1940 EDISON CADILLAC LIMOUSINE, Series 75
This storied Cadillac, now part of the Museum’s permanent antique vehicle exhibit, is a Model 7533 Imperial seven-passenger limousine, and was originally purchased from Wells Cadillac Dealership in West Orange, NJ. Purchased for the use of Thomas A. Edison’s second wife and widow, Mina Miller Edison, this car is one of 338 built of that year and model. Weighing 4,790 pounds and costing $3,360, this elegant car contains the original upholstery and interior furnishings, outfitted with two rear jump seats, a division window and of course an audio microphone for giving the chauffeur instructions, “Home, Jeeves”.
Unique to this particular vehicle is the chauffeur’s lamp or opera light, a small light fixture attached to the roof to facilitate the location of the car for the owners. For instance, after a night at the theater, the family leaves the auditorium looking for where their chauffeur parked the limo when….pop….the light is lit by the chauffeur and there it is, the light with the unique color and shape.
Specifications: 141 inch wheelbase, 140 HP V-8 L head engine, 346 cubic inches, 4-wheel hydraulic brakes, three-speed manual transmission, privacy divider window, AM radio, rear heat, inlaid wood trim around windows and windshield, interior color is mohair tan. When ordering, new owners had a choice of 15 solid colors and multiple two-tone combinations.
Thomas A. Edison’s first wife died at the age of 29 in 1884, leaving three children under the age of 12. His second marriage in 1886 was to Mina Miller, daughter of Akron, Ohio inventor Lewis Miller. Mina raised those three children and she and Thomas had three more. She was 20 and he was 39 when they wed, and when he died in 1931 they had been married for 45 years.