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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for May, 2015

Inside the Homes and Inside the Lab Summertime Hours

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 30th
  • Inside the Homes Tours – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. – Enjoy the Cooler Morning Weather

The Inside the Homes Tours are one of our best programs, and they are offered weekly or with a special appointment for groups of 10 or more. The tour provides a personal experience, featuring time with Curators inside areas normally not accessible. You will be “up close and personal” with objects that can be a mystery – here is one:dinner chimes edison dining room

If you are not sure what this artifact might be used for, you are not alone! Here’s a hint: the separate short stick on top of the artifact is a “striker.” Here’s another hint: think “xylophone.” Here’s the last hint: It sits in the dining room of the Edison Guest House at the right hand of the head person at the table. OK, the is the final hint: Think NBC. The answer is at the bottom of the page – or better yet, join us for an Inside the Homes Tour to unravel more mysteries!


  • Inside the LabTours – Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

This detailed tour of the Edison Botanic Research Corporation Laboratory includes examining some very original and “quirky” inventions – some of them even fashioned by Edison himself. It also features pieces of equipment used in a variety of laboratory processes, including the one shown at right, used in a process patented by Edison in the final years of his life.ball mill grinder Edison lab

If you are not sure what this object might be, think of the coffee grinder of your grandparents – or great grandparents. Here’s another hint: It is located in a separate room inside the Laboratory; along with a number of other pieces of equipment used for the same purpose. Each apparatus in this area, including a hydraulic press and a meat grinder, is connected by a belt to a line shaft, in turn connecting to a motor which powers the devices. See answers below – and make plans to join us for a tour inside the award-winning, fully restored, Edison Botanic Research Corporation Laboratory, a National Historic Chemical Landmark.

  • Answers:

Object 1: Dinner Chimes, used to call family and friends to the dining room. Also used in the railroad to call passengers to dinner.

Object 2: Ball Mill Grinder, used in Edison’s 1,090th patent – for grinding plant material in rubber research.

President’s Update ~ Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 28th

As Edison Ford approaches 10 years as a non-profit organization, there have been several outstanding people involved in the transition from city management to corporate management. I have been fortunate to have been part of the transition and the subsequent growth, and I would like to recognize a few outstanding individuals … one who is still involved and one who is moving on to a new life “out west.”

Sam Galloway     In April, our “Trustee Emeritus” Sam Galloway was recognized by Gulfshore Business for the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner of 2015. We were proud to be a sponsor of the event and to support his newest award. At Edison Ford, Sam was President of the City Advisory Board, as well as a Trustee of the new non-profit Board of Trustees.

I call him the “lightning rod” and leader of the group to privatize the former city site for new leadership, governance and restoration. He certainly guided me and showed me the way to set our sights on a new way of running Edison Ford. He has been keeping track of me and our progress here ever since.

For me and all of us at Edison Ford, Sam has been a crucial part of the new era of Edison Ford. Now, in typical Sam fashion, he is lending his interest and support to our new project to create the original Ford automobile, the quadricycle. Just like Edison, Sam is finding new and better ways for us here. Here’s a “huge thank you” Sam and please add our “lightning rod” award to your list of accomplishments and recognitions.

Marc with Historians     My second outstanding individual has been part of our transition here for eight years. As all our visitors and members know, the site historians are the voice and face that most of the public see on any day of the week. For the past eight years, one of the teachers and historians has been Marc Estabrook, an outstanding historian, representative of the site, and an all around good guy. Marc and all of the site historians have really raised the bar for programming and established professionalism and visitor service as hallmarks of the tour and visitor program.

Marc is off to a new adventure and will be teaching in Denver, Colorado soon. Speaking for the thousands of visitors and staff and for me, we all wish you continued success, good jokes and be sure to stay in touch.

That’s Marc with the bunny ears with the other historians and me.

Daily Activities for June

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 26th

June 2015 Daily

Edison Ford Garden Tours

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 24th
  • Every Wednesday & Saturday – 10:30 a.m.

