Ohio sculptor Alan Cottrill, who created Edison’s rendition for the U.S. Capitol, gifted Milan with its own version of the larger-than-life sculpture. The village proudly is displaying it for all to appreciate on the front lawn of Milan’s town hall.
“One of our responsibilities is to take care of this beautiful Milan town hall,” Milan Township trustee Dan Frederick said. “When we were approached with accepting an Edison statue, we all agreed the front lawn of this historic town hall would be greatly enhanced by adding the statue while also providing appropriate and highly visible setting for such an important gift to Milan.”
The statue features a special, buckeye nut-shaped base, on which Edison stands proudly holding up two of his most famous inventions, the light bulb and phonograph. Cottrill made it in the likeness of the one displayed in the nation’s capital, with the exception of the Ohio-specific base, which he said was a special gift for the Milan version.
Cottrill said he loved his time in the village he felt compelled to leave a token of his appreciation for the great inventor.
“I’ve never been to a town with the energy of Milan — from your congeniality, your collective energy, the people,” he said.
“It’s incredible; I’m just overwhelmed with the energy you guys have. It’s just been such an honor to work with everyone. It’s an honor to be able to represent the greatest inventor of all time. I love this place. I love coming up here.”
Milan Mayor Dick Maloney said “it’s a nice feeling” to represent Edison throughout the stages of his life with the addition of the statue.
“The nicest part is that he (Cottrill) made two statues and he was generous enough to give us one when he didn’t have to give us anything,” he added.
“Even though Thomas Edison was only born here he’s still our biggest (native),” the mayor continued. “We have a statue over across the way at the park and now there’s one here at city hall. So now we have two statues of Edison — one when he’s a child and one when he’s an adult, plus his museum. It’s like now we’ve got everything.”