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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Happy Birthday, Mina Miller Edison!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 6th

In honor of Mina Edison’s 147th birthday, here are some fun facts!

  • Born July 6, 1865 in Akron, Ohio, Mina Miller was the seventh of eleven children.
  • Her father, Lewis Miller, was an inventor, manufacturer and co-founder of the Chautauqua Institute.
    • The Chautauqua Institute, an outdoor camp founded in 1874, offered cultural, religious, educational and musical programs.  It quickly became an American Institution.
    • Lewis Miller’s inventions helped to revolutionize agriculture and included early mowers and harvesters.
  • Mina attended a ladies finishing school in Boston, MA in 1885, studying music – one of the things that would later attract Thomas Edison to her.
  • Also in 1885, mutual friends Ezra and Lillian Gilliland introduced Mina to Thomas Edison, where she was playing piano and singing.  Thomas described Mina as “a yardstick for measuring perfection.”
  • Thomas and Mina married on February 24, 1886 and honeymooned in Fort Myers, staying at a local hotel.
  • Mina and Thomas had three children: Madeleine, Charles and Theodore.
  • Describing herself as a “home executive,” Mina closely managed two homes and their staffs.  She also raised her three children with Thomas and helped raise Thomas’s three children from his first marriage.
  • Mina was active in a number of civic and charitable organizations and co-founded the Fort Myers Round Table, an influential group of community leaders.
  • Mina was also instrumental in beautifying the city (through various garden clubs and beautification councils) and assisting the city’s less fortunate.
  • A dedicated conservationist long before the word entered popular vocabularies; Mina was a member of the National Audubon Society and the Chautauqua Bird & Tree Club.  Mina also became close friends with renowned cartoonist and conservationist, Jay “Ding” Darling.
  • Thomas Edison passed away in 1931 after 45 years of marriage to Mina.  Even after her husband’s death, Mina continued to visit Fort Myers and stay closely involved with the local community.
  • In 1935, Mina married a childhood friend named Edward Hughes.  Hughes passed away in 1940, and Mina resumed using the Edison surname.  She continued wintering in Fort Myers throughout this time.
  • In 1947, she deeded Seminole Lodge to the City of Fort Myers to serve as a botanical garden and preserve the legacy of her late husband.  Mina passed away in the same year.

Suggested materials on Mina Edison: DVD: Mina Miller Edison – The Wizard’s Wife, The Edisons of Fort Myers: Discoveries of the Heart by Tom Smoot

In the late 1920’s, the Edison Botanic Research Corporation (EBRC) was on a mission.  Botanical specimen collectors scoured the countryside searching for trees, vines, bushes, and botanical specimens of all types so that the EBRC lab could test the potential of each plant for rubber production.

Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and son Roger inspect the contents of a test tube in the EBRC lab | Edison & Ford Winter Estates Archives

Which plant would produce rubber most efficiently? Believe it or not, the specimen that showed the most promise was a common weed called goldenrod.

Through careful cultivation and experimentation, Thomas Edison was able to cultivate a type of Goldenrod (Solidago Edisonia) which grew up to 12 feet high, and can still be viewed in the EBRC lab today!

A 12 foot tall strand of goldenrod | Edison & Ford Winter Estates Archives

Did you know that big changes are currently underway in the EBRC lab? Find out more in Part III of the Edison Botanic Research Corporation series.

To learn more about cultivating plants in Florida, visit the Edison & Ford Winter Estates propagating gardens.

For more information about requesting a copy of these images or any other images from the Edison & Ford Winter Estates archives, click here.

Origins | Edison Botanic Research Corporation & Lab Part I

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 9th

Did you know that Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison collaborated on a major research initiative?

Beginning in 1927, and with a research lab being built the following year, the Edison Botanic Research Corporation (EBRC) was created to find a domestic source for organic rubber.

EBRC founders Ford, Edison and Firestone sit on the front porch of the lab circa 1930 | Edison & Ford Winter Estates Archives

Why was organic rubber so important?
Having only recently emerged from the World War I, the three friends were only too aware of the volatile market fluctuations of the international rubber market. To secure a future source for rubber, the EBRC tested a variety of botanic specimens to determine their potential for rubber production.

