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

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for January, 2014

President’s Update ~ Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 31st

president update     February is Edison’s birthday month and Florida has been celebrating February 11 for many years with the opening of the Edison Bridge on February 11, 1931, the annual Edison Festival Parade (ongoing since 1938), and of course the birthday party at his Fort Myers Estate.


February 11 1931 - Edison Bridge Opens

February 11 1931 – Edison Bridge Opens

     This year we will mark February 11, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. with the groundbreaking for the new West Porch on the Edison Ford Museum. Museum Trustees, VIP’s and guests will enjoy a performance by the Edison Park Creative & Expressive Arts School dance troupe “Boys in Black” (who will perform music and dance from the Edison era like the photo above), birthday cake provided by the Edison Pageant of Light, and the “turning of the shovel” by museum officials and representatives of the architectural firm, Parker Mudgett Smith, contractor Casey Construction, City of Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson and Council Members … and of course, the Edisons.

February 11 1928 - Students Performing

February 11 1928 – Students Performing

      February is also a historic month for the Edison Estate as we connect their beloved Coconut Grove with our new neighbor, Marina at Edison Ford and Pinchers Restaurant. 

      We expect their public opening to be the end of February or early March, so our volunteers will join us February 18 for a tour and sneak peek of the Marina of Edison Ford. The Marina at Edison Ford will have a separate entrance and area for exhibits and hosting by our staff and volunteers. With the help of new partners as well as longtime friends, we will continue to make the Edison & Ford Winter Estates a proud protector of the legacy of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford … helping us to develop and interpret this magical site for the future. Visit often and help us to continue to grow our membership program and the families and individuals who participate in ongoing classes, camps and programs.

Edisons with mayor library ribboncutting 2014

Edisons with Mayor & Mrs Henderson 2014





Antique Car Show at the Ford Estate on the River

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 29th

● Saturday, February 1, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

     Over 100 antique Ford cards, trucks and other vehicles will be on display at the Ford Estate on the river. There will be car talks, live entertainment and informal tours with Henry and Clara Ford of the Ford Estate. BBQ and beverages will be available for purchase. For more information or to register your antique car call 239-334-7419 or visit our website.  

     Cost: Adults $15; Children $5 (admission includes homes, gardens, lab and museum).

car show feb 2014


Road Scholars at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 26th

With more than 300 participants from around the world, Edison Ford is a featured site for the weeklong lifelong learning Road Scholar program. Scholars enjoy a Southwest Florida experience that includes stops on Sanibel Island and Downtown Fort Myers. Participants spend a full day at Edison Ford enjoying a Behind-the-Scenes tour, inside the historic homes and laboratory with curatorial staff, learning about unique interior architecture and award winning restoration, as well as how the Edison and Ford families experienced Southwest Florida. Participants will receive lectures presented by Edison Ford staff including “Edison at Work: Laboratories and Innovations” and “Henry Ford Industrialization” which offers insight into two great inventors. While at Edison Ford participants enjoy breakfast, lunch and refreshments as well as a tour of the site, lab and museum. To register or for more information on Southwest Florida Road Scholar programs in January, February, March or April visit www.roadscholar.org or call 800-454-5768.


Edison Ford Robotics Team Takes Home the Gold

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 24th

Our student robotics team has put together another winning project this year and has won the top award for their inventive project which focuses on ways to use robotics to control the impact of weather.

With the Southwest title under their belts (they have named themselves The Edison Ninjas) they will move on to state competitions for 2013/14.

The Edison Ninjas study and work throughout the year to create computer programs and hardware to use robotics in industry and research. Contact Merry Coffman, Programs Manager, for more information about this project, Inventors Summer Camp and other science programs for students at 239-334-7419.

Lego Ninjas jan 2014

Additional funding for this project provided by GE, Peden Group, Advanced Polymers, Quest Specialty Chemicals, and contributions from patrons.


