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

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for August, 2015

“Ask the Curator”

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 31, 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 you can focus on your interests and even bring your own treasure for a “look see.”

The topics for September are:

  • Ford flathead v8 Matt and Jim MossSeptember 2 – Ford Flathead V-8 with Registrar Matt Andres and Automotive Curator James Moss
  • September 9 – Edison and the Ediphone with Registrar Matt Andres and Senior Site Historian and Chemist Jim Niccum
  • September 16 – Edison the Gardener with Registrar Matt Andres and Chief Horticulturist Debbie Hughes
  • September 23 – Estates Furniture Preservation with Registrar Matt Andres and Museum Conservator Megan Kissinger
  • September 30 – Edison Fish Stories with Registrar Matt Andres and Chief Curator Mike Cosden

We plan to also have an “Appraiser’s Afternoon” scheduled periodically as part of this ongoing program. Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE; non-members included with Museum and Lab admission.

Director Tour Season – Kicks Off on October 17, 2015

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 30, 2015

     The Edison Ford Director Tours have been a successful program for the past 14 years.  The Director Tours began as a program to inspire staff and friends by visiting other museums, gardens, great cities, old hotels, and restaurants around Florida and has continued to grow.

director tour august 2015     A destination that was so popular it required two buses last year is the Homestead and Redlands area of South Florida.  For many, many years, this area has been the tropical fruit, agriculture and plant nursery hot spot for Florida.  We found miles and miles of nurseries, interesting foods, and even a winery.  Edison Ford Director Tours will offer the popular destination again this year.

director tour august 2015 2     New this year is our first destination of historic Punta Gorda which has completed a dramatic revitalization after storm damage.  The outing will include a cruise of Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River, trolley tours of the historic area and time for shopping.

The Director Tours this year include: Punta Gorda, Sarasota Modern Architecture and Ringling Museum, Homestead, Cortez Fishing Village Everglades City, Lakeland and Tampa.

Contact Nancy Achter to be placed on the mailing list at either 239-334-7419 or nachter@edisonfordwinterestates.org.


Mina, Clara and Edison Ford Volunteers

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 28, 2015

     “Mina Edison  and Clara Ford Teas” have many reasons to be successful, but the greatest reason is the interest, talent and commitment of a great group of Edison Ford Volunteers.

Several months ago, Jan MaGirl and Clara Schmidt who are longtime Edison Ford docents, presented a “conversation lecture program” at the monthly volunteer meeting that was based on the historic reflections of Mina and Clara on their life, fame and fun.  It was a rousing success.

clara and mina tea august 2015     Both Jan (Mina Edison) and Clara (Clara Ford) have been studying the famous families for many years and have visited other Edison and Ford sites around the nation.  They are friends, just like Mina and Clara, so it is a wonderful exploration into the two legendary women with a modern twist.  To make it more interesting Jan MaGirl is married to Jamie MaGirl, who is also an Edison Ford lab docent and frequently portrays Thomas Edison.  Clara Schmidt’s husband in real life is named Doug, but her historical husband, Henry Ford, just happens to be portrayed by Edison Ford former historian Doug Jaureguy.  There are lots of interesting connections.

Jan and Clara are still exploring history of the women, their families and the national and international history that played such an important part of their legacy in Florida.  Chief Curator, Mike Cosden, and his department are constantly providing research findings, photos, and facts as the program develops.  Holly Shaffer, co-manager of the Volunteer Program, feels that “This event is unique for it provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of the Estates’ leading ladies.”

Tea Talk with Mina Edison and Clara Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 26, 2015
Edison Caretaker's House

Edison Caretaker’s House

Available for Groups … Limited Seating

      The new monthly program, “Tea with Mina Edison and Clara Ford”, is one of the hottest new offerings at Edison & Ford.  In fact, so hot, that it’s Sold Out for Saturday, August 22nd with a wait list and Saturday, September 26th is filling up fast.

For groups of 15 or more, special dates can be arranged by calling Edison Ford at 239-334-7419.  In October and November, the Teas will move to Thursdays to increase the availability of this popular new program.

The Teas have been featured in the News-Press, Gulf and Main Magazine and Lifestyles Southwest Florida.  Why the success?  Mina and Clara will tell you that is fun to get together with a small group around a table, sip Mina’s tea, nibble on sweets, and hear about life from the two great ladies.  From time to time, their husbands will drop by to chat, along with visits from the gardener, or other historically interesting friends. During Mina’s time, she created the Round Table at the Estates to chat with community friends and leaders. This great idea will expand over time.


Edison Ford Bell Tower Shoppe

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 23, 2015

bell tower august 2015     The Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower was honored to be featured recently in the News-Press Business Section and for good reason!  The Shoppe has become a regular destination for our members, as well as for shoppers who are looking for interesting and unique items with a local twist.

There is a wonderful book section full of both fiction and non-fiction books for all ages.  The new section of collectors books includes first editions and books that date back to the 1800’s.  Other unique items include wonderful art pieces created by some of the artists and instructors at Edison Ford including Leoma Lovegrove, Marie Dyer, Augusta Crane, Megan Kissinger and Manfred Behr.  There is also local honey, jam, jellies, sauces, and of course, science and history toys and games for children.