Interior of the lab | Edison & Ford Winter Estates Archives

In typical Edison fashion, thousands of possible solutions were tested. Which produced the most rubber?  We’ll tell you all about it in Part II of the Edison Botanic Research Corporation series.

To learn more about Edison, Ford & Firestone’s quest for rubber, check out Growing American Rubber: Strategic Plants And The Politics Of National Security by Mark R. Finlay, available in the Edison & Ford Winter Estates gift shop.

For more information about requesting a copy of these images or any other images from the Edison & Ford Winter Estates archives, click here.

August Programs & Events | Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 20th
August at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of Quilting and Stitchery Demonstrations in the Edison Caretaker’s House, Estates Garden Shoppe Plant Sale and the last week of Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Camp as well as a variety of  children and adult programs throughout the month.  The August schedule of programs and events include:

Edison Coconut Palms Restoration Dedication Ceremony, August 5, 10 a.m.
Thomas and Mina Edison loved their coconut palms and planted dozens of them along their McGregor Boulevard fence and at the visitor gate to their winter estate.  Join staff, Estates Board of Trustees, special guests Landscape Architect and Estates Trustee Helen Hendry,  garden patron Berne Davis, who remember the Edison Coconuts first hand, and City of Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson as we dedicate the planting of two of the coconut palms and begin the restoration process which will continue over the next year.  Refreshments will be served.  RSVP requested by calling (239) 334-7419.

Monthly Volunteer Meeting and New Volunteer Orientation, August 9, 9:30 a.m.
Join Estates curatorial staff and John Kurdyla, author and collector of one of the largest collections of Edison phonographs in Europe.  Learn about making music and movies with the Estates collection.  This is a regular monthly volunteer meeting and mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are also welcome.

Estates Garden Shoppe Summer Plant Sale, August 12 and 13, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Receive 20% off plants, books, seeds, supplies and garden art in the Estates Garden Shoppe located in the Estates public Heritage Gardens.  Heritage plants propagated in the Estates nursery are available for sale as well as annuals, herbs, fruit trees, butterfly plants and a variety of landscaping plants.  Estates horticultural staff will be available to answer questions on Florida gardening.  Admission to the Estates Garden Shoppe is always FREE.

Garden Talk – Unusual Plants to Add to Your Garden, August 13, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Thomas Edison planted many unusual plants on his winter estates that are part of the historic gardens today.  Join Estates horticultural staff to learn about native Florida, exotic and heritage plants that you can add to your own landscape.  Reservations not required. Estates members are free, non members $5, all participants will receive a $5 gift certificate to be used in the Estates Garden Shoppe.

Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration, August 27, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilters from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Embroidery Guild will demonstrate quilting and stitching and will be available to answer questions.  Items will be available for purchase.  The Quilters are preparing for the Estates Annual Clothesline Quilt Show on October 29, 2011, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Complete Tour ticket.

One Week Left – Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp Registration is still open for Estates Inventors’ Summer Camp, August 1 – 5, NEW: “Smarts in Art” session at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Camps are open for grades 1st – 6th and sessions are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th.  Cost for Estates Members is $200; non members $230.  Scholarships are available.  Registration forms are available on line at http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/summer-camp2/ or may be picked up at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates at 2350 McGregor Blvd.  For more information or to sign up contact the Estates Education Department at (239) 334-7419.

NEW German Language Tour, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.
For German speaking visitors, the Estates offers a German language tour led by an Estates Site Historian on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.  The tour includes the historic homes, gardens, and Edison Botanic Research Laboratory all presented in German. Groups can schedule a German Language tour, available throughout the week, by calling the Estates at 239-334-7419.

Behind the Scenes Tour, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.
Visitors will enjoy a Behind the Scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes.  These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates Members and $40 for non members.  Due to the intimate nature of “Behind the Scene Tours” space is limited and registration is required.

