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

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for December, 2013

January Tours and Programs Everyday at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 29th

• Daily Tours

      Every day of the week visitors have the option of an Historian-Led Tour, Audio Tour in English, German, Spanish or French, or a Lab and Museum Tour.

 • Garden Tour – Wednesdays – 10:30 a.m.

      Join Edison Ford garden staff to experience the 20 acres of gardens of the Edison and Ford families. See what’s blooming and enjoy many varieties of bamboo and rubber plants used in Edison’s original research, as well as fruit trees, palms, roses, orchids, Moonlight Garden and more. Admission includes audio tour of homes, museum and lab.

 • German Language Tour – Wednesdays – 10:30 a.m.

      Historian-led tour of homes, gardens, lab and museum in German.

 • Behind-the-Scenes Tour – Thursdays – 10:30 a.m.

      A Behind-the-Scenes tour takes you inside and up close in the Edison and Ford homes led by curatorial staff, and includes the homes, gardens, lab and museum. Space is limited so reservations are suggested by calling 239-334-7419.

 • Young Inventor’s Tour –   • Saturdays – 11:00 a.m.

Young inventor's tour january 2014 update     Children of all ages will have fun while participating in hands-on science activities based on the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Activities include an assembly line, phonograph demonstrations and much more.

 • Inside the Lab Hands-on Science – Sundays – 2:00 p.m.

      A Behind-the-Scenes program inside the lab and museum. Includes demonstrations with inventions and hands-on activities featuring Edison and Ford inventions. Audio tour included. (One adult required for every two children.  Participants will receive a 10% discount on all “invention items,” including books, science kits and toys).


Phonograph Demonstration and Program by John Kurdyla

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 19th

Edison sound recording expert John Kurdyla will be speaking at the Edison Ford Shoppe at the Bell Tower Shops on Thursdays: December 19, December 26, and January 2. 

John Kurdyla poster all dates

Bring History, Science and Art Home!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 16th

•  Edison Ford Museum StoreHoliday nights bell tower

•  Ford Creative Cottage

•  Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops

      The Edison Ford shops are full of one-of-a-kind unique gifts and collectibles with something for everyone including lovers of history, gardens, science, books, inventions and beautiful art pieces for the home or to wear. There are also local jams, jellies, honey, and old fashioned plants.

      From large pieces like Mina Edison’s giant blue strawberry pots and hand painted furniture, to small stocking stuffers like heritage seeds, hand-made jewelry, painted light bulbs and the Edison & Ford Quote Book, there is something for everyone in the three locations. Also check the website www.edisonfordwinterestates.org for items which can be mailed.

      Edison Ford Members receive a 10% discount and gift wrapping is available.

Edison Ford Gift Cards Make a Great Holiday Gift

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 15th

Edison Gift Cards can be used throughout the year on items like membership, school programs, summer camp, director’s tours and classes. Stop by any of the Museum Stores or call to order your gift cards for holiday giving. 

Gift Cardgift card back


Edison Ford Director’s Tours 2014

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 14th

     Edison Ford Director’s Tours are underway. We have selected Florida destinations with exciting museums, gardens, historic sites and shopping. Contact Cori Cramsey 239-334-7419.

  • January 11, Saturday – Miami, Coral Gablesdirectors tour dec 2013

     Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone worked closely with David Fairchild, who created the first international seed bank, now Fairchild Gardens. We will also tour The Kampong, the private estate of David Fairchild which today houses the US Botanic Gardens. Private lunch included, and will finish the day in Coral Gables shopping.

 • February 22, Saturday – Delray Beach

     The tour includes beautiful Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens and of Old School Square museum and galleries, and shopping on historic Atlantic Avenue. Private lunch included.

  • March 20, Thursday – Sarasota

     The tour includes the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, well known for its collection of orchids, glass houses and gardens. The day will finish up at the Ringling Estate with a tour arranged by longtime Keeper of Ca’d Zan and Ringling Curator, Ron McCarty. It includes the Ringling Museum & Estate, Art Museum and Circus Museum as well as a private tour after dark of the new James Terrell light sculpture installation. Private lunch included.

 • April 5, Saturday – Tampa

     Henry Plant put Tampa on the map with his railroads and hotel a 100 years ago. This tour includes the Henry B. Plant Museum and the Annual Appraiser’s Fair and private tour of the historic hotel.  Luncheon at Tampa Bay Yacht Club included.


