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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for July, 2009

Recap: Henry Ford’s Birthday

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 31st
L.D. Bochette and Mrs. & Mr. Wilkins came out to wish Mr. Ford a happy birthday.

L.D. & Jeanne Bochette & DJ Wilkins came out to wish Mr. Ford a happy birthday.

A crowd gathered to wish Henry Ford a happy 146th birthday.

A crowd gathered to wish Henry Ford a happy 146th birthday.

Students from the Estates Summer Camp lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Students from the Estates Summer Camp lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Ford's birthday cake from Mason's Bakery.

Mr. Ford's birthday cake from Mason's Bakery.

Roger Barnes brought his 1911 Model T out for the celebration along with his old Ford Truck.  Sam Galloway Ford also brought 2 of their antique cars out and the newest Ford Hybrid.

Roger Barnes brought his 1911 Model T out for the celebration along with his old Ford Truck. Sam Galloway Ford also brought 2 of their antique cars out and the newest Ford Hybrid.

Children make slime with the Wild Wizard during the special preview of the new Estates traveling school presentation, "Invention, Innovation and Green Science: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and the Automobile."

Children make slime with the Wild Wizard during the special preview of the new Estates traveling school presentation, "Invention, Innovation and Green Science: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and the Automobile."

Summer Discounts

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 31st

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be offering significant discounts to Florida residents and seniors during the month of August.  

•           Florida residents (adults and children) will receive $5 off an Estates Tour ticket

•           Seniors (ages 55 and over) will receive a 50% discount on an Estates Tour ticket between the hours of 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM

tour

Included in an Estates Tour ticket is a tour of the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the Estates gardens, Edison’s Botanic Research Lab and the Estates Museum.   Visitors to the Estates can enjoy a guided tour at 11 AM, 1 PM or 3 PM, or a self guided audio tour.

The Estates summer discount program is not valid with any other coupon or discount program.  Florida residents must provide proof of residency.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – August 2009

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 27th

August at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with a Free Teachers Day, Sneak Peak Tours for Estate Members  and the Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month of August.  The August schedule of programs and events include:

Sneak Peek Tours for Estates Members ONLY: August 15, 29, September 19, 26, 10:30 AM, This summer the Estates is offering a NEW first time, behind-the-scenes tours inside the Edison and Ford homes by the Estates President & CEO, Chris Pendleton and the Estates Curator, Pamela Miner.   These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates members only.  In addition lunch will be served in the Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours,” space is limited and registration is required.  To become an Estates member call the Estates Membership office at 239-334-7419, to receive free admission to the Estates and hundreds of museums and gardens throughout the United States, discounts and an inside look into the homes of two of the nations greatest inventors and their families. 

NEW Exhibit Opening: “Music, Movies, & Dance with Edison & Ford”: August 2009, Opening in August, this special exhibit focuses on the interests and inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford related to music, dance and the movies.  The exhibit will include a collection of phonographs, projectors and other artifacts connected to sound, music and the movies.  The exhibit will also include viewing of early Edison silent films, performances of period music on the Edison piano and other related program activities throughout the year.  The exhibit is free with any paid Estates admission and Estates Members are FREE.

Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp: Programs for grades 1st – 3rd and  4th – 6th, Space still available. Registration is still open for summer camp at the Estates for a one of a kind experience, discovering, learning, inventing and creating to make learning fun.

All camp sessions will be held in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House (air-conditioned) although some of the activities will be held in the Estates outdoor program buildings. Camp sessions begin at 9:00 am and end at either 3:00 p.m. or 4 p.m. depending on the session. Cost for each camp session is $200 for Estates Members; $230 for non-members.  Registration is required.  To register call the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Session 8:  “Spaceships & Rockets”: August 3 – 7; Grades 1st – 3rd, Campers will explore the outer reaches of the universe with our resident spaceman.  Visit planets, collect samples, float on our Lunar Lander and much more during this five day adventure.

