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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Sand Sculpting at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 2nd

On November 4, 2010 from 9 AM – 5PM, award winning sand sculptor, Katie Corning, will create a sand sculpture of a Ford Model T and Edison and Ford inventions in the Ford Garage at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

In partnership with the 24th Annual American Sand Sculpting Championship & Beach Festival at Fort Myers Beach on November 10 – 14, the Estates is joining the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce in the celebration.   The Festival will feature sixteen of the world’s best Master Sculptors, along with Florida State and Amateur Sculptors.  Corning has competed in the Fort Myers Beach event and was a celebrity competitor on the Travel Channel’s television show, Sandblaster III:  The Extreme Sand Sculpting Championship.  Visitors to the Estates can watch Corning create a stunning work of art.

Admission is FREE on November 4th with the purchase of an Estates Guided Tour Ticket. Special ticket price for Sand Sculpting ONLY on Ford Estate is $5 on November 4th,  Estates Members FREE.   It is expected that visitors can view the sculpture in the Ford Garage for approximately one week.

New Young Inventors Tour at Estates – Begins Saturday, August 21

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 19th

Beginning August 21, 2010, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be offering a new year-round program, Edison & Ford Young Inventor’s Tour.

The new Young Inventor’s Tour will be offered at 1:00 p.m. every Saturday and will focus on hands-on discovery of four primary inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  Children and their families will learn how the inventions work and have the opportunity to operate the historic education artifacts.  The inventions and hands-on exploration will include:

• The Incandescent Light Bulb
The Edison & Ford Young Inventor’s Tour family tour begins in the Estates Museum and explores the progression of the light bulb from thread to bamboo as well as Edison’s scientific process.

• Recorded Sound
Children will learn the history of sound from the first recorded sound “machine,” Edison’s phonograph, to the MP3 player.

• The Ford Assembly Line
Children will participate in building a Ford Model T working on a “mock” assembly line and learn first-hand about the engine parts of an early Ford car.  

• Rubber Research
Children will make synthetic rubber as well as learn about the Edison Botanic Research Lab where Edison explored and discovered a source of natural rubber which could be grown in Southwest Florida.  

Children will receive quiz sheets to complete and receive a free prize. The tour will be on a first come, first serve basis and includes admission to the Lab and Museum.  Estates Members are FREE; non members $12 adults, $5 children ages 6 -12, children 5 and under are FREE.  Tickets will be available at an additional cost to upgrade to a complete Home and Gardens Estates Tour. 

Groups may call to register for specialty scheduled tours and programs by calling 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.

Summer’s End Celebration – August 14

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 2nd

Free for teachers, summer campers, members and their families

On Saturday, August 14, 2010 the Edison & Ford Winter Estates will celebrate the end of summer and present a full day of specialized tours, hands-on science performances by the Estates Wild Wizard, fish printing workshops and the unveiling of the Estates newest tour, Edison & Ford Young Inventor’s Family Tour. 

Teachers, school staff and their families, summer campers and members will receive FREE admission and the public is invited to join and become an Estates member to receive FREE admission to the Estates

A schedule of activities include:
• Specialized teachers tours at 10 AM and 1 PM (registration required)
• Hands-on science performance by Estates Wild Wizard at 12 PM
• Fish printing workshop from 1 PM – 3 PM (bring a pre-washed t-shirt or shirts will be available for purchase)
• Sneak peek of the Estates newest tour, Edison &Ford Young Inventor’s Family Tour at 3 PM
• Activities throughout the day from affiliated organizations

Teachers and school staff must present a school issued identification badge to receive free admission.  Registration is required for specialized tours designed for educators.  To register call the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Open July 4th

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 29th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard will be open Fourth of July weekend including, Sunday, July 4th from 9 AM until 5:30 PM.

Programs include regular tours of the homes, garden and lab of the two inventors as well as orientation and touring in the Estates Museum. The 15,000 square foot air conditioned Museum has an impressive collection of inventions and artifacts, special exhibitions and archives. Demonstrations throughout the day include the Edison phonograph every half hour, and other Museum presentations including antique cars and the Edison Research Laboratory.

Throughout the summer the Estates offers visitors of all ages a chance to step back into “old Florida” and learn more about the world through unique historical, scientific and cultural experiences.

Admission includes use of the free audio wand tour. Estates members are FREE. In addition to providing the opportunity to explore the winter retreats of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the site also offers opportunities for the public to enjoy its park-like environment for special events, weddings, corporate functions, and art and musical presentations as well as educational programs throughout the year.

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.

NEW Horse & Wagon Tours of Historic Downtown Fort Myers

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 30th

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Open Easter Sunday
Canned Food Drive – April 2, 3, 4
NEW Horse & Wagon Tours of Historic Downtown Fort Myers 

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard, will be open Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM.  Tickets are available until 4:30 PM for self guided tours.  Estates members are admitted free and there are several reciprocal admission programs. 

In addition, Estates members, staff and visitors are encouraged to make canned food donations to support the Community Cooperative Ministries (CCMI) www.ccmileecounty.com in Fort Myers.  Visitors to the Estates throughout the weekend will receive a $1 off an Estates admission ticket (up to $4) for every can of food they donate.  CCMI has been providing food to the homeless, nearly homeless, homebound, seniors and children for 26 years in Lee County.

Easter weekend also kicks-off the Estates newest program, Horse & Wagon Tours of Historic Downtown Fort Myers.  On Wednesday, March 31 – Saturday, April 3 at 11 AM and 2 PM visitors can enjoy a horse and wagon tour that begins at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and countinues along the Caloosahatchee River through downtown Fort Myers.  The tour is approximately one hour and is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under.  The Horse & Wagon Tours will continue to run weekly Wednesday – Saturday at 11 AM and 2 PM throughout the summer.  Tour tickets can be purchased at the Estates ticket office.

