For some reason I thought of the old days in Catholic confessional in which I would ask the priest to bless me from my sins and say “It has been 30 days since my last confession.” Well, I’m not really confessing, and I don’t consider it a sin, but I must admit “It has been 30 days since my last science traveling.” That trip was to Scandinavia – Denmark, Sweden, Norway. As you read this I’ve already been several days into my current trip to the northeast – New England and Quebec.
Fireworks and fourth of July parades will highlight (have highlighted) the first part of the trip. But even before that we stopped off in West Orange, New Jersey to visit the Thomas Edison National Historic Park. While Edison was nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” he actually spent more time working out of his much larger laboratory complex in West Orange. It was here that he had his grand mansion called “Glenmont,” his multi-story laboratory, several separate smaller labs, and the Black Maria – the film studio where he made motion pictures. This was a must-visit for me as I write my book on Edison; so too was a stopover in the town of Edison (as Menlo Park was later renamed in his honor).
After a few days with the family and the fireworks we’re headed even further north. A couple of days in a Quebec City B&B will let us see Montmorency Falls, the funicular, the aquarium, and, of course, Maison Kent. From there it’s on to Montreal for the Notre Dame cathedral, Musee des Beaux Arts, and for the science part, the Biosphere and Jardin Botanique.
The rest of the trip will be spent leisurely working our way back down western Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut where the main goal is to do some old bookstore hopping. Some of the coolest books in my Lincoln collection have come from old barns and basements, so I’m hoping to make some lucky finds.
I’ll be posting periodically during the trip, both on here and on Facebook, so keep checking back for more science traveling tidbits.
David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time. He is currently writing a book on Thomas Edison.