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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for August, 2012

Emerging Inventors/Early Learner’s Series

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 30th

Edison Ford Emerging Inventors/Early Learning Program for one – three year old children and their parents, grandparents and other family members begins in September. The program includes socializing with others, education activities, story time, singing, crafts and exploring the homes, gardens and museum at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

Each session introduces science through activities and time to tend the Emerging Inventors Vegetable Garden! Children and parents are encouraged to bring lunch to enjoy on the grounds after the program.

Classes for the upcoming year include:

  • September 6 – Super Sprouts
  • January 17 – Follow the Leader
  • September 20 – Lovely Leaves
  • February 7 – Lots of Lights
  • October 4 – Super Shapes
  • February 21 – “E” is for Edison, “F” is for Ford
  • October 18 – Pumpkin Party
  • March 7 – Terrific TreesNovember 1 – Creative Colors
  • November 1 – Creative Colors
  • March 21 – Fantastic Fruits
  • November 15 – Gobble, Gobble
  • April 4 – Bouncing Bubbles
  • December 6 – See Santa
  • April 18 – Fun Flowers
  • December 20 – Super Sound
  • Classes are the first and third Thursday of each month, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. To register call the Edison Ford Education
    Department at 239-334-7419.

    Edison Caretaker’s House

    September 6, 2012 • 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

    The exhibit features a collection of editorial cartoons of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford from the 20th century into modern times.  At 5:30 p.m. tour the Gallery with Edison Ford Chief Curator, Alison Giesen and Cartoon Illustrator and Author, Doug MacGregor for exhibit insight.

    The exhibit will continue through February 2013

    Editorial cartooning has been part of journalism for centuries. It has not only become a tradition, but more importantly, has been used to help shape America’s history. Historically the role of cartooning was a way to transfer information with differing viewpoints during a time when the majority of society was unable to read. With visual clues, cartoonists are able to create images to draw attention or to make statements about current events, issues and the people involved.
    The first editorial cartoon in America was created by Benjamin Franklin in 1753. Today, even though many more people can read than in years past, the tradition of editorial cartooning has carried on.
    No two figures of the 20th century had more of an effect on the daily lives of Americans than Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Between them, they filed a total of 1,254 patents (1,093 for Thomas Edison, 161 for Henry Ford) for inventions ranging from the movie camera and the first incandescent light bulb to the Model T. Because of their fame these two men were very popular among editorial cartoonists for many decades.

    The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is celebrating the two famous men in a new exhibit, “Edison & Ford Editorial Cartoons: Then and Now.” It features a collection of editorial cartoons from the 20th century into modern times with works from famous illustrators such as Joseph Keppler, J. N. Ding Darling, and local editorial cartoonist Doug MacGregor, who for 25 years created weekly editorial cartoons for the Fort Myers News-Press.

    President’s Update ~ September

    Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 29th

    August 24, 2012

    I am writing this update as we also finish preparations for Isaac which is about four days away at this point.

    Many members, visitors and residents ask us how and when do we get ready, and our answer is that we prepare for weather around the clock, all year long. In fact, our decisions for restoration and improvements are made with consideration of issues of weather as we are a seven days a week operation open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

     Hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November. Curatorial staff must complete the photo inventory of objects, homes and gardens before June 1 with offsite storage of data. Therefore, we are ready with current information before the hurricane season begins.

     Today, we are completing the removal of furniture, automobiles and garden furnishings from the riverside buildings. Most of the furnishings will be displayed in the Edison Ford Museum – until they can be safely returned to the riverside buildings. Storm panels are in place on all buildings which were strapped and reinforced with other storm protection during the recent restoration.

     Visitors can call the main number at 239-334-7419 and speak with staff before planning to visit during storm conditions. Generally, we follow Lee County closings which advises on road conditions, school and business closings. Security staff is always on site and we work to open quickly after a storm because it is difficult to explain to a visitor who drove many hours that we are not open.

     Safety as well as quick re-opening to the public are our goals. 

    The photo you see here is one of our final projects in storm mitigation. Contractors recently removed the deteriorating and non-historic wooden pier from the Ford property and the non-historic old wooden planking from the dock on the Edison property. Neither were historic elements and both were potentially dangerous in storm conditions both to our site as well as to others.

    And lastly, did you know that Thomas Edison considered the threat of storm surge when he selected his property which is elevated and features a small cove. As a result of Edison’s care in selecting the site and his location of the buildings and plants, it has historically experienced only minimal storm damage over the years. Ford’s site is similar.

