The Past is Ever Present

Instead of staying home bundled up this Sunday, why not come out for an afternoon party at the Hoboken Historical Museum?

Exhibit Closing Party Sunday, Jan. 25 from 1 to 3 p.m.

You and your friends are invited to a special exhibit closing party at the Hoboken Historical Museum Sunday, Jan. 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. This will be your last chance to see how the town of Hoboken played an important role during WWI, as depicted in the exhibit titled Heaven, Hell or Hoboken: A City Transformed by WWI. If you’re new to Hoboken, or have never been to the Museum before, this is a great opportunity to join in the festivities. We’ll also pay tribute to all the volunteers who contribute to our success. If you’d like to volunteer your time — from participating during the day of an event to actually serving one of the planning committees — this is your chance to find out more. You can also email or call the Museum at 201-656-2240 for more information.

Thomas Edison Talk by Edison Scholar Sunday, Jan. 25 at 4 p.m.

Then at 4 p.m. at the Museum, you’ll learn why former Stevens Institute of Technology professor and Thomas Edison scholar, Mary Ann Hellrigel, describes this prolific inventor — with over 1,000 patents by age 70 — as the Bill Gates of his day. You’ll also learn the role that his famous Edison Labs in West Orange played during WWI.
Even before the US entered WWI, the Secretary of the Navy asked Edison to head up what became the Naval Consulting Board to accelerate research into U.S. preparedness for modern warfare. In an interview published in May 1915 in the New York Times, Edison envisioned a modern military that was “more a matter of machines than men,” with such innovations as a volunteer army, airplanes, a system of armory factories, improved naval vessels and submarine detection and torpedo evasion technology, and federally funded research laboratories. In a matter of two years, Edison generated 45 inventions and requested $5 million from the government to fund to his lab work and to do testing off the Atlantic Coast in Sandy Hook, N.J. and Florida. Learn what happened to those inventions and plans during this exciting talk, which is the last one planned around this exhibit. Admission is $5; free for Museum members.

Black Maria Film Festival at the Shipyard Marina boathouse on 13th St. Pier Monday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.

The festival is named for Thomas Edison’s Black Maria, the world’s first motion picture studio, where just over 100 years ago, the inventor experimented with filmmaking at his West Orange laboratory. The Black Maria festival is recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the short films (documentary, animation, and live action) category and has earned several state awards. This event allows you to see cutting-edge works from independent film and video-makers. A festival curator will introduce the screenings and facilitate a lively audience discussion. The event runs 90 minutes. Admission is $5, and seating is limited, so please call 201-656-2240, option 8, to reserve your place.

Historian Addresses Lincoln’s Legacy at the Shipyard Marina boathouse on 13th Street Pier Sunday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m.

In honor of Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12), the Museum is proud to have Frank Coburn, former curator and director of the museum at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., give a talk on Abraham Lincoln.
Coburn was most inspired by the great man’s writings on the promise of the Declaration of Independence, which Lincoln felt granted all men the “right to rise” to their full potential, regardless of their origins. Coburn was especially drawn more to Lincoln’s intellectual struggle in the context of his own background. Lincoln’s father had worked for a time in coal mines alongside slaves whose owners collected the wages for their work. This helped inform Lincoln in the famous debates with Stephen Douglas that slavery is not just morally wrong, but also that no man should profit from another’s labor. Admission is $5; free for Museum members.

Museum location: 1301 Hudson St. Phone: 201.656.2240. Website:

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