of "doughnut towns" in the state, where one municipality entirely surrounds another. The township borders East Brunswick Township, Highland Park, New Brunswick, Piscataway Township, Sayreville, South Plainfield and Woodbridge Township in Middlesex County; Clark, Plainfield and Scotch Plains in Union County.

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Bonhamtown, Camp Kilmer, Centerville, Clara Barton, Eggert Mills, Greensand,


Extreme temperatures in Edison have ranged from −17 °F (−27 °C), recorded in February 1934, to 106 °F (41 °C), recorded in July 1936 and August 1949.

Climate data for Edison, New Jersey
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
Average high °F (°C) 38
Average low °F (°C) 21
Record low °F (°C) −8
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.02


Asian community

Edison hosts one of the region's main centers of Asian American cultural diversity. The growing Little India is a South Asian-focused commercial strip in Middlesex County, the U.S. county with the highest concentration of Asian Indians. The Oak Tree Road strip runs for about one-and-a-half miles through Edison and neighboring Iselin in Woodbridge Township, near the area's sprawling Chinatown and Koreatown, running along New Jersey Route 27. It is the largest and most diverse South Asian cultural hub in the United States. In Middlesex County, election ballots are printed in English, Spanish, Gujarati, Hindi, and Punjabi. As part of the 2010 Census, 28.3% of Edison residents identified themselves as being Indian American. In the 2000 Census, 17.75% of Edison residents identified themselves as being Indian American, the highest percentage of Indian-American people of any municipality in the United States with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.

Historical population

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 3,460
1880 3,789 9.5%
1890 3,018 −20.3%
1900 2,801 −7.2%
1910 2,707 −3.4%
1920 5,419 100.2%
1930 10,025 85.0%
1940 11,470 14.4%
1950 16,348 42.5%
1960 44,799 174.0%
1970 67,120 49.8%
1980 70,193 4.6%
1990 88,680 26.3%
2000 97,687 10.2%
2010 99,967 2.3%
2020 107,588 7.6%
Population sources: 1870-1920
1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory during previous decade.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 99,967 people, 34,972 households, and 26,509 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,339.0 per square mile (1,289.2/km2). There were 36,302 housing units at an average density of 1,212.5 per square mile (468.1/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 44.10% (44,084) White, 7.05% (7,046) Black or African American, 0.23% (229) Native American, 43.19% (43,177) Asian, 0.04% (36) Pacific Islander, 2.72% (2,718) from other races, and 2.68% (2,677) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.11% (8,112) of the population.

There were 34,972 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.2% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the township, the population was spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.1 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 93.8 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $86,725 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,000) and the median family income was $100,008 (+/- $2,624). Males had a median income of $66,898 (+/- $4,094) versus $50,953 (+/- $1,462) for females. The per capita income for the township was $36,464 (+/- $1,184). About 3.5% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.


Oak Tree Pond is the site of the Battle of Short Hills, a minor battle of the American Revolutionary War and whose conversion into a park ended a real estate development controversy.

Roosevelt Park, located between Parsonage Road and Route 1, west of the Mall, covers 217 acres (88 ha), including the 8-acre (3.2 ha) Roosevelt Park Lake. The park was established in 1917, making it the oldest county park in Middlesex County.

