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350 Years of New Jersey History
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innovation, liberty, diversity graphic

A Place in New Jersey History:

Innovation, Liberty and Diversity in
New Jersey’s historic buildings and sites

Places that made history in the Garden State, selected by the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office, Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey—350 Years of Innovation, Liberty and Diversity
richly illustrated in 36 selected historic buildings and sites.

Tangible evidence of the dreams, aspirations and great accomplishments of New Jersey’s people over three-and-a-half centuries abounds in the built environment of the Garden State.   Many exceptional examples of historic places link us back to the ways diverse, innovative, freedom-loving New Jerseyans shaped their destiny and in so doing had a profound impact on our nation and the world.

The State Historic Preservation Office has chosen 36 representative sites that illustrate this.  Each month of the 2014 anniversary year, three outstanding locations on the 350th themes of Innovation, Liberty and Diversity will be spotlighted here.  Come back often to learn about them, and better still, make plans to visit them!

In fulfilling its mission to protect and promote public and private stewardship of New Jersey’s architectural and archaeological heritage, the State Historic Preservation Office identifies and documents National Historic Landmarks and properties listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, and monitors the impact of public projects on historic properties.





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A Place In New Jersey History:
innovation yellow graphic Bell Labs Horn Antenna

New Jersey-350 years of Innovation

Bell Labs

Union County, Murray Hill
Holmdel Township, Monmouth County
National Historic Landmark

Liberty gray graphic Portrait of Alice Paul New Jersey-350 years of Liberty


Burlington County,
Mount Laurel Township
Birthplace of Alice Paul
National Historic Landmark
Diversity blue graphic Emilio Carranza Monument New Jersey-350 years of Diversity

Carranza Memorial

Burlington County,
Tabernacle Township
Wharton State Forest

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Innovation: Bell Labs


New Jersey - 350 years of Innovation
Innovation yellow graphic
Bell Labs Horn Antenna Bell Labs

Union County, Murray Hill
Holmdel Township, Monmouth County
National Historic Landmark

Of the many corporate research campuses that sprouted up in 20th-century New Jersey, one stood head and shoulders above the rest, both in the public imagination and in the estimation of the people who worked there: Bell Labs. At Murray Hill in December 1947, three Bell Labs scientists announced their invention of the first transistor—perhaps the most famous invention made there. The transistor was essential to the miniaturization of all electronic devices, and it earned the Nobel Prize in physics for its originators. Bell Labs scientists and technicians brought us many things, from solar panels to the Unix operating system that powers so many of our computers.

Begun in New York City in 1925, the labs moved in 1941 to Murray Hill in New Providence, Union County. Murray Hill remained Bell Labs' primary headquarters, but a satellite campus was built in Holmdel, Monmouth County, where an office building designed by internationally-famous architect Eero Saarinen opened in 1961.

At its height, Bell Labs employed about 15,000 people in an astonishingly wide variety of specialized fields. Bell Labs not only had staff who could conceive innovations, they could also discover the science to explain them, make the working models to demonstrate them, and transform prototypes into actual products. Because of the aura that surrounded Bell Labs, it often seemed that the Bell Telephone System itself somehow belonged to New Jersey in the mid-20th century.

The story of Bell Labs is explained more fully in Jon Gertner, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation (2012); Jeremy Bernstein, Three Degrees Above Zero: Bell Labs in the Information Age (1984); and John Brooks, Telephone: The Wondrous Invention that Changed a World and Spawned a Corporate Giant (1976). Search the following terms online: Bell Labs, transistor, Unix, systems theory, and Horn Antenna.

Bell Labs Horn Antenna Bell Labs at Murray Hill

Horn Antenna, Bell Labs, Holmdel Township.

Bell Labs, Murray Hill.  Courtesy of The Porticus Centre, Beatrice Technologies, Inc., Subsidiary of Beatrice Companies, Inc.

For more information on this site and subject, search the following terms: “Bell Labs”, “Bell System History”, “Horn Antenna”

Liberty: USS New Jersey BB-62

New Jersey - 350 years of Liberty
Liberty Gray Graphic
Portrait of Alice Paul Paulsdale

Burlington County,
Mount Laurel Township
Birthplace of Alice Paul
National Historic Landmark

Lifelong suffragist and women's rights activist Alice Paul (1885-1977) was born at Paulsdale, the family home in Mount Laurel, to devout Quaker parents who strongly believed in the equality of men and women. Her mother, Tacie Parry Paul, became interested in the women’s rights movement as a member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and brought young Alice along to local meetings.

