Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog - Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Fourth of July at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 29th

fourth of july kidsDid you know the Fourth of July was Thomas Edison’s favorite holiday? He would devote the entire day to his children, waking up early to set off a giant firecracker in his yard. The children would dress in Fourth of July costumes and Edison and the children would throw Chinese firecrackers. Edison even made his own fireworks, calling them incendiary torpedoes that had TNT added. As a part of the Fourth of July celebration, the family enjoyed ice cream and watermelon, just as many American families do today.

Fourth of July meant so much to Edison. He used red, white and blue bulbs when he made the first strand of Christmas lights to represent the color of the Fourth of July!

Edison Ford is offering FREE admission to United States Veterans and their families on July 4, 2016. Free admission to Edison Ford includes a self-guided audio tour of the historic homes, gardens, laboratory and museum. To receive free admission, veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers. Current servicemen and women presenting active military identification always receive free admission throughout the year. Veterans also will receive a 10% discount on Edison Ford membership and items purchased in the Museum Store, Ford Cottage Shoppe, Garden Shoppe and Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops on July 4.

Edison Ford is a member of Blue Star Museums, so all active duty military will also receive free admission. The program includes active duty military in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and NOAA Commissioned Corps. Up to five family members may also be admitted free. The Blue Star Museums free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card.

Celebrate America’s birthday at Florida’s own “National Treasure.” So wear your red, white and blue and come
celebrate the Fourth of July with us at Edison Ford.

Edison Ford Wild Wizard Program Receives $10,000 Grant … Again this Year

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 26th

camp kids with lego robot and jcThanks to patrons Fred and Gingy Quinn, the Wild Wizard Program will add more technology to its Computer Engineering and Robotics Program.

With their help, we now have the resources of laptops for the young scientists in Edison Ford classes, a fancy graphics printer and camera. The students are learning basic binary math, how to write programs and see them through to finished products.

This year, Wild Wizard Pearce Augustenborg will add: 50 prepared microscope slides for Middle and High School levels, stain chemicals for microscope slides, anti-chemical safety splash goggles, laptops with running CAD software, 3D pen filament, Van de Graaff Generator with humidity control, forensic chemistry classroom kit, student environmental test kit, plus much more.

Thank you Fred and Gingy for your support of this program. It’s really a great success in Edison Ford Summer Inventor’s Camps, Young Inventor’s Classes year-round, homeschool year round and a whole host of other applicatedison botions. sebastian and kids with computer

3d printer

Wild Wizard Shows Available

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 24th

Pearce at school show with robotThanks to a grant from GE Services and the Don Keehan Family, the Edison Ford Wild Wizard is on the go on Fridays. The Wild Wizard Show is available for Title I Schools at no charge and to all other schools and groups at a nominal per-person charge. Schedules are filling up so it is best to call soon.

The Wild Wizard Show includes lots of hands-on interactive science demonstrations that involve both students and teachers. There is a pre-visit curriculum and materials available for teachers to prepare students and to follow up from the show.

In addition, there is a separate in-service that can be scheduled throughout the week. Of course, Wild Wizard Shows can also be presented at Edison Ford. Edison Ford Wild Wizard is a year-round program so scheduling has already begun for next school year 2016 – 2017. The Wild Wizard Shows are performed by Edison Ford educator Wild Wizard Pearce Augustenborg and his Muckers.

Contact Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar, to register at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or by calling 239-334-7419.

Summer Interns at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 23rd

Every summer, interns join the various departments at Edison Ford to help with on-going and new projects. Interns work as support staff in the Inventor’s Summer Camp, as well as in the offices of marketing, development, special events, horticulture and curatorial, plus other locations throughout the site. They earn required internship hours for school and gain invaluable work experience. While most interns are unpaid at Edison Ford, some receive pay thanks to patron scholarships. If you would like more information or want to help support our internship program, please contact Nancy Achter in the Development Office at 239-335-3678.

This year some of the interns include:

summer 2016 interns

Volunteer at Edison Ford!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 21st

holly and nancySummertime is here and many of our volunteers have gone home, so we need your help!

You can choose to volunteer in the gardens, as a docent, in our retail shops, or in one of the offices. We provide an orientation, guided tours, garden tours and training in your area of interest, so no experience is required!

garden volunteers jim hoptonIf you have an interest in history, you could be a docent on one of the historic porches, in the museum or in the laboratory.  Gardening enthusiasts are always welcome to help with the weeding, watering and trimming. If you like being outdoors and amongst nature, this is the place to be.  If you prefer to be inside and like the retail environment you can always volunteer to work in any of our retail stores. Or if you prefer office work we need help there also!