The Edison Ford Shoppe is open during Bell Tower hours.  Don’t forget to stop in, say hello to our staff and volunteers and to ask for newsletters and information about Edison Ford and the region.

Remember Edison Ford Members receive a 10% discount at all the Edison Ford stores and Garden Shoppe.

August Great Book Picks in the Museum Store

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 21, 2015

     Thomas Edison, Mina Edison, and Henry Ford have all been the focus of news stories recently. Monthly, the Curatorial Staff will pick books on timely topics or current events.

Legendary Locals of Fort Myers – by Gerri Reaves.

august book picks 2015 1     This book offers an excellent view into Fort Myers’ past by providing brief biographies on many     of  the individuals who made a  memorable impact on the community.  Reaves, who is a local historian, uses images from  historical  archives, family collections, and her own contemporary photographs to weave together the story of Fort Myers as told through the lives of its most influential citizens.  Readers will delight in learning about some of its most influential citizens.  Readers will delight in learning about Some of the unique people who added such character to the area.

1001 Things to Spot in the Sea – by Katie Daynes.

august book picks 2015 2     This excellently illustrated book will  fascinate young children who love the sea and its  inhabitants.  Each two-page illustration depicts a different ecosystem with certain species that children can identify and count.  A great way to get kids interested in the ocean or marine biology.

Recommended for Ages: 8 and up.


Images of Motoring: Ford Dynasty a Photographic History – by Michael W.R. Davis and James K. Wagner.

august book picks 2015 3     Using over 200 photographs from the Ford Motor Company archives and other personal collections, this book provides an intimate look into the lives of the Ford family, and their impact on the automotive world.  Some of these never-before-seen photos are truly worth a thousand words and will fascinate both the casual reader and the “Ford buff” out  there.

Each of these books, and many more, are available in the Edison Ford Museum Store, Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops and in our online store.

Be on the lookout for next month’s Great Book Picks!


Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts Programming 2015 – 2016

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 19, 2015
  • September 19 – 10:00 a.m. – Noon; October 17 – 10:00 a.m. – Noon; April 23 – 10:00 a.m. – Noon; May 14 – 10:00 a.m. – Noon

        Working with scouting at Edison Ford can be traced all the way back to the days of Thomas Edison and his children.

girl scout emblem     Today, the historic site is perfect for a variety of badge topics in science, history and the arts. Currently the most sought after topic is computer science and engineering.

In coordination with regional scouting programs, Edison Ford is offering a variety of computer related topics throughout the year.

boy scout emblem     In addition to the concurrent sessions for Girl and Boy Scouts on the dates listed above, scout leaders may call to schedule special dates for groups of more than 15 scouts.

Scouts will earn a badge completing an introduction course to computer science/computer engineering. The scouts will learn the history of basic computer literacy and computer coding along with basic terms and concepts. Scouts will write code using Scratch to make a character talk, move and interact with its environment.

Scarf Art Workshop with artist Marie Dyer

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 17, 2015
  • August 29, 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

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.

scarf art mina with scarf     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 will be held in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch, drop by the Banyan Café or The Marina at Edison Ford.

To register call Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 or email her at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $75; non-members $80. (Cost includes all materials and scarf).

Special VIP Experience at Edison Ford in July and More to Come

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 15, 2015

photography with the news press august 2015     Thirty News-Press subscribers were treated to a special VIP experience at Edison Ford in July. The subscribers, known as “Insiders” got a chance to see and photograph the Edison Ford Winter Estates like never before. Award-winning News-Press photographers, Andrew West and Sarah Coward, presented the overview in the River Room at The Marina at Edison Ford.

The group was led through gates at The Marina at Edison Ford to photograph the trees, gardens, homes, and of course, the amazing sunset in the Edison Cove. There will be future collaborative classes with the News-Press. Many of the Edison Ford Members are already News-Press subscribers.

To become a News-Press “Insider” visit the News-Press online.

Edison Ford Emerging Inventors Early Learning – Registration NOW OPEN

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 13, 2015

     Early Learning Classes called “Emerging Inventors” are designed for one – three year old children and their parent or grandparent.

Emerging Inventors is designed for youngsters to familiarize them with a variety of topics while exploring the site. The activities include socializing with others, science and other educational activities, story time, singing, crafts and exploring the homes, gardens and museum at Edison Ford. Many families bring a bag lunch or have lunch at the Banyan Café with other families.

Every month is a different theme and each session will introduce science through activities and time to tend the Emerging Inventors Vegetable Garden!

  • October 1 & 15, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. – Pumpkin Partyemerging inventors  pumpkin august 2015

Emerging Inventors get into Halloween fun with a trick or treat walk around Edison Ford, along with learning about the moon and stars in the night sky and paint pumpkins.

Topics for subsequent months include: Electricity, Holiday Fun, Smarts in Art & Science, Legos, Flowers and Trees, Chemistry. Classes are held the first and third Thursday of every month. You can sign up for one session or to participate regularly.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $5 (one adult; one child); non-members $15 (one adult; one child). Each additional child: $5.

Visit our Web page for dates and details. To register call Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 or email her at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org.