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Edison Township (usually known as Edison) is a township in Middlesex County, New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker. As of the United States 2000 Census, the township had a total population of 97,687, making it at the time the fifth largest municipality in New Jersey. As of the U.S. Census 2005 estimate, the population of Edison was 100,499, sixth in the state, and a mere 78 people behind Woodbridge Townshipmarker, although the 2006 estimate had the township's population down to 99,523, moving back ahead of Woodbridge, which had 99,208 according the 2006 estimate, as the fifth largest municipality in the state.

What is now Edison Township was originally incorporated as Raritan Township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 17, 1870, from portions of both Piscataway Townshipmarker and Woodbridge Townshipmarker. Portions of the township were taken to form Metuchenmarker (March 20, 1900) and Highland Parkmarker (March 15, 1905). The name was officially changed to Edison Township as of November 10, 1954, based on the results of a referendum passed eight days earlier.

Edison was ranked the 28th most livable small city in America by Money Magazine and the 2nd in New Jersey in 2006 in Money Magazine's "Best Places To Live". In 2008, Money Magazine ranked Edison 35 out of the top 100 places to live in America. Edison Township was not on the 2007 list because that year's list included only municipalities with a population of 50,000 or less.

In the 2006 survey of America's Safest Cities, the township was ranked 23rd, out of 371 cities included nationwide in the 13th annual Morgan Quitno survey.

In 2009, Edison was ranked as one of "America's 10 Best Places to Grow Up" by U.S. News and World Report. The rankings focused on low crime, strong schools, green spaces, and abundance of recreational activities.


Early history

Edison Township, comprising former sections of Piscataway and Woodbridge townships, was settled in the 17th Century. The earliest village was Piscatawaytown, which is centered around St. James Church and the Piscatawaytown Common near the intersection of Plainfield and Woodbridge avenues in south Edison.

The town was previously known as "Raritan Township", not be confused with the current-day Raritan Townshipmarker in Hunterdon Countymarker. Near Piscatawaytown village, a portion of the Township was informally known as "Nixon," after Lewis Nixon, a manufacturer and community leader. Soon after the outbreak of World War I, Nixon established a massive volatile chemicals processing facility there, known as the Nixon Nitration Works. It was the site of the 1924 Nixon Nitration Works disaster, a massive explosion and resulting fire that killed twenty persons and destroyed several square miles of the Township.

In 1954, the township's name was changed to honor inventor Thomas A. Edison. Also on the ballot in 1954 was a failed proposal to change the community's name to Nixon.

The Edison era

In 1876, Thomas Alva Edison (who was sometimes referred to as "the Wizard of Menlo Park") set up his home and research laboratory on the site of an unsuccessful real estate development in Raritan Township called Menlo Park. It was in the Menlo Park Laboratory that Thomas Edison came up with his most famous inventions, including the phonograph and a commercially viable incandescent light bulb filament. Christie Street was the first street in the world to use electric lights for illumination. Edison subsequently moved his home and laboratory to West Orangemarker in 1886.

Modern Edison

Edison is currently one of the fastest growing towns in New Jersey. As of the United States 2000 Census, it was the fifth most-populated municipality in the state, after the cities of Newarkmarker, Jersey Citymarker, Patersonmarker, and Elizabethmarker.

Edison is primarily a middle-class and upper middle-class community with more than 75 ethnic communities represented. Edison has a large Jewish community next to Highland Parkmarker, with multiple synagogues located in Edison. Edison also has a growing Indian community and a number of temples serving the religious needs of the community. Reflecting the number of Edison's residents from Indiamarker and Chinamarker, the township has sister city arrangements with Shijiazhuangmarker, China, and Barodamarker, India. There is also a large Muslim population in Edison, with several mosques serving the community.


Edison is located at (40.538204, -74.378585).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 30.7 square miles (79.5 km2), of which, 30.1 square miles (78.0 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km2) of it (1.86%) is water.

Edison entirely surrounds Metuchenmarker borough, which broke away from Raritan Township in 1900. Edison is bounded on the east by Woodbridgemarker, on the south by the Raritan River (across which are Sayrevillemarker, East Brunswick Townshipmarker, and New Brunswickmarker), on the southwest by Highland Parkmarker (which also broke away from Edison, in 1905), on the west by Piscatawaymarker and South Plainfieldmarker, and on the north by Scotch Plainsmarker and Clarkmarker.