Estates Botanical Tour, Tuesday and Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.
The Estates Botanical Tours will be offered on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. The tour includes a walk through the historical gardens, and a behind the scenes tour of the Estates Propagating Nursery led by Estates horticultural staff.  Cost for the tour is Estates members, FREE; non members, $24 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 -12.  Visitors may upgrade their ticket for $6 to include a self-guided audio wand tour of the historic buildings and Estates Museum.  Group botanical tours are available at a discounted price and may be scheduled throughout the week by calling (239) 334-7419.

Edison Ford Young Inventor’s Tour, Daily 10 a.m.
The Edison Ford Young Inventor’s Tour is a hands-on Museum experience for children focusing on the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  Children will learn how the inventions work and have the opportunity to operate historic education artifacts including the light bulb, recorded sound, assembly line and rubber research.  The tour is offered on a first come, first served basis and includes admission to the Lab and Museum.  Estates Members are FREE; non members $12, $5 children ages 6 -12, children five and under FREE.  Tickets are available at an additional cost to upgrade to a Complete Home and Gardens Estates Tour.

Movie Making Magic – Week 6 of Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 20th

Another week of the Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is in full swing, and this week, campers are in full gear learning the process of one of Edison’s greatest accomplishments: Film Production. Let’s see what our campers are up to this week:

 

Campers start off by learning how to create a Story Board


The Magic of the Green Screen!


"Annnnd... Action!"

For more information on Estates Inventor’s Summer Camps check out www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/summer-camp2

July Events at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 22nd

July is a time for celebration here at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. This month, we’re not only celebrating our nation’s independence, but also the birthday of one of Fort Myers’ most famous snow birds: Henry Ford.

This 4thof July, join us with half priced admission to the Estates for all Lee County residents. There’s no better way to celebrate our independence than learning about two of the fathers of American Innovation.

The Mangoes Behind the Scenes

Henry Ford turns 148 on July 30! In his honor, we will be opening his winter estate, aptly named “The Mangoes” for behind the scenes tours every half hour beginning at 11 a.m. and the last one at 3 p.m. These special tours are included in the price of the Complete Estates Tour ticket, and as always are FREE for Estates Members.

Even though school is out for the summer, like Thomas Edison, we believe education should never take a break. The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is in full swing.  Registration is still open for your budding rocket scientist, film maker, animator, engineer, science detective, or inventor. Camps are open for grades 1st – 6th and sessions are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th. The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp schedule is the following:
 NEW Super Solar Scientists July 5 – July 8
ESI – Edison Science Investigation, July 11 – July 15 
Movie Making Magic, July 18 – July 22 
Kitchen Chemistry, July 25 – July 29
NEW Smarts in Art, August 1 – August 5
Space is filling up fast, so don’t delay with some camps already full. Cost for Estates Members is $200; non members $230.  Scholarships are available.
Registration forms can be found online by clicking here or may be picked up at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates at2350 McGregor Blvd.  For more information contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Free Educators Day

Students aren’t the only ones continuing their education this summer; Teachers, School Support Staff, and Children can partake in a Free Educators Day at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Admission is free and includes the opportunity to register for a variety of activities involving science, engineering, chemistry, history and art, teacher training and special tours. Registration is recommended by calling the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.  Teachers and school staff must present a school issued identification badge to receive free admission, children must be accompanied by a paid adult.

At the heart and soul of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, lies a dedicated team of Volunteers that give tirelessly day in and day out. Come be a part of the team. Volunteer opportunities are available in various positions ranging from docents, to office work, to gardening. We even offer internships to students pursuing their degrees. On July 12, at 9:30 a.m., join the Estates curatorial staff and learn about the new EstatesMuseumexhibit, “Into the Wild:  Edison, Ford & Friends” as well as volunteer opportunities, policies and general Estates volunteer information.  This is a regular monthly volunteer meeting and mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome. 

