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

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for September, 2012

NEW Hands-on Smart Cart in Edison Ford Museum

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 26th

     The new hands-on Smart Cart in the Edison Ford Museum provides all ages with a chance to learn more about the science and history of artifacts from the Museum’s large education collection, and it is already a hit with visitors, curators and educators.

    Our Smart Carts are brightly colored yellow with big handprints  on them to encourage hands-on exploration and discovery. Throughout the day, site historians and docents move the Smart Cart through the Museum Galleries demonstrating and engaging visitors to learn more about a variety of artifacts and how they work including light bulbs, wax cylinder, diamond disc records and botanical specimens that were only a few of the Edison and Ford inventions.

Our initial reactions of visitors to this new project have been very enthusiastic, so expect to see more Smart Carts and changing artifacts throughout the future.


Museum Artifacts

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 24th

Mr. Russell Mabry, the original owner and caretaker of this 1917 Ford Model TT Truck, visited the Edison Ford Estates on August 9th. He was joined by his grandson Scott Holmes (far right) and his two great-grandsons.

Mr. Mabry fondly recalled driving the truck to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in August of 1990 after it was purchased by the City of Fort Myers.

     The 1917 Ford Model TT Truck features a 20 horse power, four cylinder engine, with a magneto electrical generator that is used to produce high voltage and power for the vehicle’s ignition system. It also features a worm drive transmission that decreased speed of the vehicle but increased engine’s pulling power.

The front tires were originally made of reinforced natural rubber filled with air but the rear tires were made of solid natural rubber to allow for more load capacity. Because of the heavier load capacity the speed would have been limited to about 15 – 25 miles per hour.

      This 1917 Ford Model TT Truck sold as a combination with a frame and hood (chassis/cowl) and the pine cab and oak bed was constructed and added afterwards. Early trucks sold for less than $500 (at that time the 1917 Model T Touring car was priced at $360 and the Ford Sedan at $645). This truck offered consumers a durable, dependable and reasonably priced vehicle that could perform both light and heavy duty commercial work due to its heavier frame and rear axle.

Note to visitors: Cars on display in the Ford gatage including the Model T Truck have been moved to off-site storage in preparation for Tropical Storm Isaac.

NEW for Fall . . . Photography Classes at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 22nd

Photography Classes

  • October 17, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.; November 3, 10:00 a.m. – Noon; December 3 & 6, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.; February 21, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.; March 14, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

     Join professional photographers Paul Rodino and Dave Maki for “Improving your travel photography skills,” and “Holiday Night time photography” workshops at Edison Ford.

 Cost: Edison Ford Members $75; non-members $95. For more information visit www.edisonfordwinterestates.org or call the Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Homeschool 2012 – 2013 Program

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 13th

Join the Edison Ford Wild Wizard for an exciting new year of Homeschool Programs. Each two-hour class is a dynamic, hands-on, exciting experience where students, who attend the class with their parents, get creative and learn science and history that follows the Next Generation Florida Sunshine State Standards.

     Edison Ford homeschool classes are designed for children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. Classes are from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:00p.m. on the dates listed below, and pre-registration is required. Upon registration parents will receive pre-visit curriculum materials.

 Cost: Edison Ford Members $10 per child; non-members $20 (each additional child $10).

 Class Descriptions:

  •  September 17 & September 21: Designing Plant Packages – Students learn about photosynthesis, plant and interdependence with the environment in order to design and build a quality package to ship a plant through the mail.
  • October 15 & October 19: Designing Bridges – Students design bridges after learning about force, motion, gravity, earth landforms, landscapes and different types of bridges. 
  • November 5 & November 16: Designing Submersibles – Students learn about density and volume while building a submersible that meets the required standards.  
  • December 17 & December 21: Simple Machines – Students see how “things” work with simple machines and their uses in industrial processes. 
  • January 14 & January 18: Designing Maglev Systems – Students act as motorists, design a maglev transportation system and other projects that demonstrate magnetic properties. 
  • February 11 & February 15: Solutions, Mixtures, Compounds – Students learn about atoms and molecules through solutions, mixtures and compounds. 
  • March 4 & March 8: Robotics – Hands-on science with robotics and engineering demonstrations engage, excite and empower future inventors. 
  • April 15 & April 19: Space – Students learn about space through hands-on activities and demonstrations. Students build a rocket and conclude the 2012 – 2013 Edison Ford Homeschool Program with a rocket launch!

Magnet School Grant

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 13th

As part of the Magnet School Assistance Program Grant, students and Fort Myers Middle Academy (FMMA) Educators will work alongside Edison Ford Education staff with hands-on science and engineering connection classes, Wild Wizard Science shows, field trips to Edison Ford with
Engineering workshops and a Science and Engineering Spring Break Camp.

Students of FMMA will have the opportunity to build bridges, work with
circuits, make submersibles, operate robots and much more

Draw Your Own Superhero Cartoons!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 7th

● September 22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

     Join local cartoonist Doug MacGregor as he helps students bring superhero cartoon characters to life! Learn the basics of cartoon character design, facial expression, character development and put a super character into motion. To register call the Education Department at 239-334-7419.

      Bring a sketch pad, pencil and imagination! Cost: Members $20; non-members $30.


Black Maria Film Festival Returns in October with Retrospective

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 5th

Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival Retrospective

Friday, October 5, 7:30 p.m., Royal Palm Yacht Club

Saturday, October 6, 7:30 p.m., Edison State College, Fort Myers Campus 





Since 2007, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and Edison State College have collaborated to bring the international Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival to Florida. The Festival began its national tour in 1981, celebrates Edison’s pioneering work in cinema, and features award winning contemporary independent and experimental short films and video. The Black Maria is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Awards qualifying festival of short films.

Typically the Festival has been held in spring, however the award winning festival is

moving to October with a retrospective of films from the festivals’ collection. Films include exceptional animated works shown in Poland at the Animator Festival and certain live action works which have proven to be highly popular in recent seasons as well as southwest

Florida fan favorites! Black Maria Film Festival Director and Founder, John Columbus will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards both nights.


On October 5, the Edison Ford will host the festival at the neighboring Royal Palm Yacht Club. For an additional fee, movie goers can enjoy cocktails and tapas at 5:30 p.m. as they watch the sunset at the Edison Ford Coconut Grove (reservations must be made in advance). 

Tickets will go on sale September 5 at the Edison Ford ticket office.

Ticket prices: October 5: Edison Ford Members and Edison State College Students $8,

non-members $10; October 6: Edison State College Students FREE, general public $10. Discounted tickets for both nights, $15. Early evening tapas at Royal Palm Yacht Club, $20 (cash bar). Seating is limited for both nights.

      For more information or to reserve your seat call 239-334-7419. A detailed list of films will be listed on Edison Ford website: www.edisonfordwinterestates.org on September 15. For more information on Edison State College visit www.edison.edu or Black Maria Film Festival www.blackmariafilmfestival.org


Monthly Volunteer Meeting and New Volunteer Orientation

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 4th

● September 11, 9:30 a.m.
Chief Curator Alison Giesen and curatorial staff Mike Cosden and Matt Andres will present a gallery lecture and tour of the Estates newest exhibit, Edison & Ford in Cartoons: Then and Now in the Edison Caretaker’s House, as well as
demonstrate hands-on activities with the Museum Smart Cart.

Meetings and lectures are 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.