Model T, en route to June opening of N.J. Hall of Fame, makes public appearance

The Model T: What else would you expect to find when the New Jersey Hall of Fame opens its entertainment and learning center in June at its new home in American Dream?

World-famous inventor Thomas Alva Edison, the Wizard of Menlo Park, was among the first to be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2008, receiving more public votes than any other inductee. Now, 16 years later, Edison is among the first to arrive in the new Hall of Fame home, in the form of his Model T, a gift from Henry Ford.

On Tuesday, the antique car was exhibited during a ceremony at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange. It will soon make its final journey to serve as the centerpiece for a simulated ride to the moon for visitors at the new Entertainment and Learning Center opening at American Dream in June — though we’re guessing it won’t take the Turnpike.

About the Hall

Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the state of New Jersey — and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 15 ceremonies for more than 200 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame.

The NJHOF endeavors to present schoolchildren with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, like Hackensack Meridian Health, without which none of its endeavors would be possible.

“We want Edison’s spirit of innovation to inspire new generations of inventors at his new home at American Dream,” John Keegan, chairman and president of the Charles Edison Fund and Edison Innovation Foundation and chairman emeritus of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, said.

The 10,000-square-foot Entertainment and Learning Center becomes the permanent home for New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees and state-of-the-art exhibits like the simulated space ride called “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Visitors can sing on a karaoke stage alongside holograms of Gloria Gaynor, Wyclef Jean, Frankie Valli and many other musical legends. And they’ll be able to interview holograms of Danny DeVito, Jason Alexander, Connie Chung, Laurie Hernandez and many more notable Jersey greats in the “Late Night Jersey” Television Studio.

Jon Hanson, chairman of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, said the vintage Model T is a perfect addition.

“Thanks to the Edison Innovation Foundation for letting us showcase this Model T, a model of American business innovation, at our new American Dream home,” he said. “Soon, New Jersey will be one of the only states in America with a Hall of Fame, showcasing our state’s best from all walks of life. Our patrons will be inspired to become their best through this one-of-a-kind Education and Learning Center.”