Session  9:  “Movie Making Magic”: August 10 – 14; Grades 4th – 6th, Campers will act, direct, operate cameras and build sets as they become fully immersed in the art of film making. Campers will explore the power of sound energy as they learn the genius of Thomas Edison and his phonograph.

Mini Inventors Club,  Session 1:  August 10 & 11; Session 2:  August 12 & 13; for incoming Pre-K and Kindergarteners; 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Learning while having fun, little campers (accompanied by an adult), will make new friends as they discover and explore the Edison and Ford homes, gardens, lab and Museum; participate in science and art activities and enjoy story-time with Mr.& Mrs. Edison.  Registration required.  Estates Members $10; non members $25 (includes one adult and one child, additional children $5).

New Volunteer Orientation:  August 11, 10 AM, Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome.

Estates Volunteer Summer Event: August 13, 2 PM, Estates volunteers are invited to a special preview of the newest Estates exhibit “Music, Movies & Dance with the Edisons and Fords.”  The event will include a musical performance on the antique Edison piano by Bob Willover accompanied by a sing-a-long.  Refreshments will be served. Registration is required.  

Docent Training: August 20, 9 AM, New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch, Lab and Museum docents, or leading a group tour of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

Quilting Demonstration: August 22, 10 AM – 1 PM, Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilters’ Guild will be demonstrating quilting techniques in the Edison Caretaker’s House. Members of the Guild will be available to answer questions on techniques and care.   In the early 1900’s Henry Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects.  The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum.  Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket. 

teachers weekend

Free Day for Educators, School Staff & their families: August 22, Tours at 10 AM and Noon, Teachers, school staff and their families who visit the Estates receive free admission all day.  Estates educational materials will be available for use in classroom curriculums.  Educators and school staff must present a school issued identification badge to receive free admission.  Tours designed for educators are at 10 AM and Noon and registration is required. To register call the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419. 

Summer Discounts for Florida Residents and Seniors in August, The Estates is offering significant discounts for Florida residents and seniors (55+).  Florida residents will receive $5 off an Estates tour ticket which includes the historic homes, gardens, Museum and Lab.  Seniors will receive a 50% discount off admission between the hours of 9 AM and 10 AM.

Estates Plants

Estates at Downtown Farmers’ Market: Every Thursday beginning August 6, 7 AM – 1 PM, The Estates Garden Shoppe will be participating in the Downtown Farmers’ Market located in the Centennial Park parking lot.  The Estates joins fruit, vegetable, and fresh flower vendors in this 14 year tradition.  The Estates will offer herbs, heritage plants, garden supplies, and garden items available for purchase.  Estates members will receive a 10% discount. 

Become a Fan on Facebook:  The Estates has joined Facebook!  You must have a Facebook account to become a fan.  Simply login and search for the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, click “become a fan” at the top of the page and you will receive updates on Estates events and programs.

Estates Celebrates Henry Ford Birthday, July 30 with Free Programs

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 20th

Henry & Clara grandson's wedding 1940

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will celebrate the 146th birthday of Henry Ford and the completion of the restoration of the Ford Estate at “The Mangoes,” the winter home of Henry and Clara Ford, on Thursday, July 30 at 9:30 AM.  Admission to the event is FREE.

The celebration will include a tour of the Ford Estate by Mr. & Mrs. Ford, cake, antique cars, presentations and a performance by the Estates Wild Wizards. 

9:30 AM: Birthday Ceremony Begins at “The Mangoes”

10:00 AM: Behind-the-scenes tour led by Mr. & Mrs. Ford and Estates President & CEO, Chris Pendleton, of the newly restored Ford Home

10:30 AM: Invention, Innovation and Green Science: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and the Automobile Special preview of the new Estates traveling school presentation in the Estates Museum

11:30 AM: History of Henry Ford and the Impact of the Model T in the Estates Museum      

Antique Cars from individual collectors as well as a new models including the new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid from Sam Galloway Ford Lincoln Mercury will be on display at the Ford Estate from 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM.