Edison is a transportation hub, with an extensive network of highways passing through the township and connecting to major Northeast cities, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Trenton, and others.

Edison Township hosts various roadways. State roads include Route 27, and 440. US Route 1 also passes through the township. Interstate 287 passes through Edison, where it houses its southern end at I-95. The municipality also houses about a 5-mile section of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95). Exit 10 is located in Edison, featuring a 13-lane toll gate and a “unique” interchange design. When the “dual-dual” setup was created, it first started in Edison Township, and continued north to Exit 14 in Newarkmarker. It wasn’t until 1973 that the “dual-dual” was extended south of 10 to Exit 9 in East Brunswick Townshipmarker (and then extended further south in 1990 to Exit 8A in Monroe Townshipmarker).

Since the 287 freeway connects to Interstate 87/New York State Thruway, Exit 10 is one of the busiest interchanges to be used by tractor-trailers. I-287 is the only freeway that links the New Jersey Turnpike to the New York State Thruway (since the Garden State Parkway prohibits trucks). Because of I-95’s discontinuity in New Jersey, US 1 serves as a regional artery linking the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 287 to I-95 and Interstate 295.

Edison stationmarker, located in South Edison, has New Jersey Transit trains to New York Citymarker and Trentonmarker via the Northeast Corridor line. However, some commuters in North Edison may actually live closer to, and prefer to use, the Metroparkmarker (in neighboring Iselinmarker) or Metuchenmarker stations.

NJ Transit bus service is provided on the 62 route to Newarkmarker; on the 801, 804, 805, 810, 813, 814, 819 local routes, and on the 978 and 979 Wheels routes.

Edison also offers a Light Transit bus service to the Edison train station. This bus route services the apartment communities along Plainfield Avenue and other commuters on Ethel Road. The schedule and route map are available here : Edison Light Transit

In addition, China Airlines provides private bus service to John F. Kennedy International Airportmarker from the Kam Man Food Inc. at 511 Old Post Road in Edison to feed its flight to Taipeimarker, Taiwanmarker.

Edison was selected as one of the first communities by the New Jersey Department of Transportation to have a red-light photo enforcement system operated by RedFlex Traffic Systems, Inc.. The three year contract, which allows for up to two one-year extensions, provides for the system to be installed at up to 75 locations.


Majesco Entertainment, a video game company, has its corporate headquarters in Edison.


Edison is one of the more diverse townships in New Jersey. It and the surrounding communities of Middlesex County are commonly known throughout the state and the New York metro area as being one of the region's main centers of Asian American cultural diversity.

As of the census of 2000, there were 97,687 people, 35,136 households, and 25,895 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,243.0 people per square mile (1,252.2/km2). There were 36,018 housing units at an average density of 1,195.7/sq mi (461.7/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 55.8% White, 6.9% African American, 0.14% Native American, 17.3% Indianmarker, 9% Asian, 2.4% Pacific Islander, 2% from Other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 6.4% of the population.

There were 35,136 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 61.1% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the township the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the township was $80,581, and the median income for a family was $92,451.[18980] Males had a median income of $53,303 versus $36,829 for females. The per capita income for the township was $30,148. About 3.3% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

As part of the 2000 Census, 17.75% of Edison residents identified themselves as being Indian American. This was the highest percentage of Indian American people of any place in the United States with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.


Edison's politics tend to lean towards the Democratic Party. John Kerry carried the township over George W. Bush in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election.

Local government

Edison Township is governed under the Faulkner Act system with a strong Mayor-Council form of government, and is governed by a mayor and a seven-member Township Council. Members of the council are elected at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with three or four seats coming up for election every other year.

The current Mayor of Edison is Jun Choi. Members of the Municipal Council areCouncil President Robert Diehl (2009),Council Vice President Wayne Mascola (2011), AnnMarie Griffin-Ussak (2011), Anthony Massaro (2009), Melissa Perilstein (2011), Sudhanshu Prasad (2011) and Antonia "Toni" Ricigliano (2009).

