The new exhibit, “Edison and Ford in Florida” is based on the book by Edison Ford staff (Mike Cosden, Chief Curator; Brent Newman, Assistant Curator; and Chris Pendleton, President & CEO) is already getting rave reviews as is the book.
An important part of the exhibit is the institutional history since the estates opened to the public. The Thomas Edison statue carved from the Edison Moreton Bay Fig tree in the late 1990s is one of the most interesting objects and certainly the largest, so far. The tree was planted in 1916 at the beginning of Edison, Ford, and Firestone’s quest for a domestic source of organic rubber. The tree toppled into the Edison Guest House in 1996 in the aftermath of very high winds. While this caused damage to the building, the community and Board of Trustees rallied and created a fund to raise money for the repairs and creating the statue by selling pieces of the toppled tree to the public.
The statue was originally located at The Edison Mall, and then moved to the Imaginarium, then to The Edison Restaurant, where it was part of a larger exhibit of photos and artifacts on loan and now is finally back home! Staff notes that “the tree and Thomas Edison are finally home.”
Edison and Ford Souvenirs Needed for Display
Please contact the Edison Ford Curatorial Department with donations or loans of souvenirs, photos, letters, artifacts and other memorabilia for display in the exhibit of “Edison and Ford in Florida.”
Some items which are already a part of the exhibit include salt and pepper shakers, banners and an inflated Edison bust.
Curators note that this is a fun celebration of the two men and their estates, “it also shows the importance of the legacy of the men and their inventions. The items also help fill in areas of institutional history providing invaluable information.”