Horticulturists lead behind-the-scenes garden tours which include 20 acres of historic gardens, crop gardens, propagating nursery, and Garden Shoppe full of exotic, heritage and edible plants for gardens and containers. Ticket includes free time to tour Edison Ford and participants receive a 20% discount in the Garden Shoppe. This tour also includes the NEW Ask the Horticulturist program.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE (one time); non-members $30. Group Tours for 20 or more people $25, call 239-334-7419. Group tours are subject to availability and require advance reservations.

garden propagating nursery

Weddings, Special Events and Group Tour and Lunch at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 22nd

Edison Ford is the perfect venue for a group lunch and tour on the river, an outdoor wedding, corporate event, or a stunning backdrop for a family portrait. With historic homes, romantic gardens, and spectacular river views, Edison Ford has something to offer for every special occasion.

There is no substitute for viewing Edison Ford in person. Contact the Edison Ford Event Coordinator, Cori Cramsey at 239-335-3689 to schedule a site walk and check the availability of your wedding date or special event.

Weddings and luncheons

American Experience PBS Specials Featured in Edison Ford Museum

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 20th

“THOMAS EDISON – The Father of Invention”

 “HENRY FORD – The world he created he longed to escape”

     With special permission from PBS, American Experience and our local public broadcasting station, WGCU Public Broadcasting, two wonderful new films will be shown daily and continuously in the Hall of Inventions as part of the visitor experience. Both films will be shown in their entirety and include new and provocative information about the inventors and business leaders of the past century.

DVD PBS American experience Henry Ford and Thomas Edison

A schedule for each of the films will be posted daily as the films are lengthy. In future months, the director/producers of the films will be at Edison Ford to discuss both films.

In addition, copies of each film are available for sale in the Edison Ford Museum Store for $24.95. Edison Ford Members would pay $22.45 with their 10% discount.

Ford Motor Company at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 18th

      The Ford Motor Company, with Edsel Ford II as the representative, has just become one of our newest Edison Ford Business Members. We welcome them as Members and look forward to the upcoming filming in October 2015 for Ford Motor Company dealers … nationwide. Henry and Clara would be proud.

In the upcoming months, we will continue to spruce up Edison Ford and are looking forward to their visit in October.

Ford home may 2015


NEW Book on Edison and Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 16th

book Edison and Ford in Florida     There soon will be a new book about Edison and Ford in Southwest Florida available at Edison Ford Shops and all major bookstores.

The book will be published by Arcadia Publishing and will include photographs and history of Edison and Ford in Florida as well as other locations. This is the first publication to present the history of the two men and their relationship to Florida.

The book was written by Chief Curator Mike Cosden, Assistant Curator Brent Newman, and President & CEO Chris Pendleton. The project will also include an exhibit on-site as well as a traveling exhibit and program component. It will be completed and available for sale during the upcoming winter season.

In the meantime, the curatorial staff has selected some other books by Arcadia Publishing that are available in the Museum Store and the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops.

Books Lee County Islands and Fort Myers Beach Images of America

Director Tours to Return in September

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 14th

     The spectacular restoration of the Paul Rudolph Sarasota High School and private home tours finished up the spring season for the Edison Ford Director Tours. The Sarasota Architectural Foundation and architect Joyce Owens, arranged for the sites to be toured and the bus tour was directors tours sarasota umbrella houseled by Sarasota Herald Tribune editor, Harold Bubil.

Plans are underway for the fall 2015 and 2016 season which include the Frank Lloyd Wright campus of Florida Southern, private home and garden tours in Palm Beach, private nursery and architecture tour in Homestead and Historic Punta Gorda and a Peace River cruise.

For first notices and to be included on the Director Tours mailing list, contact Nancy Achter at 239-335-3678 or email her at nachter@edisonfordwinterestates.org.


Edison Ford MONTHLY UPDATE Available through EMAIL

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 13th

     If you would like to receive a copy of our monthly update through email instead of a paper copy and help Edison Ford defray the cost of a paper mailing, contact Darlene Hermey, Membership Coordinator at 239-334-7419 or email dhermey@edisonfordwinterestates.org. Your email address will not be shared with any other organization or individual. By receiving eblasts, Members get the latest Edison Ford news sooner.