Election 2005

Running on a good government platform and a call to reform the Democratic Party, Jun Choi won the June 2005 primary by a 56-44% margin, defeating longtime incumbent Mayor George A. Spadoro. This was the first time in Edison history that a challenger won the Democratic primary. Mayor Choi won endorsements from mainstream Democratic leaders including Bill Bradley, for whom he worked on the 2000 presidential campaign, and was unexpectedly endorsed by a number of traditionally candidate- neutral unions in Edison.

In the ensuing general election, Choi did not face a Republican candidate, but instead faced a former Democrat turned Independent, William (Bill) Stephens.

An American Prospect article details aspects that Choi brought together in his 2005 mayoral campaign. They include 1) attracting new voters into the process, 2) a good government message, 3) anti-Wal-Martmarker or economic justice theme and 4) an effective Internet-based progressive mobilization.

On Election Day, November 8, 2005, Jun Choi declared victory, leading in unofficial results with a vote of 12,126 to 11,935. However, due to the small margin of victory, candidate William Stephens pursued a recount and subsequently, an election contest, both without success.

On January 1, 2006, at age 34, Mayor Choi was sworn-in by Governor Jon Corzine as the youngest Mayor in Edison history.

Federal, state, and county representation

Edison is split between the Sixth and Seventh Congressional Districts and is part of New Jersey's 18th Legislative District.


Recent politics in Edison have concerned plans for zoning the township to facilitate the creation of "walkable" communities that will attract businesses, while still maintaining open spaces and parks and easy access to commuter transit. This strategy is meant to encourage "Smart Growth."

Wal-Mart Controversy

Politics in Edison since the 2005 mayoral election have been polarized by an attempt by retail giant Wal-Martmarker to open a store in central Edison near the junction of Interstate 287 and New Jersey Route 27. One main aspect of Mayor Choi's campaign was his opposition to the construction of a Wal-Mart in Edison; Choi vowed to fight Walmart from constructing their planned store, and over 100 volunteers joined his cause. However, Wal-Mart took legal action against Choi, and a Superior Court of New Jersey ruled against Choi, ordering the city to grant Wal-Mart a building permit. The store opened in early November 2008.


Public schools

Based on data from 2007-2008, New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked J.P.marker Stevens High Schoolmarker 52[18981] out of 316 public high schools surveyed in New Jersey, with Edison High Schoolmarker ranked 177[18982], New Jersey Monthly. Edison has 11 elementary schools, four middle schools, and two high schools that are part of the Edison Township Public Schoolsmarker. As of the 2006-07 school year, the district's 17 schools had an enrollment of 13,697 students and 1,130.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis) for a student-teacher ratio of 12.1.

The two public high schools separate the South and North ends of Edison. In the Edison High Schoolmarker zone to the south, there are six K - 5 elementary schools: Benjamin Franklin Elementary, James Monroe Elementary, John Marshall Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Lindeneau Elementary and Washington Elementary. John Marshall, Lindeneau, and Washington graduates attend Thomas Jefferson Middle Schoo for grades 6 - 8. James Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, and Lincoln graduates go to [ Herbert Hoover Middle School for grades 6 - 8. Thomas Jefferson and Herbert Hoover graduates go to Edison High Schoolmarker, for grades 9-12.

In the J.P.marker Stevens High Schoolmarker zone there are five K-5 elementary schools. They are James Madison Primary School (K-2), who then move on to James Madison Intermediate School for grades 3-5; Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Menlo Park Elementary and Woodbrook Elementary. Menlo Park and Woodbrook graduates go to Woodrow Wilson Middle School for grades 6-8. James Madison Intermediate and MLK Jr. graduates go to John Adams Middle Schoolmarker for grades 6-8. Woodrow Wilson Middle School and John Adams Middle School graduates move on to J.P.marker Stevens High Schoolmarker for grades 9-12.

Middlesex County College

Middlesex County Collegemarker (or MCC) is a public, two-year community college located in Edison at the intersection of Woodbridge Avenue and Mill Road.

Rutgers University

Rutgers Universitymarker's Livingston campus located on the former Kilmer Army Base is partially located in Edison.

Other Schools/ Private Schools

Middlesex County College is also home to the Middlesex County Academymarker for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies, an engineering-based high school, which is part of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High Schoolsmarker. The high school is free for all Middlesex County residents, but admission is based on a test, past grades, and other academic and extracurricular activities. About 140 students from around the county attend the Academy.

