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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for October, 2015

President’s Update ~ Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 31, 2015

president update   The next phase of improvements to the Edison Ford Museum will be showcased with the opening of the large special exhibits hall and its first exhibit, “Edison and Ford in Florida,” on Sunday, November 22 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The exhibit focuses on the work, travels and winter homes of Edison and Ford in Florida. Ford and Edison photo Nov 2015As such, the story begins in 1885 with the arrival of Edison in Fort Myers, and continues on through Ford’s entry into Fort Myers as a winter resident, the gift of the Edison Estate to the city of Fort Myers, and finally with the work of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, the non-profit organization that led the restoration of the two properties and took over its management a decade ago.

The exhibit also includes a quirky collection of Edison and Ford memorabilia and tourism souvenirs over the decades as the two estates have become icons in Florida tourism, as well as important historical and scientific sites.

I have been proud to have headed the project along with our Chief Curator, Mike Cosden, and Assistant Curator, Brent Newman.Enduring legacy nov 2015

Our first step was the publication of the book, “Edison & Ford in Florida,” Arcadia Press, which is now on sale here at Edison Ford and hundreds of other sites nationally. Next was the redesign of the large exhibition hall to accommodate an entry area, larger video and performance theatre, and the special exhibits gallery.

The final phase will open in January 2016 with the new Rubber Research Exhibit. Joyce Owens, Architect, has helped with the design decisions including the new high tech rubber flooring. Sally Johnson, a beloved patron, donated $50,000 to the project and has stayed involved throughout as well as our Board of Trustees with their ongoing work to help fund Edison Ford.

This is an appropriate exhibit for the beginning of our 10th year as a non-profit organization.

Daily Programs in the Museum

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 30, 2015

November 2015 daily

Edison Ford Non-Profit Receives 99 Year Lease

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 29, 2015

      The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., the non-profit corporation that is responsible for the management and governance of the historic site and related properties, has received a 99 year lease from the City of Fort Myers which was given the original 99 year leashistoric property in 1947 by Mina Edison and her foundation. To date, the non-profit known as Edison Ford has worked with federal, city, state, county, private donors and a foundation which was created to help get it started to raise almost $14 million in restoration and improvements. “With 10 years under our belt and lots of awards, we are ready to take on all operations, improvements and fundraising flandersfor the next 99 years,” say Chris Pendleton, President & CEO. “We have shown we can do it.”

The process of securing the 99 year lease has been a year-long process with CEO Chris Pendleton and Trustees working closely with Councilman Mike Flanders who initiated the project. Both Flanders and Mayor Henderson have expressed that it “makes sense to have the site run like a non-profit business and the past 10 years of administration by Edison Ford have shown that.” All members of City Council were in agreement and the lease amendment was passed unanimously on September 21, 2015. The new lease extends through September 30, 2114 for the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc. (known as Edison Ford).

Annual Member Celebration – Mark Your Calendar

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 27, 2015
  • November 15, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Ford Lawn Riverside

      Each fall, we gather with Members to look at the year ahead and the year just completed. For the year completed, please check the center section of this newsletter for our annual financial report. It was a successful and a very busy year. Members are soon to see many, many changes and improvements in our Museum. There will be four new exhibits opening in the next few months, as well as the long awaited construction of the Edison River Pavilion in the Coconut Grove adjacent to the Edison Estate.

Member celebration 2015 Flash BackFor the Member Celebration entertainment, we have a great live band, Flash Back, who are also Edison Ford Members. We decided to go back in time and learn some non-Edison or Ford Era dance steps with music of the “Swing Era and Shag or Beach Music.” Both the Ford and Edison families enjoyed dancing, but we decided to move it forward historically this year. The dress this year is definitely from the 50’s and 60’s (think J Crew Bermuda shorts and khaki skirts and Edison Ford T-shirts). There will be heavy hors d’oeurves and a beer and wine cash bar. Alyce Bochette of Dance Bochette will be on hand to teach the shag and swing steps.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE; Member Guests $20. RSVP to Darlene Hermey, Membership Coordinator at dhermey@edisonfordwinterestates.org or 239-334-7419.

Hope to see you at the Member Celebration for updates, food, live music, dancing and a time to be with friends!

Edison Ford 10th Annual Children’s Tree Trail Exhibit

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 25, 2015

childrens tree trail dec 2014November 27, 2015 – January 3, 2016

  • November 23 – Exhibit Opening

The deadline for teacher sign-up to create ornaments for one of the holiday trees is October 15. It is looking like there may be 60 plus decorated trees this year from schools in Lee and Charlotte counties.

Thanks to several patrons, we have been able to continue to develop this project: Edison Ford Volunteer (donation of $5,000 to help with live and artificial trees); George M. Cox Trust (donation to help with giving every teacher $25 for innovative materials); Edison Ford (helps with materials for teachers); Sandhill Native Nurseries (6 – 8 foot living trees Red Cedar trees to give teachers a choice of living or artificial trees); Rick Joyce, Forestry Resources and Karen Flanders, Trustee and Lee County Art Teacher.

“Tropical Flowers” is this year’s theme for ornaments, and we expect them to incorporate Edison, Ford, scientific, historical, and art themes and also be recycled lightweight materials whenever possible.