Visit the Children’s Tree Trail during Edison Ford Holiday Nights

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 12th

The Children’s Tree Trail is a popular holiday tradition featured during Edison Ford Holiday Nights. With hand-made ornaments created by Lee County students, the theme this year honors Thomas Edison’s contributions to the film industry. The Children’s Tree Trail, located in the Edison Ford Heritage Garden, is open and FREE to the public through January 4, 2014.

childrens tree trail dec 2013     The following schools have decorated a tree for the 2013 Edison Ford Holiday Nights:

Canterbury School, Challenger Middle, Child Care of Southwest Florida, Colonial Elementary, Crosspointe Academy, Cypress Lake High, Cypress Lake Middle, East Lee County High, Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts, Estero High, Fort Myers High, Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Gulf Elementary, Harns Marsh Elementary, Hector A. Cafferata Elementary, Island Coast High, James Stephens International Academy, Lehigh Elementary, Lehigh Acres Middle, Mariner High, Mirror Lakes Elementary, Noonan Academy, North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, Patriot Elementary, Pelican Elementary, Pine Island Elementary, Ray V. Pottorf Elementary, Riverdale High, Skyline Elementary, South Fort Myers High, St. Andrew Catholic School, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Three Oaks Elementary, Three Oaks Middle, Tice Elementary, Tortuga Preserve Elementary, Trafalgar Elementary, Trafalgar Middle, Tropic Isles Elementary, Varsity Lake Middle, and Veteran’s Park Academy for the Arts.

Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School Art Teacher Karen Flanders, Edison Ford Education Manager Merry Coffman, Educator Glen Beitman, and Educator Pearce Augustenborg.

Handcrafted Ornaments at Edison Ford stores

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 11th

  • Now through January 4, 2014

Hand-made ornament     Handcrafted ornaments will be on display during Edison Ford Holiday Nights. All ornaments on display have been hand-made by decorating teams. Both hand-made and replica ornaments are available for sale in the Edison Ford Museum Store, Ford Caretaker’s Cottage and offsite at the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops.





Edison Ford Holiday Nights Decorations and Decorators

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 9th

Frank Balogh decorating     The Edison Estate first opened during the holidays to the public 38 years ago as one of the homes decorated for the holidays by the Fort Myers Woman’s Community Club. Today, Edison Ford Holiday Nights has become one of the top ten holiday events in the nation with dozens of decorating groups from throughout the area.

Shell Point decorators     Edison Ford curatorial staff oversee that the decorations reflect the history of Florida and the world during the late 1920s as well as the interests, hobbies, inventions and activities of the two famous families as well as hand craft period decorations. Additionally in the Heritage Garden located next to the museum, school groups decorate trees with hand-made ornaments that reflect inventions of Edison and Ford.

HN GE Decorators     All of the decorators learn that during the Depression Era, many of the ornaments were ‘saved’ over the years and many were hand-made using available and natural materials. There are also treasured old glass ornaments which were made in Germany, Christmas tree lights which were invented by Thomas Edison and an exhibit of Santa Claus illustrations much like Henry Ford’s original Santa’s workshop.

Thank you to all groups and schools who participated in decorating for the 2013 Edison Ford Holiday Nights event.

Decorating teams:

AIA, American Farms, Bell Tower Shops, Bennett’s Fresh Roast, Edison Community Neighborhood Association, Edison Festival of Light, Edison Inventors Association, Creative Events & Rentals, Edison Ford Volunteers, Flanders Architecture, Florida Power & Light, Florida Weekly, Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, Forestry Resources, General Electric, Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, Lee County School District, Lee County Electric Co-Op, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens, McKibbon Hotels, The Nest Home and Garden, Norris Home Furnishings, Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, June Pekol Realty, Pinchers Crab Shack, Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, Shell Point Retirement Community, Southwest Florida Historical Society, St. James City Volunteers with Brinson Family, Thomas A. Edison Congregational Church, True Tours, WGCU Public Media, and Williams-Sonoma.

Chief Curator Alison Giesen, Assistant Curator Mike Cosden, Registrar Brent Newman, and Preparator Megan Kissinger.

Edison Ford Summer Camp Registration NOW Open to Edison Ford Members

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 7th

Early registration is now open for Members of Edison Ford for the 8th Inventor’s Summer Camp beginning June 2 through August 1, 2014. Inventor’s camp combines science, art and nature. Camps are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th.

Registration for the general public opens in January. Sign up soon as camps fill quickly.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230. To register or for more information call the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Click HERE to visit our website and download registration forms.

summer camp group

Gift Membership to Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 6th

     The gift giving season is upon us, and we would like you to consider giving the gift of membership to your family or friends. A gift membership to Edison Ford is a gift that keeps giving ALL year long!

      Membership can be used differently by each person because it includes unlimited FREE admission to Edison Ford as well as to hundreds of other museums, gardens and historic sites throughout the nation. Members also receive discounts on programs including our award winning summer camp, classes for adults and a 10% discount on items in our museum store, garden shoppe, cottage shoppe, and the NEW Edison Ford Shoppe at the Bell Tower Shops.

      Members also receive FREE admission to Edison Ford Holiday Nights as well as complimentary “GUEST” passes for their visitors during Edison Ford Holiday Nights.