There are many private schools in Edison, including the Wardlaw-Hartridge Schoolmarker, Bishop George Ahr High Schoolmarker, Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva School, Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion, Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva, St. Helena School, St. Matthew School, Lakeview School and Our Lady Of Peace School. Additionally, the private for-profit technical school Lincoln Tech (formerly the Cittone Institute) has a campus on Oak Tree Road in Edison.

In Edison the sizable Asian/Chinesemarker population had pushed for years to establish a Chinese School where students could learn the Chinese language. In 1998, Huaxia Edison Chinese School (which teaches Simplified Chinese) was established in Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Huaxia currently resides in Edison High School. However, many families from Taiwan send their children to Edison Chinese School, located at John Adams Middle Schoolmarker, which teaches Traditional Chinese.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Edison Township include:

Notable places

  • Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) has a Hindu temple on Woodbridge Avenue
  • Camp Kilmer, a World War II era army post, was partially located in what is now Edison.
  • The Clara Barton downtown area.
  • Dismal Swamp, preserved wetlands area.
  • Durham Woods, a complex of several apartment buildings and scene of the Durham Woods Firemarker in 1994
  • Edison Landfill, closed landfill site undergoing environmental cleanup
  • Edison has three public libraries: the Main Library is on Plainfield Avenue in South Edison, near Edison stationmarker; North Edison Branch is on Grove Avenue, and the Clara Barton Branch is in the Clara Barton downtown area, on Hoover Avenue. Library service also includes a popular Bookmobile.
  • The Edison Municipal Complex, located off Route 27 next to the Edison Square/Clarion Hotel office park.
  • Edison Stationmarker in south Edison
  • Ford Motor Company had a plant here, the Ford Assembly Plant on U.S. Route 1, assembling the Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks. The plant closed in 2004, with about 1,420 workers losing their jobs. Hartz Mountain purchased the property and is proposing a mixed-use retail center to begin construction in 2007. Township officials have negotiated no housing on the site, to be called "Edison Towne Square." Instead, it is hoped that a community center can be built at no cost to taxpayers alongside the retail and commercial space.
  • John F. Kennedy Hospital, located on James Street off Parsonage Road.
  • ILR Landfill, closed landfill site owned by Industrial Land Reclaiming (ILR) providing power to Middlesex County's wastewater treatment operations from methane gas recovery.
  • Inman Sports Club, Located off Inman Avenue. Some of the best in the world make appearances here, for the wrestling promotion, Ring of Honor
  • Jewish Community Center/YMCA or Community Campus located off Oak Tree Road.
  • Nixon Park, a large neighborhood surrounding Lincoln School. A "cookie-cutter" development of 3-bedroom homes built in the very early 1950s, homes there were largely purchased by WWII veterans using the GI Bill. Constructed at the same time, and adjoining Nixon Park, were the Lincoln Village, Vineyard Village and Washington Park developments. Children from Lincoln and Vineyard Villages attended Lincoln School. Washington Park surrounded both the Washington School and the Saint Matthew's Catholic School (grades 1-8).
  • Kin-Buc Landfill, Former Landfill and Superfund site where 70 million gallons of hazardous waste was dumped.
  • Menlo Park Mallmarker, one of the more popular malls in New Jersey, located at the intersection of Route 1 and Parsonage Road.
  • Oak Tree Pond, site of a minor battle of the American Revolutionary War and whose conversion into a park ended a real estate development controversy.
  • Oak Tree Road in Edison and Iselinmarker is known for its large concentration of Indianmarker stores and restaurants.
  • Raritan Center, a major industrial park anchored by the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center.
  • Roosevelt Hospital, a hospice located just East of Roosevelt Park.
  • Roosevelt Park, located between Parsonage Road and Route 1, west of the Mall.
  • St. Helena Roman Catholic Church, off New Dover Road.
  • The Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museummarker, in Menlo Park.
  • Woodbrook Corners, a residential area near Woodrow Wilson Middle School and Woodbrook Elementary School
  • Edison Chamber of Commerce


Edison is the first level in the video game Tony Hawk's Underground.


