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

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for June, 2015

NEW … “Ask the Curator”

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 30, 2015
  • Wednesdays – 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Every week we will focus on a historical artifact from the Edison and Ford era including furniture, inventions, clothing, machinery, books, etc. The topics will be set up monthly so that you can focus on your interests and even bring your own treasure for a “look see.” The topics for July are:

  • July 1 – Phonographs – Jim Niccum (Senior Historian & Phonograph  Expert) & Matt Andres (Registrar)
  • July 8 – 1916 Model T Ford – James Moss (Automotive Curator) & Matt Andres (Registrar)
  • July 15 – EBRC Plants/Shade Structures – Matt Andres (Registrar)
  • July 22 – Books, Papers – Brady Vogt (Book & Paper Specialist) & Matt Andres (Registrar)
  • July 29 – Estates Artwork – Megan Kissinger (Conservator & Artist) & Matt Andres (Registrar)

We plan to also have an “Appraiser’s Afternoon” scheduled periodically as part of this ongoing program.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE; non-members Museum and Lab ticket ($12.00).

ask the curator group photo

Edison Ford Summer Camp 2015

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 27, 2015

NEWS FLASH … Summer Camp Now Has A Few Spots Open for Grades 1 – 3 and Waiting List for Grades 4 – 6

Pearce and robot     Edison Ford is in the midst of another busy season of Inventors Summer Camp. More than 400 students will attend this year. Edison Ford is proud to offer education-based camps that cover science, history, engineering, art and the legacies of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

These hands-on camps offer a wide variety of subjects including robotics, moviemaking, chemistry, and video game design. Whether a student is designing a balloon car or playing a game of tag, these enriching camps are always a lot of fun!  Inventors Summer Camp is a day camp with a new theme each week. This year’s camps run through August 21.

Local Fort Myers T-shirt company WearTheFund has partnered with Edison Ford on summer camp T-shirts. The company gives back a portion of the proceeds of purchases to the Edison Ford Education Scholarship Fund. The more T-shirts they sell, the more they give back.


Replica Ford Quadricycle to be Built at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 25, 2015

quadricycle     Henry Ford worked for the Detroit Edison Illuminating Company as an engineer in the early 1890’s. In 1896, after working for two years on a prototype, Ford unveiled an experimental vehicle powered by a simple gasoline engine, which was dubbed the “quadricycle.” Later that summer, Ford met Thomas Edison in person, and described his vehicle to the famed inventor.  Edison’s encouraging response inspired Ford to continue refining his vehicle. He would eventually strike out on his own, founding the Ford Motor Company in 1903.

CEO Chris Pendleton and Chief Curator Mike Cosden have been planning to create a replica quadricycle for several years, but after a visit to The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village last year, they came one step closer to making the project a reality. With the help of Vice President of Museums and Collections Christian Overland, they were able to locate authentic plans to build a replica quadricycle. These detailed plans were created by former Ford Motor Company employee and automotive expert George DeAngelis.

Coupled with the research and expertise of Edison Ford Automotive Curator Jim Moss, and the enthusiastic support of Sam Galloway, Jr., building a replica of Henry Ford’s 1896 quadricycle will become a reality in the coming year.

This replica will be used as an educational and interpretive tool, continuing the Estate’s mission of illuminating Henry Ford’s legacy of innovation. An additional replica, which will be fully operational, is also planned for the future.

Monthly Update Available Electronically

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 23, 2015

     If you would like to receive a copy of our monthly update electronically instead of receiving a paper copy and help Edison Ford defray the cost of a paper mailing and save on postage, contact Darlene Hermey, Membership Coordinator at 239-334-7419 or email dhermey@edisonfordwinterestates.org. We will also include limited e-blasts of special program announcements throughout the month, so Members get the latest Edison Ford news sooner.

     Your email address will not be shared with any other organization or individual. 

update now available via email

Edison Estate Arts and Craft Garden Bridge Rebuilt

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 21, 2015

Mina Edison Garden Social     The decorative bridge on the Edison Estate near the Caloosahatchee River has been rebuilt of native cypress thanks to a generous donation of rough cypress lumber from Roadway Petroleum and Forestry Resources Ecological. The trees were on the Roadway site and with Forestry Resources, they determined that they could be put to good use in the Edison Ford gardens.

Doug Jaureguy painstakingly stripped the bark from the lumber exposing the natural wood. The wood was then shaped and the original bridge recreated. Other members of the team of Edison Ford craftsmen include Rob Solomon, Facilities Director, and Todd McCowen.

