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New Jersey

New Jersey: Garden State

CAPITAL: Trenton
JOINED UNION: December 18, 1787
STATE BIRD: Eastern Goldfinch
STATE FLOWER: Purple Violet
MEANING OF STATE NAME: Named after England's Isle of Jersey
1992 POPULATION: 7,789,060
LAND AREA: 7,419 square miles
ECONOMY: Chemicals, commercial fishing, trade, fabricated metals, services.
HISTORY: Home to Delaware Indians, who got along well with the early Dutch settlers who had founded New Netherland and the English, who took over and organized the area as an English colony in 1665. Many wars of the Revolution took place in New Jersey. The Civil War saw New Jersey remain with the Union, while many state residents supported the Confederate cause. During the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, New Jersey was home to many manufacturing plants. Today, New Jersey hosts the Miss America Pageant at Atlantic City, where gambling at casinos is legal.

Edison Lights The Night 1879


After two years, Thomas Edison finally saw the light. In 1877, he had begun studying how to make an electric lamp and within a year had performed 1,200 experiments. In 1879, after spending $40,000, he made a bulb using a carbonized cotton thread for a filament. It burned for two days in the vacuum bulb. Later he used carbonized cardboard and, finally, carbonized bamboo. The bamboo model was the first economically feasible incandescent lightbulb. His bulbs were first installed on the steamship "Columbia" and later in a New York City factory.

Edison was a prolific inventor, with 1,033 patents at the time of his death in 1931. Two others of his many inventions were the phonograph and the movie projector.


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