Ford’s birthday marks a very important day in American history, and we invite the public to share in the celebration…. Learn about Henry Ford…. And visit the beautiful winter homes of one of America’s greatest industrialists,” says Chris Pendleton, Estates president & CEO.  “Ford’s remarkable history spanned decades and totally changed our way of life.”

Ford facts include:

•           Henry Ford grew up on a typical nineteenth-century farm in Dearborn, Michigan. At an early age he demonstrated an interest in mechanics and a dislike for farm work.

•           Ford married Clara Bryant in 1888. He would later refer to Clara as “the Believer” for her faith in and support of his ideas.

•           In 1891 Ford became an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company, and was soon promoted to Chief Engineer. This position allowed him time to experiment with the internal combustion engine. Ford idolized Thomas Edison and met him during an 1896 company convention in New York, where Ford relayed his ideas for the engine. Ford recalled the importance of Edison’s encouragement: “[O]ut of the clear blue sky the greatest inventive genius in the world had given me complete approval.”

•           In 1896, at the age of 33, Ford completed the Quadricycle, a self-propelled vehicle with four wire wheels which was steered with a tiller and had two forward speeds. Ford traveled around Detroit in his “horseless carriage,” to the amazement, as well as disdain, of its citizens.

•           The Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903 with the Model A. In 1908 Ford introduced the Model T, realizing his lifelong dream of a vehicle that was easy to operate and maintain and able to handle the rough roads of the era. The Model T quickly became a huge success, with more than 10,000 sold in 1909.

•           Ford is considered the father of modern manufacturing. As the popularity of the Model T escalated, Ford devised a system that combined division of labor, standardized and interchangeable parts, and the assembly line. This revolutionized automobile production by reducing the amount of time involved in automobile manufacturing and consequently lowering production costs. Mass production was born. By 1913 some 1000 cars were produced in a typical eight-hour shift.

•           By the late teens, Ford was an American celebrity and the public could not seem to get enough of him. Ford came into his office one day and said, “You know, I think I ought to get a pair of whiskers. Everybody seems to spot me.”

•           In 1914 Ford made his first visit to Fort Myers at the invitation of his friend Thomas Edison. From there the two embarked on an Everglades camping trip. Calling themselves “the Vagabonds,” Ford and Edison, along with Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs, would make many more camping trips throughout the next fifteen years. In 1916, Ford purchased his Fort Myers retreat, The Mangoes, for $20,000 and enlarged it by adding two family and staff wings.

•           Ford was seriously interested in unifying urban and rural industry. He encouraged the idea of using agricultural products for industrial purposes. For example, Ford experimented with an automobile trunk made from soybean-based plastic. He was a partner in the Edison Botanical Research Lab located on Estates’ property in Fort Myers, FL.

•           In the mid-1920s the New York Times estimated the assets of the Ford Motor Company at $1.2 billion, or about $13 billion today. Ford himself drew an average of about $4.5 million per year during this decade, or about $50 million in today’s dollars. Said Ford, “I’m in a peculiar position. There is nothing I want that I cannot have. But I do not want the things that money can buy. I want to live a life, to make the world a little better for having lived in it.”

•           In 1928 Ford established and endowed The Edison Institute in Dearborn, MI (now The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village), an indoor/outdoor museum created to illustrate and preserve the American experience and celebrate American ingenuity.

•           In 1929 Ford threw a lavish party in Dearborn in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Edison’s invention of the incandescent lamp. Ford presented his friend with a detailed reconstruction of Edison’s Menlo Park and the original 1887 Fort Myers laboratory at The Edison Institute. Edison became misty-eyed and remarked that “the memories of eighty-two years were flooding back.” Ford told reporters at the event, “We are ahead of all other countries today, simply and solely because we have Mr. Edison.”

