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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for May, 2014

Inside the Lab Tour – NEW Days and Time

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 31, 2014
  • NOW Every Tuesday and Friday – 10:30 a.m.

This tour is an exciting, in-depth program inside Edison’s Botanical Research Laboratory, a National Historic Chemical Landmark.

The 1928 Edison Botanical Laboratory has undergone an extensive, two-year restoration and rebirth, with more than $900,000 in funding and careful oversight from Edison Ford and consultants.

Learn about the operation of the historic Edison Botanical Research Laboratory firsthand from the curators who worked on the project. Visitors will be given the extraordinary opportunity to go inside Edison’s Laboratory, not offered on any other Edison Ford tour. The Inside the Lab Tour is approximately 60 minutes and an audio tour is included afterward. Groups of 20 or more may call to arrange for special times and dates.

Cost: Members $10; non-members $40 Adults; $16 Children (ages 6 – 12). Groups of 20 people or more $30, per person, with advance reservations and based on availability.

Inside the lab june 2014 new days




June Tours and Programs

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 30, 2014

June tours and activities 2014

President’s Update ~ Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 26, 2014


president update     We are about a month away from the completion of the new Museum West Porch. It is already making quite a presence in the adjacent gardens and will provide new exit doors from the museum galleries. We predict an event in July to showcase its completion.

For Edison Ford visitors and the community, it will also provide an additional 1,250 square feet of covered area for events, performances, classes and rentals in the beautiful new main public garden area. From the vantage point of McGregor Boulevard, it changes the wall of the Museum into an inviting garden space. It will be stunning!

museum porch june 2014 update

     Our work with The Marina at Edison Ford is also proving to be an exciting new project. Many of our visitors and members are popping next door for lunch, dinner or cocktails and wonderful, local seafood with the most dazzling view in Southwest Florida.

 marina at edison ford pergola june 2014     We have just completed a beautiful, large replica of a historic pergola to mark the pathway connecting the Coconut Grove and our entrance to the restaurant Pinchers at the Marina. It is a beautiful addition to the recently restored Coconut Grove. We had more than 100 folks join us on an evening Moonlight Garden Walk about a week ago. Next one is slated for the Harvest Moon.

      By July, the new daily river excursions will begin from The Marina at Edison Ford on the 58 passenger Corinthian catamaran which will be named The Edison Explorer.

      The cruises will be great for all ages and will explore the wildlife and history of some very scenic areas along the Caloosahatchee. The tour company, Pure Fort Myers/Pure Naples, is well known for their nature, wildlife, and historic tours and we are delighted to welcome them to the area.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates is Now a National Historic Chemical Landmark

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 25, 2014

The work of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone in rubber research has been acknowledged by the American Chemical Society (ACS) for its importance in chemical research. In May, the ACS recognized the Edison Botanical Research Laboratory at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates as a National Historic Chemical Landmark.

This is the first site in Florida to receive this designation to honor Thomas Edison’s contribution to the field of Chemistry. As the primary rubber research site, Edison Ford worked with two other sites which will also be designated as landmarks; Thomas Edison National Historic Park on June 6th and Henry Ford Greenfield Village on September 20th.

Edison Botanic Research Laboratory Photos 1

Edison inside the lab Compressed

Edison Ford MONTHLY UPDATE Available through EMAIL

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 23, 2014

If you would like to receive a copy of our monthly update through email instead of a paper copy, contact Darlene Hermey, Membership Coordinator at 239-334-7419 or dhermey@edisonfordwinterestates.org. The Edison Ford marketing staff sends out eblasts a couple of times a month to Members through email. YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WILL NOT BE SHARED WITH ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION OR INDIVIDUAL. By receiving eblasts, Members get the latest Edison Ford news.

The monthly update is also published on our Web site.

2014 Edison Ford Inventors Summer Camp – ONLY TWO SESSIONS OPEN

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 20, 2014

Edison and Ford Story Book Writing

             Week 10:  August 4 – 8         “Edison Story Book Writing”

             Week 11:  August 11 – 15       “Ford Story Book Writing”

   Become an author and illustrator at Edison Ford and create a book to share.  Week one focuses on stories about Thomas Edison’s fascinating inventions and week two explores Henry Ford’s exciting life. Students will work in teams to write and illustrate books about the great inventors, while learning from local artists and authors.  summer camp may 2014 update

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230. For more

information call the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Weeks 1 – 9 are full, but the two final weeks still have space. Don’t miss out!!


FREE Admission to Veterans and their Families on Memorial Day

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 18, 2014
  • Memorial day 2014May 26 –  Memorial Day

     The Edison Ford is offering FREE admission to United States Veterans and their immediate families on Monday May 26. Free admission includes an audio tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, Museum and Edison Research Lab.

Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission.


Edison Botanic Lab Becomes A National Chemical Historic Landmark!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 16, 2014

Lab May 2014     On May 25, 2014 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory will receive official national designation as a National Chemical Historical Landmark in a public ceremony presided over by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Edison Ford.

The afternoon will include the unveiling of the plaque designating the site, continuous “Inside the Lab” tours led by curators and scientists, and lots of family-friendly chemistry demonstrations led by the Edison Ford Wild Wizard, Chemists and Scientists from ACS. The event is FREE.

Edison Ford President & CEO, Chris Pendleton, is proud of the Lab’s million dollar restoration over the past few years and the quest to understand what went on in the Lab and why the work is nationally significant.

“Because of Edison’s contribution to chemistry, we have been designated as the first site in Florida and only one of a few in the nation. We are a scientific site as well as a beautiful estate and garden,” says Pendleton.

As the primary research site, the Edison Ford curatorial team and our consultants in Fort Myers worked with two other sites, West Orange, New Jersey (Thomas Edison National Historic Park) and Dearborn, Michigan (Edison’s Menlo Park Lab at Greenfield Village) who will also be commemorated later in the year. “It was in Fort Myers that Edison was able to establish the seed collection system, raise the rubber plants, harvest them, formulate the chemical process and invent new processes and machinery to support the project,” says Edison Ford Chief Curator, Alison Giesen.


lab equipment



Edison Botanical Research Laboratory

National Historic Chemical Landmark Celebration


May 25, 2014 – Edison & Ford Winter Estates

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Event Open to the Public


Director’s Tour: Naples

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 14, 2014

 directors tour naples may 2014May 22, 8:00 a.m.

      Edison Ford President & CEO Chris Pendleton will join Edison Ford Landscape Architect Ellin Goetz, for some of Ellin’s favorite design projects. The tour will include her design work at the Naples Botanical Gardens as well as private homes in Naples. The tour will also include her family’s resort, The Naples Beach & Golf Club for beachside beverages and food. Ellin will also discuss her work in the restoration of the Edison Moonlight Garden that received an Award of Merit from the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Registration is required by calling Cori Cramsey at 239-334-7419. Cost: Edison Ford Members $90; non-members $100.


Volunteer meeting and program May 13

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 11, 2014
  • May 13, 10:00 a.m. – South Florida Water Management Building  Lecture Hallvolunteer meeting river view phil flood May 2014

Guest speaker, Phil Flood, South Florida Water Management District, will lecture on Florida’s natural water system of lakes, rivers and the Everglades, the history of how it is being managed and what’s ahead.

Meetings are open to current Edison Ford volunteers, potential volunteers and the public.


For additional information on how to become a volunteer at Edison Ford contact the Edison Ford Volunteer Department at 239-334-7419.