Sister cities

Notable places

  • Advian, which in 2012 featured what was then the nation's largest solar rooftop installation at 17 acres (6.9 ha).
  • Bonhamtown, site of a battle during the American Revolutionary War
  • Camp Kilmer, a World War II era army post, was partially located in what is now Edison.
  • Dismal Swamp, preserved wetlands area that also includes portions of Metuchen and South Plainfield.
  • Durham Woods, a complex of several apartment buildings and scene of the Edison, New Jersey natural gas explosion in 1994, in which a 36-inch natural gas pipeline burst and exploded, destroying buildings in the area.
  • Roosevelt Park, located near Menlo Park Mall.
  • Edison Landfill, landfill site undergoing environmental cleanup since it was ordered closed in 1977.
  • Edison station in south Edison, offering service on NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor Line.
  • ILR Landfill, closed landfill site owned by Industrial Land Reclaiming (ILR) providing power to Middlesex County's wastewater treatment operations from methane gas recovery.
  • Kin-Buc Landfill, former landfill and Superfund site where 70 million US gallons (260,000 m3) of hazardous waste was dumped.
  • Laing House of Plainfield Plantation, historic home built in the early 1700s when the region was being settled by Scottish Quakers in the late 17th and early 18th century.
  • Menlo Park Mall, located at the intersection of Route 1 and Parsonage Road, has a gross leasable area of 1,260,703 square feet (117,123.1 m2).
  • Oak Tree Road in Edison and the Iselin section of Woodbridge Township is known for its large concentration of Indian stores and restaurants.
  • The Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum, in Menlo Park, dedicated in 1938. Located in Edison State Park, at the site where its namesake inventor invented the incandescent light bulb and the phonograph.


Edison NJ The Coffee House MKS performs acoustic music closeup photo
Musicians perform at The Coffee House on Amboy Avenue.


A number of production facilities in and around the area, included Edison Assembly, Ford Motor Company's production plant for Rangers, Mustangs, Pintos, Mercurys, and Lincolns. Other notable companies included Frigidaire's air-conditioner plant in Edison, Siemens in Edison.

Starting in the 2000s, manufacturing began to leave Central Jersey, and many facilities closed and moved overseas. The Ford plant was demolished by 2008 and was replaced by Sam's Club, Topgolf and Starbucks.

Corporate presence

Majesco Entertainment, a video game company, has its corporate headquarters in Edison. Other companies have warehouse operations within Edison. These companies include the Italian food producer and importer Colavita, an Amazon fulfillment center, as well as the regional hubs for FedEx, UPS, and Newegg. In addition Edison is home to the state's largest private convention center, the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, located within the Raritan Center Business Park. Raritan Center itself is the largest industrial park on the east side of the Mississippi River. The United States headquarters of the international company Zylog Systems is located in Edison, as is the headquarters of the e-commerce companies Boxed and Bare Necessities.


Plainfield Country Club is a private country club that has hosted the 1987 U.S. Women's Open and The Barclays golf tournament, the first PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff event, in both 2011 and 2015.


Public schools

The Edison Township Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district's two high schools separate the south and north ends of Edison. In the Edison High School zone to the south, there are six K–5 elementary schools, while in the J.P. Stevens High School zone there are five K-5 elementary schools. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of 19 schools, had an enrollment of 16,203 students and 1,029.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 15.7:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Edison Early Learning Center (80 students; grades PreK-K), Franklin D. Roosevelt Preschool (140; PreK-K), Benjamin Franklin Elementary School (610; K-5), Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School (697; K-5), Lincoln Elementary School (835; K-5), Lindeneau Elementary School (478; K-5), James Madison Primary School (584; K-2, who then move on to James Madison Intermediate), James Madison Intermediate School (663; 3-5), John Marshall Elementary School (846; K-5), Menlo Park Elementary School (857; K-5), James Monroe Elementary School (542; K-5), Washington Elementary School (602; K-5), Woodbrook Elementary School (964; K-5), John Adams Middle School (952; 6–8, from James Madison Intermediate and MLK Jr.), Herbert Hoover Middle School (826; 6–8, from Franklin, Lincoln and Monroe), Thomas Jefferson Middle School (744; 6–8, from Lindeneau, Marshall and Washington), Woodrow Wilson Middle School (1,196; from Menlo Park and Woodbrook), Edison High School (1,971; 9-12, from Hoover and Jefferson) and J.P. Stevens High School (2,486; 9-12, from Adams and Wilson).

J.P. Stevens was the 80th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 65th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed, while Edison High School was ranked 174 in 2012 and 169 in 2010. According to U.S. News & World Report in 2016, J.P. Stevens ranked 41st within New Jersey and 905th nationally, while Edison H.S. ranked 59th and 2,015th.

The community is also served by the Greater Brunswick Charter School, a K-8 charter school serving students from Edison, Highland Park, Milltown and New Brunswick. As of the 2017–18 school year, the school had an enrollment of 395 students and 33.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.0:1.