Come see the Estates in a whole new light. The history doesn’t stop after the tour, there are always new ways to see the Estates.  We are now offering four new tour options to the Edison and Ford experience:

  • NEW German Language Tour, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.
    For German speaking visitors we are now offering a German language tour led by an Estates Site Historian on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.  The tour includes the historic homes, gardens, and Edison Botanic Research Laboratory all in German. 
  • Behind the Scenes Tour, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.
    Come enjoy a behind the scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes.  These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates Members and $40 for non members.  Due to the intimate nature of the Behind the Scene Tours space is limited and registration is required. 
  • Estates Botanical Tour moves to Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.
    The Estates Botanical Tours will continue to be held on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. but will change from Friday mornings to Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.  The tour includes a walk through the historical gardens, and a behind the scenes tour of the Estates Propagating Nursery led by Estates horticultural staff.  Cost for the tour is FREE for Estates members; non members, $24 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 -12.  You can also upgrade your ticket for $6 to include a self-guided audio wand tour of the historic buildings andEstatesMuseum. 
  • Edison Ford Young Inventors Tour, Sunday – Friday 10 a.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
    The Edison Ford Young Inventor’s Tour is a hands-on Museum experience for children focusing on the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Children will learn how the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford work and have the opportunity to operate historic education artifacts including the light bulb, recorded sound, assembly line and rubber research.  The tour is offered on a first come, first served basis and includes admission to the Lab and Museum.  Estates Members are FREE; non members $12, $5 children ages 6 -12, children five and under FREE.  Tickets are available at an additional cost to upgrade to a complete Home and Gardens Estates Tour. 

Visit our new website for news, upcoming events, purchasing tickets and memberships, renewing memberships and shop on line at the Estates Museum Store and Garden Shoppe. 
The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Visit the web site at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

FREE ADMISSION to Veterans and Their Families

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 7th

 The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering FREE admission to United States Veterans and their families on November 11, 2010. The Estates is honoring the men, women and their families who have served our country.  Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, and Estates Museum.  In addition, Veteran’s will receive a 10% discount on Estates membership and items in the Museum Store.

Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. Current servicemen and women may also gain free admission by presenting an active military ID. 

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Celebrates Henry Ford’s Birthday

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 9th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will celebrate the 147th birthday of Henry Ford on Friday, July 30 at 10 AM.  The celebration will include cake and a “Sneak Peek” tour of the Ford Estate with Henry Ford.  Admission is FREE to Estates members; non members $20 adults, $11  children 6 -12, children 5 and under are free.  Admission includes a guided tour or self guided tour and audio wand of the historic homes, gardens, lab and Museum. 

“Ford’s birthday marks a very important day in American history, and we invite the public to share in the celebration…. Learn about Henry Ford…. And visit the beautiful winter homes of one of America’s greatest industrialists,” says Chris Pendleton, Estates president & CEO.  “Ford’s remarkable history spanned decades and totally changed our way of life.”