Contact Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Registrar at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or Deborah Bowers, Edison Ford Educator at dbowers@edisonfordwinterestates.org.


Mina, Clara & Friends … Tea & Conversation

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 23, 2015

Tea house ladies     The next available Tea & Conversation will be December 10, as October and November are already filled. To register contact Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Registrar at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419 as space is limited and fills up quickly. Groups can schedule private teas for an additional cost, by contacting our Events office.

Cost of the program includes full access to the Edison Ford Estates, the Laboratory, Museum and Museum Shops. Edison Ford Members $15; non-members $25. Hats and historical attire welcome. Men, too!


Membership News

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 21, 2015

membership card and lanyard     Beginning in October all NEW Members and all Members that RENEW their membership will receive four complimentary tickets to be given to their family or friends. These tickets will be included in your membership packet that is mailed out to you.

Remember that Members always receive a 10% discount in the Museum Store, Cottage Shoppe, Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops, Garden Shoppe and on Director Tours and other programs.

If you have any questions regarding Membership contact Darlene Hermey, Membership Coordinator at 239-334-7419 or email her at dhermey@edisonfordwinterestates.org.



October Great Book Picks in the Museum Store

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 19, 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.

book a bubble momentA Bubble Moment – by Katie Gardenia.

Of the thousands of people who live and vacation on Sanibel and Captiva islands, many of them will discover the world famous Bubble Room. Katie Gardenia, the Bubble Room’s creator, shares some of the funny and remarkable stories from her career as well as the recipes that made her restaurant such a great success. A Bubble Moment includes 30 recipes and the author has added three-dimensional art to every book, making each copy unique. This cookbook/art book makes a great gift for visitors to the area as well as those who have tasted the Bubble Room’s world famous cakes and want to try and imitate them. Autographed copies available.

book Florida's Ghostly LegendsFlorida’s Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore: Volume 3 – by Greg Jenkins.

From ancient graveyards and monuments, to modern restaurants and hotels, this book offers a delightful collection of uncanny legends and eerie folklore about Florida’s beautiful west coast. The third volume in a three part series contains 22 spine-chilling stories in cities from Pensacola to Naples. If these tales don’t give you goose bumps and make your hair stand on end, at least they will offer you food for thought.

Room on the Broom – by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

book Room on the Broom     The witch and her cat couldn’t be happier, flying through the sky on their broomstick – until the witch drops her hat, then her bow, then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items and all they want in return is a ride on the broomstick, but will there be enough room on her broom? This enchanting story of quick wits and friendship is full of humor and adventure. Perfect for early readers during the fall season.

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

Be on the lookout for next months Great Book Picks!

Two Day Robotics Camp at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 18, 2015
  • October 26 & 27, Drop Off Starts at 8:45 a.m.; Pick up is by 4:00 p.m. Grades 3 – 8

Students will work with Lego Mind-Storm robots. Students continue to write code and are introduced to mechanics with Lego techniques. They will design and build a robot to accomplish a specific goal on the FIRST Lego League table. Cost: Edison Ford Members $80; non-members $100. To register call Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 or email her at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org.

Pearce robotics


Edison Ford is Proud to Announce Two Upcoming Events

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 16, 2015

Join Edison Ford’s Chief Curator, Mike Cosden, Captain Lance Julian and Captain Harry Julian of Pure Florida, and filmmaker John Scoular tracing the history of film from Thomas Edison’s early film years to the making of the movie, Titanic.

  • October 25, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Titanic Film Exhibit Opens & Filmmaker Discussion – Edison Ford Museum

Edison Ford will host a discussion of the behind-the-scenes filming of the movie, Titanic. Join us for light appetizers and a cash bar. This will be a preview to the big event which will be on Friday, November 6, when the movie Titanic will be aired on the Ford Riverside Lawn. Edison Ford’s Museum has a fascinating and extensive collection of Thomas

Edison’s early film equipment. Chief Curator, Mike Cosden will discuss the history of Thomas Edison and film, Edison’s inventions, and Edison’s place in the history of the early 20th century. There will be an exhibit of prized artifacts from the film, including production blueprints, photographs of the movie making, and a three foot model of the Titanic on display in the Edison Ford Museum.

Captain Harry Julian with Pure Florida will discuss the history of the great ships, including the Titanic, as well as advances in nautical safety which arose after the Titanic disaster. Filmmaker John Scoular will discuss some of the film techniques used and how things have evolved in the industry. Captain Lance Julian will finish the special night with an insider’s take on the filming of the movie Titanic.  Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE, non-members $12.

  • TitanicNovember 6, 6:00 p.m. – Showing of Movie Titanic & Filmmaker’s Discussion – Ford Riverside Lawn

Join Edison Ford and the Filmmakers to watch this winner of countless awards, the movie Titanic, on the wide screen. It’s a magical evening for movie watching, film discussion and great food. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. Those who come early can enjoy barbeque, veggie sandwiches, soft drinks, beer and wine, get a good seat and enjoy the sunset. The film showing will occur after sunset and include filmmaker comments. Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $20.

Barbeque dinner and beverages are extra. Chairs will be provided on the lawn, but you may bring your own chairs as well. Registration is suggested by contacting Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Registrar at 239-334-7419 or email her at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org. This film is not suggested for children.