Eighth grade students from all of Middlesex County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, a county-wide vocational school district that offers full-time career and technical education at Middlesex County Academy in Edison, the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge Township and at its East Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Piscataway technical high schools, with no tuition charged to students for attendance. Middlesex County College is home to the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies, an engineering-based high school, which is part of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. The high school is free for all Middlesex County residents, but admission is based on a test, past grades, and other academic and extracurricular activities. About 160 students, 40 per grade from around the county attend the Academy.

Board of education

Edison Township Public Schools school district is run by a nine-member elected board of education, which operates independently of the township's municipal government. The board provides oversight of the district's senior administrators, who in turn manage the schools.

As of January 2022, the members of the Edison Board of Education are Douglas Schneider, Shivi Prasad-Madhukar, Carol Bodofsky, Biral Patel, Brian Rivera, Mohin Patel, Virginia White, Jerry Shi and Shannon Peng. The current Edison board president is Douglas Schneider and the vice-president is Shivi Prasad-Madhukar.

Private schools

Bishop George Ahr High School (9-12), St. Helena School (PreK-8) and St. Matthew School (PreK-8) operate under the supervision of Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. Jewish schools in the township, which all operate independently, include Rabbi Jacob Joseph School, Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva (PreK-8, founded in 1945) and Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion (PreK-8, opened in 1992).

Other private schools in Edison include Lakeview School (for children ages 3–21 with disabilities), Our Lady of Peace School and Wardlaw-Hartridge School (PreK-12, founded in 1882).

In 1998, the Huaxia Edison Chinese School, which teaches in Simplified Chinese on Sunday afternoons, was established in Thomas Jefferson Middle School, subsequently relocating to Herbert Hoover Middle School. Huaxia currently resides in Edison High School. However, many families from Taiwan send their children to Edison Chinese School, located at John Adams Middle School, or Tzu Chi, located at Woodrow Wilson Middle School. These schools both teach Traditional Chinese. J.P. Stevens High School offers Mandarin Chinese and Hindi as an elective language for students who are interested in learning it.


Lincoln Technical Institute (or Lincoln Tech) is a for-profit vocational school located in Edison. Lincoln Tech offers various programs in Nursing and in medical and computer applications.

Middlesex County College (MCC) is a public, two-year community college located in Edison at the intersection of Woodbridge Avenue and Mill Road.

Rutgers University's Livingston campus is located on the former Camp Kilmer, partially located in Edison.


Edison has three public library branches.



Roads and highways

2021-05-25 16 40 20 View south along Interstate 95 (New Jersey Turnpike) from the overpass for Grandview Avenue in Edison Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey
View south along the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) in Edison

Edison is a transportation hub, with an extensive network of highways passing through the township and connecting to major Northeast cities, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Trenton, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and others. As of May 2010, the township had a total of 307.05 miles (494.15 km) of roadways, of which 257.31 miles (414.10 km) were maintained by the municipality, 29.78 miles (47.93 km) by Middlesex County and 14.75 miles (23.74 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 5.21 miles (8.38 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

State roads include Route 27 and 440, both of which are state-maintained. U.S. Route 1 also passes through the township. Interstate 287 passes through Edison, where it houses its southern end at I-95. The municipality also houses about a 5-mile (8.0 km) section of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95). Exit 10 is located in Edison, featuring a 13-lane toll gate and a unique interchange design. When the "dual-dual" setup of the turnpike was created, it first started in Edison and continued north to Exit 14 in Newark. It wasn't until 1973 that the "dual-dual" was extended south of 10 to Exit 9 in East Brunswick Township (and then extended further south in 1990 to Exit 8A in Monroe Township).

Since Interstate 287 connects to Interstate 87 (the New York State Thruway), Exit 10 (of the turnpike) is one of the busiest interchanges to be used by tractor-trailers as it connects the New Jersey Turnpike to the New York Thruway. For truck drivers, it is the only direct limited-access road connection they have from the Turnpike to the Thruway as the Garden State Parkway, which has its northern terminus at the Thruway, prohibits trucks from using the roadway north of Exit 105.