Name badges are given out to volunteers after 50 hours and volunteers also earn an Extended Family Membership to Edison Ford (when they have volunteered for 100 hours) which also includes over 850 reciprocal museums and gardens throughout the nation. Gift certificates are also given out for numerous levels of hours worked. We also have an Annual Volunteer Recognition Celebration to honor our volunteers. This is also a great place to make new friends. Volunteer applications are available on our website, or you can stop in and pick up an application. For more information call the Volunteer Department at 239-334-7419.

shirley and jan at volunteer appreciation luncheon

Specialty Group Tours and Programs with Advanced Reservation – Call Now!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 19th

The Mangoes Behind the Scenes

There are lots of ways to experience the Edison Ford site and the sky is the limit on creative ideas. Some of the options include:

  • Guided Tours – led by enthusiastic site historians, include the Edison home and guest house, the Ford Estate, the Caretaker’s house, the Edison Botanic Research Lab and the gardens. Arrangements for German, Spanish and French tour guides can also be made. Approximate time 1 1/2 hours.
  • Tour and Cruise Package – a great half-day experience. The private pontoon boat can seat 50 passengers for a cruise up the river with opportunities to see dolphin, manatees and birding islands. Approximate time is 3+ hours.
  • Inside-the-Homes Tour – led by curators, takes visitors inside the homes of Edison and Ford for a private tour in areas not regularly open to visitors. See the furnishings and decorations up close and walk in rooms where Edison and Ford once stood. Approximate time is 2 hours. Inside-the-Lab Tour – led by curators, visitors will tour the Botanical Laboratory where Edison, Ford, and Firestone once worked. Approximate time 1 1/2 hours.
  • Lab and Museum Tour – a self-guided tour through the museum, which has an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts, special exhibitions, and archives. Visitors will also tour Edison’s Botanical Laboratory, a National Chemical Landmark. This tour does not include an audio device.
    Approximate time is 1 1/2 hours.
  • Guided Garden Tours – Edison Ford horticulturists walk groups through the historic gardens of the estates, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Edison Ford Propagating Nursery with time to purchase heritage plants from the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe. Approximate time is 1 1/2 hours.
    Self-Guided Tours – includes a historian orientation and then stroll at your own pace. Audio wands and maps are available in English, French, Spanish and German. Maps are also available in Chinese.
  • Young Inventors Tour – offers families, teachers and students a fun educational experience with hands-on activities based on the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Approximate time is 1 1/2 hours.

For reservations call 239-334-7419.

Group Tours, Weddings and Site Rentals

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 18th

emilycori with ceramic hibiscusIn the past decade, Edison Ford has put together quite a program for anyone who is interested in planning an event, group visit, wedding, business rental, or family gathering … you name it! The gorgeous historic property, gardens, museum west porch and the new river pavilion in the Coconut Grove all make for stunning locations for all types of gatherings.

Cori Cramsey and her assistant, Emily Farrah will plan your event with you. Cori is a certified wedding planner and is also an officer with the National Association of Wedding Planners.

caretaker's house meetingFor groups wanting to add a meal or drinks to a daytime visit, a tour or special lecture, we can arrange that for you. There also are options for brunch, lunch, dinner or cocktails. This also applies to business meetings and family gatherings. Cocktails and/or food may be served indoors, on the Ford Lawn, Coconut Grove, Museum West Porch and even inside the Museum.

Food options can be as simple as a boxed lunch from the outdoor Banyan Café near the historic Edison Banyan Tree or from the ample list of approved caterers. The varied list of caterers includes Pinchers from The Marina at Edison Ford and a new addition of real Florida cooking from the well-known Farmers Market Restaurant on Edison Avenue, just up the road.

For more information, or to schedule a site walk and consultation, call the Events Department at 239-334-7419.

event setup on ford lawnwedding reception under tentbride and groom at moonlight garden

Tea with Mina and Clara

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 16th

mother's day tea raffle winnersMina, Clara and guests enjoyed a special tea and wonderful weather at Edison Ford on Mother’s Day.

Brenda Kaufman and her mother, Pat Wiley won the raffle for the FREE Brunch at Pinchers and a cruise with Pure Florida. Congratulations to them!

Mr. Edison even made an appearance and gave his special ladies, Mina and Clara, each a bouquet of yellow roses, their favorite color. Mina and Clara will be very busy ladies over the summer. The teas will resume in the fall, so watch the monthly newsletter for future dates.

Mother's day tea with mr edison

Mina and clara with tea group in moonlight gardenclara with yellow roses mother's day tea

Edison Ford Joins Blue Star Museums

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 14th

blue star museumBlue Star Museums is a national program which offers free admission to 2,000+ museums to active military. Edison Ford is proud to be one of those museums.

Edison Ford will be honoring active duty military beginning Memorial Day, May 30th through Labor Day, September 5th, 2016.

Blue Star Museums offers FREE admission to active duty military, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps with up to five family members. Family members include a spouse, child, aunts,  uncles, grandparents, etc. The free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card. To learn more about the Blue Star Museums nationwide click here.

Petting Zoo Returns to Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 12th

● July 31, August 28, September 25, October 30 – 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The animals will have their summer vacation in June and then return in July for this regular monthly program.

We have moved the Petting Zoo to the Heritage Gardens at the Garden Shoppe for shade from the trees and the cool porch with running fans. There will be a small ticket required which can be purchased at the Main Ticket Office. Parking can be in the main parking lot off of McGregor Boulevard or the new parking areas on Larchmont Avenue. Cost: Adults free; Children entering the Petting Zoo gate will be $1.00 per child. Call Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar for more information at 239-334-7419.

petting zoo kids with bunnies and pigletpetting zoo piglet