The Birthplace of
The Age of Invention

The Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum is a historic house museum in Milan, OH. We offer guided, one-hour tours through the home.


We’re excited to announce a major milestone for the Don Gfell Education Center: a $50,000 matching grant awarded by Shores and Islands, marking their strong commitment to fostering innovation and education.


Bringing the Don Gfell Education Center to life

The project involves extensive reconstruction of the existing museum building to accommodate the new attractions and added traffic. The fundraising goal is set at $100,000. Read more below.

Overall Fundraising Goal


Shop the New Don Gfell Education Center Collection

What our tourists say

We’re proud to be able to deliver memorable experiences and thankful for their feedback, suggestions, and support.

Become a Member

Join today and support the legacy of Thomas Alva Edison – and enjoy special year-round perks and discounts.

Student Membership

Must have valid Student ID
$ 10
  • 10% off on gift shop items
  • FREE Admission

Supporter Membership

For every family
$ 50
  • 20% off on gift shop items
  • FREE Admission
  • Free Family Admission*
  • Poster

Single Membership

Perfect for anyone
$ 25
  • 15% off on gift shop items
  • FREE Admission

Our Mission

It is the mission of the Edison Birthplace Association, Inc. to accept and hold title to the Birthplace of Thomas Alva Edison and to historically restore, improve, beautify and permanently maintain the home of the great inventor as a public museum. It is our goal to preserve and perpetuate the memory of Thomas A. Edison and evidence the philosophy, ideals and motivating sentiments that constrained him to devote his entire life to the well-being, comfort, solace and happiness of humanity. We consider Edison a fitting “inspiration to youth” and role model for our young people. He once said, “The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child.”

The Significance of Milan, Ohio Architecture

In his formative years in Milan, young Thomas Edison found himself fascinated by the bustling activity alongside the Milan Canal, essentially his backyard. The sight of majestic Lake Erie schooners and bulky canal barges negotiating their cargos on the docks awoke a curiosity within him. He keenly observed the intricate machinery loading the agricultural yields, primarily wheat, and offloading goods embarked on a journey from New York. These goods, delivered to local merchants through the Erie Canal, painted a vivid portrait of commerce and ingenuity.

During that era, thanks to the Milan Canal on the Huron River located behind the Edison Birthplace, Milan evolved into a pivotal American shipping port. This status seeded prosperity throughout the town, evident in the grandeur of the homes that sprung up on Milan’s streets. These residences, which proudly stand even today, are a testament to the town’s flourishing past.

As you immerse yourself in the historical richness of the Edison Birthplace, take time to traverse the charming streets of Milan. Marvel at the diverse lineup of buildings showcasing an array of 19th-century architectural styles. To optimize this visual journey, consult or download our detailed PDF guide. It provides valuable insights and identifies Milan’s remarkable heritage of historic architectural styles. Let the physical structures narrate a tale of temporal transition that beautifully complements your experience at the Birthplace.

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