  1. "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 170 re Edison Township, p. 173 re Raritan Township.
  2. Best Places to Live 2008, Money Magazine, accessedJuly 27, 2008
  3. 13th Annual Safest (and Most Dangerous) Cities: Top and Bottom 25 Cities Overall, Morgan Quitno. Accessed October 30, 2006.
  4. [1]
  5. Staff. "Edison May Be the Name Of Raritan After Vote", The New York Times, September 5, 1954. Accessed November 10, 2008.
  6. An Edison Historical Timeline, Township of Edison. Accessed July 24, 2007.
  7. Menlo Park Museum FAQsHe left Menlo Park- one of the greates laboratories ever. Accessed August 20, 2007.
  8. "POSITION PAPER ON SISTER STATE AND SISTER CITY RELATIONS BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND CHINA", Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales, dated November 14, 2001. Accessed December 26, 2007.
  9. Sister Cities Partnerships Abroad Not Directly Hit, Sister Cities International. Accessed December 26, 2007. "Baroda, Gujarat State, sister city to Edison, New Jersey"
  10. Middlesex County Bus/Rail Connections, New Jersey Transit. Accessed June 21, 2007.
  11. " Complimentary Bus Service Provided To/From JFK International Airport Terminal One," China Airlines
  12. " Redflex Traffic Systems Press Release
  13. " Contact Us." Majesco Entertainment. Retrieved on October 20, 2009.
  14. " Company Profile." Majesco Entertainment. Retrieved on October 20, 2009.
  16. Asian Indian Communities, Epodunk. Accessed June 28, 2006.
  17. 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 84.
  18. Mayor Jun H. Choi, Edison Township. Accessed August 8, 2008.
  19. Council Members, Edison Township. Accessed August 8, 2008.
  20. Jersey Boy: The election of a Korean-American mayor in Edison, New Jersey may offer a blueprint for Democrats nationwide in 2006, American Prospect article January 9, 2006.
  21. 2006 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 55. Retrieved on 2006-08-30 from
  22. Edison Smart Growth Planning Summit
  23. Green, Adam and Stoller, Matt. Jersey Boy. Accessed online at The American Prospect website on September 29, 2012.
  24. Norman, Al. Edison, NJ. Mayor Loses Courageous Legal Battle With Wal-Mart.
  25. TOP Public High Schools IN NEW JERSEY: Methodology, New Jersey Monthly.
  26. [2], New Jersey Monthly.
  27. Data for the Edison Township Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 2, 2009.
  28. Assemblyman Barnes's Legislative Website, accessed March 31, 2007
  29. About David Bryan. Accessed December 31, 2006.
  30. Al Chez - Brass Consultant, The Bushwackers. Accessed July 24, 2007. "When the family moved to Edison N.J. his father helped start up a local drum corps called The Saints."
  31. Pajich, Bob. "Lee Watkinson Wins Aussie Millions Event No. 7", January 11, 2008. Accessed November 10, 2008.
  32. State of the Arts, New Jersey Network. Accessed July 24, 2007. "Spend a day in the life of Patrick McDonnell, Edison New Jersey resident and creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip Mutts."
  33. Aalok Mehta at Internet Movie Database.
  34. Brittany Murphy - Interview, Interview , May 2000. "Breathy and infectious, Murphy, an only child raised by her mom in Edison, New Jersey, was in a bind the night we talked in a Manhattan apartment."
  35. Caiazza, Tom. "Five million miles and one heck of a view: Astronaut returns after space flight; township names day in his honor", Woodbridge Sentinel, May 9, 2007. Accessed June 4, 2007. "Polansky, an Edison native and graduate of J.P. Stevens High School, returned to his alma mater Monday after commanding STS-116, the space shuttle mission to the International Space Station last December."
  36. Susan Sarandon's Story. Accessed December 31, 2006.
  37. Joel Stein - Columnist, Los Angeles Times. Accessed December 31, 2006.
  38. Staff. "DARRIN A. WINSTON, 42, of Clarksburg in MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP", Asbury Park Press, August 17, 2008. Accessed September 4, 2008. "DARRIN A. WINSTON, 42, of Clarksburg in MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, passed away Friday, Aug. 15, at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township. Born in Passaic, he lived in Edison before moving to Millstone Township 10 years ago."
  39. [3] Accessed October 27, 2009.
  40. CNN: Ford's announcement to shed 35000 jobs
  41. Hartz Mountain to donate land for community center in Edison, Edison-Metuchen Sentinel, Jan. 31, 2007

External links



* 100 Best Places to Live 2006: #28 - Edison, Money . Accessed December 4, 2006.


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