Friday, October 15 – We did something a little unusual today, we split up on our sightseeing. Marsha loves museums, and Paul is only lukewarm on most of them. Marsha wanted to see the Edison & Ford Winter Estate in Fort Meyers, Florida, today. Paul having recently toured the Ford Museum in Michigan felt it would be too similar and chose instead to run some errands while Marsha enjoyed herself. He dropped her off at the Museum and returned after his errands and read his Kindle until she was done.
The Edison & Ford Winter Estate includes many galleries interpreting the lives and inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The museum is self-guided and for an extra small fee you can obtain an audio guide that gives an audio description of what you are seeing. This place is nothing like the Ford Museum in Michigan.
On the tour, Marsha experienced exhibits on Edison inventions, Ford automobiles and viewed special exhibits reflecting history, science and the arts.
Henry Ford’s patent for the carburetor in 1898. This is his first of 161 U. S. patents that he received.
Marsha said there are so many awesome exhibits that everyone should be sure to visit this terrific museum!
The Banyan tree exhibits were of special interest. Edison, Ford and Firestone were working to find a natural source of rubber that could be grown in the United States. The Banyan tree was one of over 17,000 plant samples tested for Edison's rubber research. This tree, Ficus benghalenis, was successfully planted and can be found throughout the Edison and Ford estates.
The grounds were amazing. Marsha really enjoyed the audio guide. The gardens contain more than 1,700 plants representing more than 400 species from six continents.
The first thing Edison did was build a pier so that contents for the homes and laboratory could be delivered. There use to be a small pergola at the end of the pier where Edison would fish, and his wife could be shaded from the sun.
The original main house design included a kitchen and dining room in the north wing. In 1906 the Edisons had this part of the house remodeled to serve as family bedroom suites. Visitors used the dining room and kitchen in the newly renovated Guest House. The Main House includes Library, Study and Edison's Den.
The next photo is Edison’s library. The books in the library are Edison’s original books. Also, all the lights are original and all Edison’s design.
Henry Ford purchased his home in 1916, providing him the opportunity to vacation with Thomas Edison. The Ford porch, adjacent to the vintage garage, offers a spectacular riverfront view of the Caloosahatchee River. The Ford Catetaker's Cottage was used as a garage and caretaker's home for the Ford family.
Marsha said there is so much to see and experience. She highly recommends everyone to visit the Edison & Ford Winter Estate. Even Paul said he just might have enjoyed this tour.
After the tour, we headed a short distance across Fort Meyers to visit two close friends that recently moved here from Houston, Texas. Sandra and Leo were full-timers we spent many fun times with at the Houston Elks Lodge campground. They were the unofficial campground hosts at the Lodge and always made us feel at home. We miss this couple while staying at the Houston Elks. It just isn't the same without them there.
We have moved on to Palm Harbor just outside St. Petersburg. We have one more post to do about our visit to the Fort Myers area before we share our St. Petersburg adventures.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!