Ford facts include:
• Henry Ford grew up on a typical nineteenth-century farm in Dearborn, Michigan. At an early age he demonstrated an interest in mechanics and a dislike for farm work.
• Ford married Clara Bryant in 1888. He would later refer to Clara as “the Believer” for her faith in and support of his ideas.
• In 1891 Ford became an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company, and was soon promoted to Chief Engineer. This position allowed him time to experiment with the internal combustion engine. Ford idolized Thomas Edison and met him during an 1896 company convention in New York, where Ford relayed his ideas for the engine. Ford recalled the importance of Edison’s encouragement: “[O]ut of the clear blue sky the greatest inventive genius in the world had given me complete approval.”
• In 1896, at the age of 33, Ford completed the Quadricycle, a self-propelled vehicle with four wire wheels which was steered with a tiller and had two forward speeds. Ford traveled around Detroit in his “horseless carriage,” to the amazement, as well as disdain, of its citizens.
• The Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903 with the Model A. In 1908 Ford introduced the Model T, realizing his lifelong dream of a vehicle that was easy to operate and maintain and able to handle the rough roads of the era. The Model T quickly became a huge success, with more than 10,000 sold in 1909.
• Ford is considered the father of modern manufacturing. As the popularity of the Model T escalated, Ford devised a system that combined division of labor, standardized and interchangeable parts, and the assembly line. This revolutionized automobile production by reducing the amount of time involved in automobile manufacturing and consequently lowering production costs. Mass production was born. By 1913 some 1000 cars were produced in a typical eight-hour shift.
• By the late teens, Ford was an American celebrity and the public could not seem to get enough of him. Ford came into his office one day and said, “You know, I think I ought to get a pair of whiskers. Everybody seems to spot me.”
• In 1914 Ford made his first visit to Fort Myers at the invitation of his friend Thomas Edison. From there the two embarked on an Everglades camping trip. Calling themselves “the Vagabonds,” Ford and Edison, along with Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs, would make many more camping trips throughout the next fifteen years. In 1916, Ford purchased his Fort Myers retreat, The Mangoes, for $20,000 and enlarged it by adding two family and staff wings.
• Ford was seriously interested in unifying urban and rural industry. He encouraged the idea of using agricultural products for industrial purposes. For example, Ford experimented with an automobile trunk made from soybean-based plastic. He was a partner in the Edison Botanical Research Lab located on Estates’ property.
• In the mid-1920s the New York Times estimated the assets of the Ford Motor Company at $1.2 billion, or about $13 billion today. Ford himself drew an average of about $4.5 million per year during this decade, or about $50 million in today’s dollars. Said Ford, “I’m in a peculiar position. There is nothing I want that I cannot have. But I do not want the things that money can buy. I want to live a life, to make the world a little better for having lived in it.”
• In 1928 Ford established and endowed The Edison Institute in Dearborn, MI (now The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village), an indoor/outdoor museum created to illustrate and preserve the American experience and celebrate American ingenuity.
• In 1929 Ford threw a lavish party in Dearborn in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Edison’s invention of the incandescent lamp. Ford presented his friend with a detailed reconstruction of Edison’s Menlo Park and the original 1887 Fort Myers laboratory at The Edison Institute. Edison became misty-eyed and remarked that “the memories of eighty-two years were flooding back.” Ford told reporters at the event, “We are ahead of all other countries today, simply and solely because we have Mr. Edison.”
• Ford loved dancing and in the 1920s began a massive effort to revive old-fashioned dancing. He sponsored a national tour of dancing master Benjamin Lovett. Dancing was also an important part of Ford’s social life in Fort Myers.
• Henry Ford earned the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts on behalf of disabled veterans in both World Wars. In 1997, Life Magazine named him one of the “100 People Who Made the Millennium,” and in 2000 Time Magazine named him one of the “100 Most Important People of the Century.” In 2000 Forbes Magazine called him the “#1 Industrialist of the Century.”
• Ford returned to The Mangoes only sporadically after Thomas Edison’s death in 1931. In 1945 he sold it to Thomas and Gladys Biggar. In 1988, the City of Fort Myers purchased Henry Ford’s estate for $1.5 million, restored it to its historic appearance and opened it to the public in 1989.
• Henry Ford’s Fort Myers estate is open daily and now managed by the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc., a non-profit organization.
• On July 30, 2007 a statue commemorating Henry Ford’s achievements and time in Fort Myers was created by D. J. Wilkins and donated by Orvall McCleary to the Estates.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – July 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 28th

July at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of Henry Ford’s Birthday Celebration, a summer  with a Sneak Peek Tour and Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month of July.  The July schedule of programs and events include:

Estates open July 4th
The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be open July 4th from 9 AM – 5:30 PM.  Estates members are FREE and there are several reciprocal admission programs. 

Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp,  Space  Available
For budding rocket scientists, film makers, animators and science detectives, registration is still open for Estates Inventors’ Summer Camp at the Estates. Weeklong camps continue through August 20.  Camp hours are 9 AM – 4 PM, Monday – Friday.  Camps are open for grades 1st – 6th and sessions are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th.  Cost for Estates Members is $200; non members $230.  Scholarships will be available.
• Spaceships & Rockets, July 5 – July 9
The final frontier!  Campers will explore the outer reaches of the universe with our resident spaceman.  Campers will get to visit planets, collect samples, float on our Lunar Lander, and tons more!
 ESI – Edison Science Investigation, July 12 – July 16 
Thomas Edison, known for his ability to turn normal objects in amazing inventions, made bamboo glow and tinfoil talk.  Now it’s your turn!  Each day, campers will be presented with a different mystery and they will only be given normal everyday items to solve them.  This fun and challenging camp will exercise your mind and body as the clock ticks away to solve the mystery!
• Movie Making Magic, July 19 – 23 
Act, direct, operate the camera and build sets.  Campers will be fully immersed in the art of filmmaking.  Participants will study Foley art (sound effects), movie magic (special effects), and script writing.  Campers will understand the basic techniques the pros use to get their ideas on the big screen.  After the camp is over each camper will receive a DVD of their film.
• Kitchen Chemistry, July 26 – 30
This mind-boggling camp is a combination of the best experiments the Wild Wizard has to offer.  Campers will learn how to take every day things found in the kitchen and make them do amazing things.  Top it all off with a solar cookout with hand made ice cream and root beer float party!
• Spaceships & Rockets, August 9 – 13
The final Frontier!  Campers will explore the outer reaches of the universe with our resident spaceman.  Campers will get to visit planets, collect samples, float on our Lunar Lander, and tons more!
• Eager Engineers, August 16 – August 20
“To be a good inventor you need a good imagination and a pile of junk” said Thomas Edison.  The Estate will supply the junk and jump start the imagination.  Campers will use recycled materials and develop Green Inventions such as robots that will perform a number of different tasks, conduct science experiments, participate in balloon car races, build bridges, and more!

New Volunteer Orientation, July 13, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all Estates volunteersNew and potential volunteers are welcome.

Docent Training, July 22, 9 AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch, Lab and Museum docents, or leading a group tour of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration,  July 24, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild  will be demonstrating quilting and stitching techniques on the Edison porch.  Members of the Guild will be available to answer questions on techniques and care.   In the early 1900’s Henry Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects.  The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum.  Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket

Sneak Peek Tour,  July 29, 9:30 AM
Behind-the-scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes open to the public and Estates members.  These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates members and $40 for non members.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours”, space is limited and registration is required. 

Happy Birthday Henry Ford, July 30, 10 AM
The Estates will be celebrating the 147th birthday of Henry Ford and the recently completed restoration of “the Mangoes,” the winter estate of the Ford family.  The morning celebration includes cake and a behind the scenes tour of the Ford Estate.  Estates Members FREE; non members, adults $20, children $11 and includes a tour of the homes, gardens, lab and museum.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – June 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 7th
June at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the Dead Fish Printing Workshop, Free Admission for Fathers on Father’s Day, and a new Botanic Lab Exhibit in the Museum.   Regular guided tours of the historic buildings and gardens as well as audio wand tours are available daily. Expanded Botanic Tours are available on Thursday and Saturday mornings at 9 AM and they include the botanical gardens as well as the propagating nursery. The Estates are open daily from 9 AM until 5:30 PM. Special activities include:     
 
Fish Printing Workshop, June 19, noon – 3 PM
Just in time for Father’s Day join guest artists and  architects for a Dead Fish Printing Workshop (ancient Japanese art form, gyotaku) on t-shirts or other clothes for a one-of-a-kind gift for dad. The workshop is free (a $5 donation is suggested  for Estates Summer Camp scholarships) and participants are encouraged to bring their own shirts, although shirts in limited sizes will be available for purchase.                                                                                                                                                          

Free Admission for Dads on Father’s Day, June 20

The Estates is offering FREE admission to any father accompanied with their paid child on Father’s Day. Free admission includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historic botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory.

New Volunteer Orientation, June 8, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information. This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome. Volunteers receive free Membership in the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and other benefits.
 
Docent Training, June 17, 9AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch docents, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory lecture and meeting.
 
Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration, June 26, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild will demonstrate quilting, knitting and stitching techniques. In the early 1900’s Henry and Clara Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects in their museums and homes. The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum. Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket. 
 
Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp
The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long. Camp begins on June 7, 2010 and runs through August 20, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1-6 and sessions are separated by grade levels. Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registratin forms are available online at www.efwefla.org or are available at the Estates.  Estates Members $200; non members $230. Scholarships are available. For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.