There are many such landscape restorations throughout Edison Ford which have been carefully crafted to reflect the historical landscape of the time of the Edisons and the Fords.

bridge rebuilding project june 2015


Scarf Art Workshop with artist, Marie Dyer

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 19, 2015
  • August 29, 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

scarf art    Join Southwest Florida artist, Marie Dyer and create your own hand-painted silk scarf. Known for her vivid floral and landscape paintings, Marie is a featured artist at Edison Ford. She has taught Scarf Art workshops at locations throughout the New England area. Marie will teach a variety of techniques to inspire painters of all levels to create their own “one-of-a-kind” scarf. The scarves can be worn or used as art pieces for the home. Scarf Art classes will be held in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch or drop by theBanyan Café or The Marina at Edison Ford. To register call Leeanne Criswell at239-334-7419 or email her at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org. Cost: Edison Ford Members $75; non-members $80. (Cost includes materials and scarf).


Conservation Corps Volunteers

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 17, 2015

Recently, the Curatorial Department put out a request for volunteers interested in maintaining, cleaning, and preserving items in our collection and exhibit materials, as well as our historic structures. The volunteers who responded have been dubbed the “Conservative Corps,” and have proved themselves to be a tremendous asset to Edison Ford. After receiving training from Curatorial staff, this growing team of volunteers works on the following projects:

  • conservation corps june 2015 Curatorial Housekeeping – learn special tricks and materials for window cleaning, deep dusting, silver polishing and wicker preservation inside the homes – all organic.
  • Sewing – work with a variety of projects, including locating and researching historic fabric samples.
  • Registration – work with the Registrar, doing important data entry work for the artifact inventory.
  • Automotive – assist with the conservation and care of our historical vehicles.

With the help of these volunteers, special projects are underway to enhance interpretation, conserve artifacts, preserve our structures, and enhance visitor experiences.

For more information on becoming part of the Edison Ford “Conservation Corps,” call Mike Cosden, Chief Curator at 239-334-7419.

Great Book Picks in the Museum Store

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 15, 2015

book picks june 2015     Thomas Edison, Mina Edison, and Henry Ford have all been the focus of news stories recently. The Curatorial Staff has picked several books which highlight the aspects of the lives of these Fort Myers celebrities currently in the news:

     Have you ever wondered what foods you would find on the Edison dining room table? Perhaps you’ve recently seen a famous Edison family recipe, such as Mina’s “light as air” muffins, published in the Tropicalia section of the Fort Myers News-Press. In Edison’s Family & Friends Recipes, you will find a treasure trove of delicious recipes which give insights into how the Edisons relaxed and enjoyed time together as a family. Recommended for anyone interested in cooking or the Edison family (Mina Edison’s 150th birthday is just around the corner – July 6) this slender volume makes an excellent gift.

Thomas Edison has also been featured prominently in the news. Be it for his farsighted thoughts on the future of solar energy and electric vehicles, or his part in the famed “currents war” between alternating and direct current, the innovator’s prominence in the press has seldom been greater since his passing in 1931. If you would like to know more, Empires of Light provides an interesting examination of Edison’s life as an inventor, with special attention to the “race to electrify the world,” offering a captivating blend of scientific and social history.

Like his friend and mentor Thomas Edison, Henry Ford has also received a great deal of press .

The People’s Tycoon explores the life of Henry Ford, from his family and friendships, to the incredible success of the Ford Motor Company, to his personal ideologies and beliefs. While an excellent choice for an introduction to Ford’s life and work, this biography also features a level of detail which will provide fascinating insights for those already familiar with the automobile magnate.

Each of these books, and many more, are available in the Edison Ford Museum Store and also in the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops.  Monthly, the Curatorial Staff will pick books on timely topics or current events. Be on the lookout for next month’s Great Book Picks!

Father’s Day Weekend at Edison Ford and The Marina at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 14, 2015
  • Saturday, June 20 & Sunday, June 21, 2015

     Celebrate Father’s Day with FREE admission for Dads all day long on Sunday at Edison Ford. Dad’s FREE admission includes an audio tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, museum and Edison Research Lab.

Fathers day 2015 clipart tie     Fathers cruise FREE with Pure Fort Myers with a full price child or spouse ticket. Take a break and enjoy a relaxing experience on the river with your family. Fathers and their families will be able to enjoy this special discount on Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21.

Pinchers will also have special discounts on Father’s Day.



Great Gifts for Great Dads from the Edison Ford Shoppes and Stores

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 11, 2015

     Summertime is t-shirt weather and the Edison Ford Shoppes and Stores (here on site and at Bell Tower Shops) have a terrific assortment of t-shirts, hats and other legacy items for Dads.

Our biggest seller is the t-shirt with Ford cars, but the map shirt of historic Lee County is another favorite. Then there is the bowler with the light bulb – now that’s a “bright idea.” All sales from the stores benefit the education program at Edison Ford and, of course, Members always receive a 10% discount.

fathers day gift items 2015