In 2009, the New Jersey Department of Transportation selected Edison as one of the first communities to have a red light camera enforcement system. The program was ended by the state in December 2014, despite a more than 30% drop in accidents at the three camera-controlled intersections in the township.

Public transportation

Edison station, located in South Edison, is served by NJ Transit northbound trains to Newark Penn Station and Penn Station New York, and southbound to the Trenton Transit Center via the Northeast Corridor Line, with connecting service to Amtrak, and SEPTA. Some passengers in North Edison are closer to, and may prefer to use, the Metropark station (near neighboring Iselin in Woodbridge Township) or Metuchen station.

NJ Transit bus service is provided on the 62 route to Newark, with local service available on the 801, 804, 805, 810, 813, 814, 819, 978 and 979 routes.

The Taiwanese airline China Airlines provides private bus service to John F. Kennedy International Airport from the Kam Man Food location in Edison to feed its flight to Taipei, Taiwan.


JFK Medical Center, located on James Street off Parsonage Road is a 498-bed hospital founded in 1967.

Roosevelt Care Center is a long term/sub-acute care facility located just east of Roosevelt Park. The facility was original constructed in 1936 under the auspices of the Work Projects Administration.

Edison is served by the Raritan Valley Regional EMS. The squad consists of three sub-squads, Edison First Aid Squad #1 (established in 1935), Edison First Aid Squad #2 (since 1936) and Clara Barton First Aid Squad (since 1951). The three squads merged in 2009 to better provide residents of Edison with more comprehensive care. RVREMS receives support from paramedics out of JFK Medical Center. The squad consists of approximately 50 volunteer EMTs.


Edison is served by area codes 732 and 848 and 908. Area Code 848 is an overlay area code that was created so that a split was not needed.

Edison has five Verizon Central offices serving the Township:

  • Central Office Rahway (Switch ID: RHWYNJRADS5) (Area Code 732): Serving from Wood Avenue North to Roxy Avenue on the west side of the Street inward to New Dover Road.
  • Central Office Plainfield (Switch ID: PLFDNJPFDS5) (Area Code 908): Serving Roxy Avenue heading north into South Plainfield on both sides of Inman Avenue.
  • Central Office Metuchen (Switch ID: MTCHNJMTDS5) (Area Code 732): Serving Edison, Metuchen and Iselin (Technically Iselin Numbers that have 732-283 and 732-404 are routed out of the Woodbridge Office Switch ID: WDBRNJWDDS5).
  • Central Office Edison (Switch ID: EDSNNJEDDS5): Serving South Edison with phone numbers that come up as "New Brunswick" - 732–339, 732–393, 732–572, 732–777, 732–819, 732–985, and Exchanges for "Metuchen" that are 732–248, 732–287, 732–650.
  • Central Office Fords (Switch ID: FRDSNJFRDS5): Serving Eastern Edison area and Raritan Center areas with 732–225, 732–346, 732–417, 732-512 and Perth Amboy Exchanges 732–661, 732–738.

In 1982, the BPU and New Jersey Bell, after receiving thousands of complaints from both North and South Edison residents, made an exception that any calls originating and terminating in the Township would be considered a local call. This was due to the new home construction in Edison where existing cables that belonged to the Rahway central office were assigned to give new phone service to over 400 homes.

In 1997, mandatory ten-digit dialing came to Edison with the introduction of Area code 732. Edison residents living on Roxy Avenue once again were in the spotlight in the news, with one side of the street served by the Rahway central office (Area code 732) and the other side of the street is served by the Plainfield central office (Area Code 908). Residents complained to the BPU and Bell Atlantic that it would be easier to yell across the street than dial a ten-digit number to call their neighbor across the street.

Edison has Cablevision's Optimum cable television service. Before Cablevision, there was TKR, which was so poorly run that many FCC and BPU complaints about programming and many town hall meetings eventually forced change. TKR was bought out by Cablevision.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Edison (Nueva Jersey) para niños

kids search engine
Edison, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.