With the help of the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB) and Visit Florida, more Chinese travelers (individuals and groups) are visiting Edison Ford. The VCB is also facilitating visits from traveling journalists.
Sunny International, a tour operator from Miami, regularly brings groups on Mondays and Thursdays each week. During a recent visit, a group posed for a photo in the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory with Edison Ford Historian, Patrick Deja, who is fluent in Chinese. Members of this group told Patrick and CEO Chris Pendleton that “Edison and his industries and workers brought much progress to the world and China. Chinese admire his work greatly.”
Traveling journalists from several publications are visiting Edison Ford to help spread the word in China about this great travel destination.
Visit Florida has conducted extensive research on Chinese tourism and shared some of that research with Edison Ford. According to Visit Florida, studies show that China is the world’s fastest growing economy with explosive growth in the number of Chinese travelling abroad over the past several years.
Edison Ford also collaborated with the VCB and Visit Florida to translate and create guide maps and tour scripts in Chinese. The maps are available for Chinese visitors and the scripts are available for tour leaders and visitors with special needs.
For the past year, Edison Ford staff has been building a replica of the original Ford Quadricycle. The Quadricycle’s current phase has primarily consisted of heavy machining. Edison Ford Automotive Curator, James Moss has been purchasing raw material and transforming this into viable components for the engine. With the flywheel complete, James has ordered material for a 6-inch pulley and plans to have the entire crank shaft assembly ready by mid-April in order to work on the cylinders.
The goal is to have the engine finished by the end of summer.
There is a new way to celebrate historic Lee County and the historic waterways … the NEW Map Mug. It is for sale in all of the Edison Ford Shops and also boxed to mail or put in a suitcase. “Lee County is really all about “water, water everywhere” and the map shows exactly that,” says Patti Wensel, Retail Manager.
One of our continuing popular shirts is our “map shirt” which Edison Ford created years ago for a statewide historical preservation meeting here in Lee County. It is available in short or long sleeves and in men’s or women’s lightweight versions.
Timothy Fabrizio has been researching and writing about the history of recorded sound for over 40 years. He has worked at the Library of Congress and the George Eastman Museum, appeared on national television and co-authored eight books.
Fabrizio has lectured in countries around the world, and received awards for his published work. The title of his upcoming talk is “Edison and the Phonograph – Mastery, Myth, Maybes and Misses.” Fabrizio will be speaking at the Volunteer meeting on May 10, so mark your calendars!
● May 5, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Dr. Kyra Belan will talk about two of her books: Divine Ladies in America and Earth, Myths, and Ecofeminist Art at the Edison Ford Shoppe in the Bell Tower Shops. She has participated for the past two years in the Founding Females Portrait exhibit at Edison Ford and we are excited to have her back to talk about her books.
Dr. Kyra Belan is an artist, author and art historian, who holds a M.F.A. in visual arts from Florida State University and Ed. D. from Florida International University in higher education and art history. She has received numerous awards, including Who’s Who in American Art, the Florida Achievement Award in the Arts; Women’s Caucus for Art Florida Chapter; and Broward County’s Women’s Hall of Fame Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.
Dr. Belan has authored several books, including Lucid Future; Madonnas: From Medieval to Modern; Earth, Spirit, and Gender; Art, Myths, and Rituals; The Virgin in Art: From Medieval to Modern; Art, Myths, and Ecofeminist Art, and Divine Ladies in America.
For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.
For Members be sure to bring our card and if possible wear your member lanyard. Edison Ford staff and volunteers will check you in and sell tickets to visitors and guests to Edison Ford and also to the River Cruise.
Don’t forget, The Marina at Edison Ford and Pinchers is a great spot for the best views in Lee County, waterside dining with the freshest area seafood and great beverages. Bring your Edison Ford map for beverage coupons.
By this summer, students and families will be able to use a new educational program on the Antenna Audio Devices that have become part of the Edison Ford tour experience.
“We had great fun developing this tour for our consultants at Antenna to add the special effects and voices that will make it really fun for families and it is educational,” says Chris Pendleton, President, Edison Ford. “We have a very talented team here that developed this including historians, curators and the educators who deliver tours every day to 250,000 visitors.”
The program guides youngsters to “investigate” the site, inventions, science and history. The Edison Ford team is currently working on the companion project of a map hunt to complete the discovery visit.
Curator’s Note: Thomas Edison would have loved the audio devices at Edison Ford and they include an option to change the sound for users who need additional hearing options.
“We are excited about this option as our visitors are more and more wanting to use PC’s and mobile devices to purchase tickets before they visit Edison Ford,” says Edison Ford Chief Financial Officer, Tom Hottovy. “We have been working steadily to bring this site up to date and this is just another one of the ways to take Edison and Ford’s entrepreneurial philosophy and inventive minds to a new application. They would approve.”
Visitors will be able to buy advance tickets from PCs and mobile devices and be checked into the full site experience without lines or waiting. Stay tuned and be ready for the announcement before summertime crowds.
Edison: Inventing the Century – by Neil Baldwin.
This thoroughly researched biography focuses on Edison the inventor but also, and more interestingly, Edison the husband and father. Very few books focus on the personal side of the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” and even fewer provide the number of corroborating sources that Neil Baldwin does in Edison: Inventing the Century.
Amelia to Zora – by Cynthia Chin-Lee.
“With spirited language and marvelous collages, an abecedarium of contemporary women takes flight. Chin-Lee doesn’t attempt, in her single page of text, to do anything but evoke the lives of her subjects, but she does that powerfully. For each woman, she tells an anecdote or illuminates a single action rather than summarize an entire life.” – Kirkus Reviews.
Clara: Mrs. Henry Ford – by Ford R. Bryan.
For Clara’s birthday in April, our curatorial staff recommends reading Clara: Mrs. Henry Ford. While numerous books have been published about the automotive tycoon Henry Ford, very little is offered about his wife, Clara. This well-researched book is one of the few sources we have and it truly provides a wonderful understanding of the woman who was not only an integral member of the Ford family, but who also played a part in the long-term success.
These books are available for purchase in our Museum Store or online.