Architects Recognize Edison Ford President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 23rd

The American Institute of Architects Florida Southwest (AIAFLASW) awarded Edison Ford President & CEO Chris Pendleton with their 2013 Citizen Architect of the Year Award. Joyce Owens, Architect,  AIAFLASW Past President and board member of AIA Florida, presented the award in December at the regional meeting at the Miromar Design Center.

architects recognize edison ford jan 2014      The award recognizes “interest, activity and concern for the profession of architecture and having advanced good design and planning and contribution to the quality and value of the architecture profession.” Pendleton has also received the Trustee Emeritus Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Garden Clubs, Inc.





Edison Ford Holiday Nights One of the Nation’s Best – USA Today

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 19th

     Edison Ford Holiday Nights was selected by USA Today as one of “America’s top places to celebrate the holidays.” They included Edison Ford Holiday Nights along with the White House, Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Biltmore Estate as “not to miss” holiday experiences.

      That will be a tough act to follow for 2014, but we look forward to event growth with our new expanded waterfront access at the Marina at Edison Ford and our ever-changing holiday decorations and activities.

 holiday nights usa today jan 2014holiday nights usa today jan 2014 2






Artists and Authors at Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 17th

● Saturday, February 8, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

artists and authors jan 2014     Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the person who has everything? Edison Ford Artists and Authors Night at Bell Tower Shops will personalize artwork and books for a one-of-a-kind gift.

      For more information on which Artists and Authors will be available visit our website at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org or call239-334-7419.





2014 Inventors Summer Camp Registration

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 15th

     Registration is underway for the 10th year of the summer program, Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp.

Registration can be completed in person by stopping by Edison Ford, by completing the printed application brochure, by calling the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419 or click here to download registration materials. 

     We call this an “immersion” day camp as it is based in the Edison Caretaker’s House and includes directed activities in the gardens of the Edison and Ford Estates, the Edison Ford Museum and the Edison Botanic Laboratory.

Student inventors work in science, history and the arts and get to know the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in a very personal way. We are building the next generation of inventors and leaders. Early registration is suggested and competitive scholarships are available. book young thomas edison

 2014 Edison Ford Inventors Summer Camp Schedule:

 June 2 – June 6 Smarts in Arts and Science

 June 9 – June 13 Video Game Design

 June 16 – June 20 Movie Making Magic

 June 23 – June 27 Kitchen Chemistry

 June 30 – July 3  Space and Rockets

 July 7 – July 11  Physics in Motion

 July 14 – July 18  Eager Engineers

 July 21 – July 25  Robotics

 July 28 – August 1  Robotics

 August 4 – Edison Story Book Writing

 August 11 – Ford Story Book Writing

      Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230 (materials fees additional for some camps). For more information call the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419.


Scarf Art Workshop with artist Marie Dyer

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 13th

● January 24, 25 or 26, 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops

scarf art marie dyer jan 2014     Join Southwest Florida artist, Marie Dyer, and create your own hand painted silk scarf. Marie will teach a variety of techniques to inspire painters of all levels to create their own “one-of-a-kind” scarf.  All materials will be provided to produce a finished piece.

      Known for her vivid floral landscape paintings, Marie has been a featured artist at Edison Ford and has taught “Scarf Art” workshops throughout the New England area. Participants may bring their own lunch or enjoy eating at the restaurants at Bell Tower Shops. To register call 239-334-7419.

           Cost: Edison Ford Members $85; non-members $90 (includes materials and one silk scarf).


Edison Ford Monthly Volunteer Meeting and Program

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 12th

● January 21, 10:00 a.m. – Courtyard outside Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops

      Join Sanibel Librarian, Historian and Author Duane Shaffer who will discuss the Battle of Fort Myers, known as the “southernmost land battle of the Civil War.” Shaffer is author of the book Men of Granite, New Hampshire Soldiers in the Civil War. Meetings and lectures are open to current Edison Ford volunteers, potential volunteers and the public.

      For additional information contact the Volunteer Department at 239-334-7419.