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

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for January, 2016

Quadricycle Replica Progress

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 25, 2016

quadricycle ilustrationUnder the direction of Edison Ford Automotive Curator, James Moss, a team of staff and highly skilled volunteers are creating a working model of Henry Ford’s first automobile – the  quadricycle. In fact, the project has moved along so well, that the team is taking on building the wooden body of the vehicle with the carpentry staff of Edison Ford.

Contact Edison Ford Chief Curator, Mike Cosden at mcosden@edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419 for more information.

The “Believe It or Not” Bridge

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 23, 2016

edison bridge lamp postIronically, when completed in 1931, the Edison Bridge had no electric lights. City officials were further embarrassed in 1935, when a nationwide Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” cartoon lampooned the bridge. With the help of Florida Power & Light, over 50 lampposts were added in 1937, creating a fitting tribute to the inventor which it memorialized.

An original Edison Bridge lamppost is on display at the Edison & Ford Museum.

Bridging the Past and the Future of Fort Myers

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 22, 2016

edison birthday convertible paradeOn Thomas Edison’s final birthday, February 11, 1931, a ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of a newly constructed bridge named in his honor. Spanning the Caloosahatchee River, the structure acknowledged the famed inventor’s place in Fort Myers’ history. A group of local girls dressed in white escorted Edison’s car to the bridge opening from his home. Florida Governor, Doyle E. Carlton and Mayor of Fort Myers, Josiah Fitch delivered short speeches. Mayor Fitch, echoing the sentiments of many in the crowd, proclaimed: “Today we are touching a high spot in the history of Fort Myers. Whatever efforts we make here today to honor Mr. Edison will fall short of his honor to us.”

With a whoop, Thomas Edison untied the green and orange ribbon, officially opening the Edison Bridge.

edison birthday bridge opening

The Tamiami Trail

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 19, 2016

For many years, Fort Myers was somewhat isolated from its neighbors. In the 19th century, travel by boat was quite common. The train did not connect to the city until 1904, and it was not until 1924 that a wooden bridge first crossed the Caloosahatchee River into Fort Myers, allowing visitors from the north convenient access. Meanwhile, in 1916, work had begun to continue roadwork to the east, connecting Tampa with Miami. The project became known as the “Tamiami Trail.”

Twelve years, $8 million dollars, and almost three million sticks of dynamite later, the road-building project was completed. Thomas & Mina Edison used the newly constructed roadway to visit their friends, the Firestones, at their winter home in Miami Beach. Increased traffic rendered the existing wooden bridge obsolete and prompted construction of the Edison Bridge in 1928.