HOPATCONG – Thomas Edison returned to the Lake Hopatcong area with a visit to St. Jude Parish, Saturday. The famous inventor, the guest of honor of Marty Kane, president of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, offered a short presentation of his life, including his time spent in New Jersey and specifically at Lake Hopatcong.
Hank Fincken, a one-man live history performer uses humor to portray the life some of the nation’s greatest characters, played Edison.

Hank Fincken as Thomas Edison at St. Jude Parish.
Hank Fincken as Thomas Edison at St. Jude Parish.

“My first duty is to be as accurate as I can,” said Fincken. “I hope I’m entertaining,” he added.
Fincken has been portraying historical characters since the early 1980s, he said, starting with Johnny Appleseed. He added Edison to his repertoire in 1992. He now portrays eight different characters.
“I’ve never had a real job,” said Fincken who has traveled the world with his show and also served in the Peace Corps as a young man.
For Elise Rapp, seeing Edison ‘in person’ was a treat, recalling a story her mother Eleanor Braun, often told. When she was 9 or 10, said Rapp, her mother, who grew up in West Orange, met the inventor while attending a parade in town.
The Edison presentation was the third of four events offered by the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum. The next event, Lake Hopatcong on the Big Screen—Newsreel Coverage 1918-1941, will be held at the Palace Theater in Netcong on Saturday, November 8 at 7pm. For more information or to register visit the museum’s website at http://www.lakehopatconghistory.com.

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Thomas Edison program was a great evening, food was great as was the program, our family truly enjoyed the evening.

Jan Atwater | October 14, 2014