•           Ford loved dancing and in the 1920s began a massive effort to revive old-fashioned dancing. He sponsored a national tour of dancing master Benjamin Lovett. Dancing was also an important part of Ford’s social life in Fort Myers.

•           Henry Ford earned the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts on behalf of disabled veterans in both World Wars. In 1997, Life Magazine named him one of the “100 People Who Made the Millennium,” and in 2000 Time Magazine named him one of the “100 Most Important People of the Century.” In 2000 Forbes Magazine called him the “#1 Industrialist of the Century.”

•           Ford returned to The Mangoes only sporadically after Thomas Edison’s death in 1931. In 1945 he sold it to Thomas and Gladys Biggar. In 1988, the City of Fort Myers purchased Henry Ford’s estate for $1.5 million, restored it to its historic appearance and opened it to the public in 1989.

•           Henry Ford’s Fort Myers estate is open daily and now managed by the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., a non-profit organization.

•           On July 30, 2007 a statue commemorating Henry Ford’s achievements and time in Fort Myers was created by D. J. Wilkins and donated by Orvall McCleary to the Estates.

Upcoming Volunteer Events

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 16th

Summer Volunteer Event, Estates volunteers are invited to a preview of the newest exhibit “Music, Movies & Dance with Edison and Ford” on Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 2:00PM in the Museum Special Exhibits Gallery. The event will include a musical performance on the antique Charles Edison piano and a sing-a-long. Weather permitting; we will also tour inside the Ford Home restoration. Refreshments will be served. Reservations required.

New Volunteer Orientation, Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10AM: This is a required training session for all new or potential volunteers. Learn about volunteer opportunities and Estates policies and procedures. Reservations appreciated.

Docent Training, Thursday, August 20, 2009 9AM: This is a required training session for all new docents that have already attended New Volunteer Orientation. Reservations appreciated.

Contact the Estates Volunteer Coordinator for more information about becoming an Estates Volunteer by calling 239.334.7419 or visit us online at www.efwefla.org/volunteer.asp.

Summer Hours & Tours

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 14th

Summer at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is a very special time with the tropical landscape full of flowering plants, beautiful riverside areas and wide breezy porches on the homes of the great inventors.  As one of the top most visited historical homes in the nation and an award winning National Trust for Historic Preservation Site, the Estates is not to be missed as a great summer destination for adults, children, families, and groups. 

The Estates is open daily 9 AM – 5:30 PM.  Visits can include guided tours at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM and self-guided tours all day, as well as audio tours.  Groups of 20 or more will receive a group discount and guided tour with an Estates docent.  Advance registration is required by calling the Estates group sales department at 239-334-7419. 

For plant lovers, the Estates Garden Shoppe includes many selections of plants propagated from historic varieties on the Estates as well as other tropical plants and garden items.  On Thursdays and Saturdays at 9 AM there is an extensive Botanical Tour of the gardens and Estates prorogation nursery.  Check out the Estates Gardens Blog.

For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

July Events

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 6th

  

July at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of Henry Fords Birthday Celebration and Estates Inventors Summer Camp as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month of July.

 

The July schedule of programs and events include:

NEW Exhibit Opening: Music, Movies, & Dance with Edison & Ford July 2009 Opening mid-July, this special exhibit focuses on the interests and inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford related to music, dance and the movies. The exhibit will include a collection of phonographs, projectors and other artifacts connected to sound, music and the movies. The exhibit will also include viewing of early Edison silent films, performances of period music on the Edison piano and other related program activities throughout the year. The exhibit is free with any paid Estates admission and Estates Members are FREE.

Estates open July 4th:  The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be open July 4th from 9 AM 5:30 PM. Estates members are FREE and there are several reciprocal admission programs.

Estates Inventors Summer Camp Programs for grades 4th 6th and 1st 3rd Space Still Available Registration is still open for summer camp at the Estates for a one of a kind experience, discovering, learning, inventing and creating to make learning fun.

