Exciting New Changes at the Edison Birthplace

Bringing the Don Gfell Education Center to life on the 100th anniversary of Thomas Edison’s last trip to Milan, OH

January 2024 Update

We are thrilled to share a momentous update on the progress of the Don Gfell Education Center since our last October announcement. Your support has been nothing short of extraordinary, and we are humbled to announce that we have received an impressive $40,000 in total donations. Your commitment is the driving force behind the realization of this transformative project.

Excitingly, construction has officially commenced on the Don Gfell Education Center! To ensure a seamless process, the museum will remain closed throughout February and March. Although we understand this temporary closure may pose some inconvenience, we believe the enhancements being made will result in an unparalleled educational experience for our visitors.

Rest assured, we are committed to transparency throughout this journey. We will continue to provide regular updates on our progress and any new developments. Your ongoing support is invaluable, and we are deeply grateful for the enthusiasm and dedication you’ve shown.

Thank you for being a part of this extraordinary venture. Together, we are shaping the future of education and preserving the legacy of Thomas Edison.

October 2023 Update

Since our initial announcement, we have received approximately $12,000 in generous donations, demonstrating your unwavering commitment to our mission of preserving the legacy of Thomas Edison and advancing STEM education. Your support is instrumental in making the Don Gfell Education Center a reality, and we are deeply grateful for your contributions.

Construction for the Don Gfell Education Center is on schedule and set to commence in January 2024. During this month, the Birthplace is always seasonally closed, which will ensure a safe and efficient start to the construction process. The Birthplace will re-open in February 2024. Together, we are shaping a brighter future for generations to come.

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Robert Wheeler, Birthplace President, director@tomedison.org

On the 100th anniversary of Thomas Edison’s last trip to his hometown of Milan, Ohio on August 11, 1923, the Edison Birthplace Museum is thrilled to announce plans for a major addition to his humble birthplace with a kick-off capital fundraising campaign to bring the Don Gfell Education Center to life.

The late Don Gfell, a lifelong educator from Milan and Edison aficionado, left his mark on Edison’s hometown and in the National Statuary Hall where, thanks in large part to Don, a statue of his hero stands in the U.S. Capital. Gfell, a consummate teacher who loved captivating students with hands-on Edison exhibits, amassed a priceless collection of Edison inventions.

The Birthplace Museum hopes to display some of those incredible items and incorporate hands-on exhibits, including sound recording and playback and electrical experiments, to amaze visitors. The project involves extensive reconstruction of an existing museum building to accommodate the new attractions and added traffic.

The spark of electricity is in the air over the planned Gfell Education Center at the Edison Birthplace Museum.  See an architect’s rendering of the exciting addition here. The fundraising goal to make it happen is $100,000 and starts today.

Contributions can be made online, at Croghan Bank Milan, or at the Edison Birthplace, PO Box 451, Milan, Ohio 44846.

All checks can be made out to Edison Birthplace Association.

The Birthplace Museum hopes to display some of Don’s incredible items and incorporate hands-on exhibits, including sound recording and playback and electrical experiments, to amaze visitors. The project involves extensive reconstruction of an existing museum building to accommodate the new attractions and added traffic. The fundraising goal is set at $100,000.

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