The Garden State: Where Ideas Grow” – Based on her book, A History of Inventing in New
Jersey: From Thomas Edison to the Ice Cream Cone, this program by Linda J. Barth 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 drivein 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 J. Barth