- Mount Holly
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Join author Linda Barth as she explores groundbreaking, useful, fun, and even silly inventions and their New Jersey roots.
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.
Linda Barth has been a fan of New Jersey for a long time. As a fourth-grade teacher, she tried to focus students’ attention on the positive aspects of our state: its diverse geography, agriculture, industry, and famous firsts and inventions. A lifelong resident of the Garden State, Linda has served on the board of Celebrate NJ!, a grassroots movement that builds pride in and fosters a brighter future for New Jersey through educational programs and promotional initiatives. She has written two books on the D&R Canal for Arcadia Publishing and two children’s picture books: Bridgetender’s Boy, published by the National Canal Museum in 2005, and Hidden New Jersey, from Charlesbridge Publishing in 2012. A History of Inventing in New Jersey: From Thomas Edison to the Ice Cream Cone, published by the History Press, was released in August 2013. She has also contributed to the Encyclopedia of New Jersey.
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