All camp sessions will be held in the historic Edison Caretakers House (air-conditioned) although some of the activities will be held in the Estates outdoor program buildings. Camp sessions begin at 9:00 am and end at either 3:00 p.m. or 4 p.m. depending on the session. Cost for each camp session is $200 for Estates Members; $230 for non-members. Registration is required. To register call the Estates Education Department at 2393347419.

Session 4 & 9: Movie Making Magic Session 4: July 6 10; Session 9: August 10 14; Grades 4th 6th

Campers will act, direct, operate cameras and build sets as they become fully immersed in the art of film making.

Campers will explore the power of sound energy as they learn the genius of Thomas Edison and his phonograph.

Session 5: Wild Green July 13 – 17; Grades 4th 6th

Campers will explore the treasures of the Estates gardens as they discover plants and trees from exotic locations. Taste, touch, smell, listen, and see the tropical botanic wonders combining environmental science with hands-on fun.

Session 6:ESI: Edison Science Investigation July 20-24; Grades 4th 6th

Each day campers will be presented with a different mystery and they will only be given normal everyday items to solve them. This fun and challenging camp will exercise your mind and body as the clock ticks away to solve the mystery!

Session 7: The Wizards World July 27 July 31; Grades 1st 3rd

Step back in time and investigate the inner workings of the light bulb, discover trees and plants brought here from around the world, and create inspired works of art!

Session 8: Spaceships & Rockets August 3 7; Grades 1st 3rd

Campers will explore the outer reaches of the universe with our resident spaceman. Visit planets, collect samples, float on our Lunar Lander and much more during this five day adventure.

Mini Inventors Club, Session 1: August 10 & 11; Session 2: August 12 & 13; for incoming Pre-K and Kindergarteners; 10:30 AM 12:30 PM Learning while having fun, little campers (accompanied by an adult), will make new friends as they discover and explore the Edison and Ford homes, gardens, lab and Museum; participate in science and art activities and enjoy story-time with Mr.& Mrs. Edison. Registration required. Estates Members $10; non members $25 (includes one adult and one child, additional children $5).

New Volunteer Orientation: July 14, 10 AM Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information. This is a mandatory training for all Estates volunteers. New and potential volunteers are welcome.

Docent Training: July 21, 9 AM New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch, Lab and Museum docents, or leading a group tour of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

Quilting Demonstration: July 25, 10 AM 1 PM Quilters from the Southwest Florida Quilters Guild will be demonstrating quilting techniques in the Edison Caretakers House. Members of the Guild will be available to answer questions on techniques and care. In the early 1900s Henry Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects. The Southwest Florida Quilters Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum. Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket.

Hello world!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 6th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates has arrived in the blogging world!  This blog will let readers know what is new and going on at the Estates. 

Our other blogs will be about the Tropical Gardens at the Estates and Weddings and Private Parties at the Estates.

Estates out of FREE tickets

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 2nd

Due to the overwhelming response of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates free admission offer on July 4th to Lee County residents, the Estates is out of free tickets.  Hundreds of free tickets have been distributed to the community and at this point the Estates cannot accommodate additional people.  There were a limited amount of tickets available on a first-come first-serve basis. 

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  The Estates was awarded the National Trust for Historic Preservation Award in 2008 and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site.  For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

Beginning  July 1, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates will distribute tickets to Lee County residents for FREE admission to the Estates on July 4, 2009.  Tickets must be picked up at the Estates ticket office before July 4 to receive FREE admission and proof of residency is required.  Offer is good only on July 4 and there are a limited amount of tickets available on a first-come first-serve basisFour tickets per family will be allotted to each Lee Country resident request. 

Visitors will enjoy the newly restored Ford home, the national award winning historic Edison buildings, the Edison Botanic Research Lab and the 15,000 square foot (air conditioned) Museum with an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts, special exhibitions, and archives.