Originally set on a career as an academic, Paul became involved with the suffrage movement in England while studying there in 1906, participating in militant protests and hunger strikes. On returning to the United States, Paul formed the National Woman’s Party, which advocated for women's voting rights through non-violent protests and civil disobedience. Paul actively supported a voting rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. During World War I, while other suffragists scaled back advocacy to focus on the war effort, Paul sent women to picket the White House. Her “silent sentinels” stood in front of the White House six days a week, eight hours a day, holding banners admonishing President Woodrow Wilson that “An Autocrat at Home is a Poor Champion of Democracy Abroad.” Jailed for the protest, Paul and her fellow picketers went on a hunger strike.

Paul's determined struggle ultimately paid off when Congress passed a suffrage bill in 1919, which was ratified the following year as the 19th Amendment. Paul then began a 50-year campaign for an Equal Rights Amendment which, although passed by Congress in 1972, never achieved ratification by the requisite number of states. A tireless advocate, Paul also contributed sections of the United Nations Charter and Preamble and the 1964 Civil Rights Act addressing women’s equality.

Never having a home of her own, the family residence served as Paul's home base for much of her life. Sold outside the family in 1958, dedicated volunteers of the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation battled developers to preserve Paulsdale, acquiring the property in 1990. The rehabilitated Victorian dwelling now houses the Alice Paul Institute, which honors Paul’s legacy by preserving her birthplace, fostering leadership in young women, and supporting social equality organizations.

The Paul family farmstead, circa 1900 Alice Paul's house today

Paulsdale, the Paul family farmstead, circa 1900. Courtesy Alice Paul Institute

Paulsdale today, home of the Alice Paul Institute. Courtesy Alice Paul Institute


For more information on this site and subject, search the following terms: “Alice Paul” “Paulsdale” “Woman's Suffrage United States” “Nineteenth Amendment U.S. Constitution” “Equal Rights Amendment”

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Diversity: Abbott Farm

New Jersey - 350 years of Diversity
Diversity Blue Box Emilio Carranza's Memorial Monument Carrenza Memorial

Burlington County,
Tabernacle Township
Wharton State Forest

The Carranza Monument commemorates Captain Emilio Carranza, who earned fame as the “Mexican Lindbergh” for his 1928 goodwill flight from Mexico City to New York. Born in 1905 in the state of Coahuila, Mexico, Carranza achieved distinction as a pilot and military veteran by the age of 22. He met Charles Lindbergh in 1927 after his history-making transatlantic crossing and later flight from New York to Mexico City, both of which spurred the young pilot's interest in international aviation. The following year, Carranza built an exact replica of Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis which he called the Mexican Excelsior, and announced plans to fly the craft from the Mexican capital to New York City as a goodwill ambassador between his homeland and the U.S. Shortly after leaving New York on the return flight, Carranza met a tragic end when his plane crashed in the Pine Barrens on July 12, 1928.

Carranzo’s death was mourned throughout Mexico and the United States. Thousands of people visited the crash site in the Pine Barrens and turned out to pay respects along the route of the funeral train carrying his remains from New York to Mexico City. President Calvin Coolidge expressed the hope that “Captain Carranza’s aim in coming to the United States would serve to bind our two nations even more closely.” Buried in his hometown, Carranzo was awarded the posthumous rank of major.

Three years after his death, Carranza was memorialized by a monument at the crash site in Tabernacle Township, Burlington County, now located within Wharton State Forest. Funded by contributions from Mexican school children, the monument was built with stone quarried and shipped from Coahuila. Since his death, Mount Holly American Legion Post 11 remembers Carranzo's legacy as an aviator and international ambassador at ceremonies at the monument on the anniversary of his death.

Caranza's airplane, Mexico Excelsior, 1928 Emilio Carranza and Charles Lindbergh, 1927    
Carranza's airplane, the Mexico-Excelsior, 1928
Emilio Carranza and Charles A. Lindbergh, 1927
For more information on this site and subject, search the following terms: “Emilio Carranza” “Mexican Aviator” “Wharton State Forest Carranza Memorial” “Carranza American Legion”

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Last Updated: April 4, 2019