Friday, January 21, 2011

Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL


Thomas Edison was an American inventor, businessman, and scientist. According to Wikipedia he holds more than 1,093 patents to his name! He had great intelligence and invented the phonograph, motion picture camera and electrical light bulb. When Edison wanted to create a winter retreat to escape the cold winters of his home base in New Jersey, he decided upon a property along the Caloosahatchee river. To create his winter retreat, Edison created a sketch that included elaborate homes, exotic gardens, maintenance shop, and laboratory. (The Edison estate is in the picture below to the left behind the row of quilts.)

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One of the highlight events during October at the Edison and Ford Estates was the Estates Clothesline Quilt Show. Each quilt was unique and had a story to tell. My favorite was the quilt that looked like a face! The designer of this quilt had a sense of humor and great imagination.


I even got to meet Mr Edison, his wife, and Henry Ford! They looked really young for their age! In the background, several antique Ford automobiles were displayed on the lawn for visitors to see.


This is the Henry Ford Winter retreat that was purchased in 1916 to provide a place for him to vacation with Thomas Edison. This property was called “The Mangoes” due to the abundance of mango trees.

Inside Ford’s Estate

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 Inside Edison’s Estate

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The view from the estates includes the relaxing waters of Caloosahatchee river.


The Moonlight Garden was designed by Ellen Biddle-Shipman for Mina Edison in 1929 and is located behind his office.

 cottage shop

The Ford’s Caretaker’s cottage has been restored and turned into the Estate’s gift shop.


The Edison’s botanical gardens contain thousands of plants from around the world. Edison used the different tropical plants in many of his experiments. He studied plants for their industrial purposes and his research also included the search for a plant that produced latex to solve the “rubber crisis” of the time.

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The educational experience is taken a step further inside the Edison and Ford Museum. The museum features a collection of inventions and artifacts inside its air conditioned premises. The seven different galleries inside the museum are each a different category that takes visitors through history.

For more information on tours:

1 comment:

  1. THANKS for posting this, I didn't even know about this place! We'll definitely visit it after our ECHO Farm Tour in N. Fort Myers, FL. --Lenn