    Chief Curator’s Note
    The system of naming hurricanes did not start until 1955, but local storm activity includes:
    1888 – Unnamed hurricane
    1894 – Unnamed hurricane
    1906 – South Florida Hurricane
    1910 – Storm destroyed 200 feet of the dock and boathouse
    1926 – Great Miami Hurricane
    1928 – Okeechobee Hurricane
    1944 – Hurricane destroyed Edison dock and his electric launch, Reliance. Minimal damage to the gardens and roofs of the homes and lab.
    1960 – Donna
    1992 – Andrew
    2004 – Charley
    2005 – Wilma

    Inventor’s Summer Camp Student Intern

    Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 15th

    Alex Ghanem, a second year student at the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded the paid summer camp internship position. The position involved working with Edison Ford education faculty in the seventh annual Inventor’s Summer Camp program.

    Alex proved to be a perfect match for the assignment with his ability and interests in science and technology, great work with the campers, and diverse interests in everything from research to cooking.

     

    Teaching American History Grant Winners

    Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 14th

    Two teachers from the Lee County Schools worked with the curatorial department and archival collections as a part of their summer Teaching American History Grant placement at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, provided by the US Department of Education. The Teaching American History Grant is a guaranteed three year grant to enhance teachers’ (k – 12) knowledge of American History and how to better teach history to students.

    Work this summer focused on a new collection of letters and Edison family documents which proved to shed some interesting light on the family dynamics and history of the famous family. The recipients, Regina Notarianni, a fourth grade teacher at Gulf Elementary and Breanne Costa, a first grade teacher at Gulf Elementary will use their discoveries in their classroom activities.

    Photos: Recipients researching archival collections at Edison Ford (top), Chief Curator Alison Giesen, Regina and Breanne with Thomas Edison at banyan tree (right).

     

    Robotics Engineering is Topic for Outreach Wild Wizard in 2012 – 2013

    Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 13th

    Edison Ford Wild Wizard Shows, an outreach science program, will begin its fifth year this school season. Initially funded by a $125,000 grant from the US Department of Education in 2007, the project has grown to include both Title I and other schools in a five county district region. Since its inception, the project has received support from GE, Edison Ford funding and donors like Don and Arlene Keehan.

    With approximately 20,000 students participating annually, students receive free tickets to tour the Edison Ford with their families, the program continues to provide Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) support to students in Southwest Florida.

     

    Mark Your Calendar … dates set for Holiday Nights 2012

    Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 11th

    The Edison Ford is busy planning the 37th annual Holiday Nights event set for December 1 – December 30 and Holiday Preview Party November 30, 2012. New this year to Holiday Nights is the Edison Ford Legacy Shoppe located in the Edison Caretaker’s House. The Shoppe will feature replica items from the Edison Ford collection including the Edison talking doll, ink well and turtle as well as a variety of other gift items made for the Edison Ford.

    Holiday Nights has been a great success due in part to the wonderful host groups who help direct and guide visitors during the event. Community organizations, church groups, businesses and clubs interested in assisting with Holiday Nights can call the Edison Ford Volunteer Department to schedule a night to serve as a “host group” at 239-334-7419.

     

    Boy and Girl Scout Badge Programs Available for Upcoming Year

    Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 9th

    Edison Ford programs offer both Boy and Girl Scouts opportunities to earn badges with hands-on activities and engineering challenges requiring critical thinking, problem solving and team work. In its third year, Badge programs include immersion in the historic site.

    Evening programs are available to Cub and Boy Scouts in December and can be scheduled by calling the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419. Girl Scout programs are offered on Saturdays with registration through the Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast Florida at 800-586-3186 or 239-561-1800 ext. 402 or visit their website at www.gsgcf.org.

    A Girl Scout Edison Ford Museum Night is scheduled for Friday, November 2, 2012 with registration through the Girl Scout office.

     

    Emerging Inventors/Early Learners Series Resumes in September

    Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 8th

    Now in its second year, the Edison Ford Emerging Inventors/Early Learners is a program for one – three year old children and their parents, grandparents or other family member. The program includes socializing with others, education activities, story time, singing, crafts and exploring the homes, gardens and museum at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Each session introduces science through activities and time to tend the Emerging Inventors Vegetable Garden! Children and parents are encouraged to bring lunch to enjoy on the grounds after the program.

    Classes are the first and third Thursday of each month, 9 – 10:30 a.m. To register or more information call the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Monthly Volunteer Lecture & Meeting

    Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 8th

    Monthly Volunteer Lecture & Meeting

    ● August 14, 9:30 a.m.

    The guest lecturer for the monthly volunteer meeting will be John Kurdyla, teacher and Edison phonograph collector. He will demonstrate making sound on a very early Edison cylinder phonograph and also demonstrate the wide variety of music and film collections in the Museum exhibit, Edison and Ford: Music and Dance.

     

    Lectures will be held in the Edison Ford Museum and is open to current Edison Ford volunteers as well as prospective volunteers and the public. For questions and additional information contact the Volunteer Department at 239-334-7419.