Dinner & the Movies – at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 20th

Black Maria Film Festival 2010

 The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Edison State College and BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island  will host the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival in Florida for a fourth season.  The award winning festival will be held on March 26, 2010, 7:30 PM at the Estates; March 27, 2010, 7:30 PM at the Auditorium at the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College; and March 29, 2010, 7:00 PM at Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island. 

The Festival has the added attraction of being shown outdoors in the gardens of the Estates and this year the Estates is kicking off Dinner & the Movies.  Moviegoers can enjoy a meal, as they enjoy the beautiful sunset along the Caloosahatchee River, and watch a series of award winning films and videos.  The entire evening will cost $9.50 for Estates members and $16.50 for non members and includes Dinner & the Movies.

Dinner will be served on the historic grounds of the Ford Estate and include a choice of a pulled pork sandwich, two sides (potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw), soft drink and jumbo cookie for $9.50 per person or a hot dog, soft drink and jumbo cookie for $7.75 per person.  Beer and wine will be available at an additional cost and popcorn is FREE. 

Dinner will begin at 6 PM and reservations are required by calling the Estates at 239-334-7419.  Seating is limited.

Tickets for the Black Maria Film Festival may be bought in advance at the Estates, 2350 McGregor Boulevard; and BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel Island.    The cost is $7 per evening for adults, $5 for students.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on March 26 and Edison State College students are free on March 27.  Seating is limited.  For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit the following websites: Edison & Ford Winter Estates at www.efwefla.org, Edison State College at www.edison.edu/artsedison/events.php BIG ARTS at www.bigarts.org and the Black Maria Film Festival at  www.blackmariafilmfestival.org.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – March 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 25th

March at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, a NEW event, Art in Bloom, and the continuation of Sneak Peek Tours as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month.  The March schedule of programs and events include:

Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp, continues through MarchThe 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.  Registration forms are available on line at http://www.efwefla.org/pdfs/summercamp.pdf or are available at the EstatesEstates Members $200; non members $230.  For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Sneak Peek Tours, Every Thursday, year round,  10:30 AM, NEW, behind-the-scenes tours 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.  In addition, lunch will be served in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours”, space is limited and registration is required. 

Art In Bloom, March 7, 1 PM – 5 PM, An exhibit of art and floral design in collaboration with the Estates and the Fort Myers – Lee County Garden Council.  The exhibit combines art pieces with living arrangements of flowers and plants.  Estates Members FREE, non members $5.

New Volunteer Orientation, March 9, 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. 

Estates Annual Volunteer Recognition Event, March 12, 10 AM, Koreshan State Historic Site, Estates volunteers are invited to attend an afternoon of “utopian” fun.  Event includes a guided tour exploring the unique society of the “Koreshans,” pizza lunch, awards and raffles.  Registration is required.

Docent Training, March 18, 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 meeting.

Home School:  “Power & Energy,” March 19, 1 PM – 3 PM, Home schooled students will study the power of different sources of energy that are used in today’s homes and throughout the world. The programs follow the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration is required.  Cost:  Estates Members $5; non-members $15 (one adult, one child), additional $5 per child.

Volunteer Education Workshops, March 25, Times TBA, Two educational workshops available to Estates volunteers include a live presentation of Mina Miller Edison, Living with a Genius  and Mastering Five Essential Presentational Skills with writer, playwright and professional actress, Nan Colton.  Seating is limited and reservations are required. 

Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, March 26, 7:30 PM, Edison & Ford Winter Estates (Rain date March 28), March 27, 7:30 PM, Edison State College, Fort Myers, March 29, 7 PM, BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island, The award winning Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival will be back for a fourth season in southwest Florida since the Festival began its national tour in 1981.  Festival Board of Directors member and filmmaker, Clayton Hemmert will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards.  There will be more than thirty films shown between the three sites.  Tickets may be bought in advance at the Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., and BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel Island.    The cost is $7 per evening for adults, $5 for students.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on March 26 and Edison State College students are free on March 27.  Seating is limited.  For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit the following websites: Edison & Ford Winter Estates at www.efwefla.org, Edison State College at www.edison.edu, BIG Arts at www.bigarts.org and the Black Maria Film Festival at www.blackmariafilmfestival.org.  

Art in the Gardens “Butterflies at the Estates” Exhibit, continues through June 2010, In the heritage gardens at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Lee county students create an environmentally interactive artwork exhibit using recycled materials to make life-like garden art. The exhibit is sponsored by The Foundation of Lee County Public Schools, ArtFest, and Truly Nolen.  The exhibit is FREE to the public.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – February 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 28th

February at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with Thomas Edison’s Birthday Celebration, Estates Antique Car Show, Brunch with Mina Edison and the continuation of Sneak Peek Tours as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month.  The February schedule of programs and events include:

Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp begins

The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long.  Camp begins on June 8, 2010 and runs through August 13, 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.  Registration forms are available on line at www.efwefla.org or are available at the Estates.  Estates Members $200; non members $230.  For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Sneak Peek Tours February 4, 11, 18 & 25, 10:30 AM

NEW, behind-the-scenes tours 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.  In addition, lunch will be served inside the Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours”, space is limited and registration is required. 

Home Schoolers:  “Movie Making Secrets” February 5, 1 PM – 3 PM

Home schooled students will act, direct, operate a camera and build a set while learning about Edison’s contributions to the movie industry.  The programs follow the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration is required.  Cost:  Estates Members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child), additional $5 per child.

Antique Car Show  February 6 , 10 AM – 2PM

Nearly 100 antique car collectors will display their antique cars throughout the Ford Estate. Other activities during the day include live music, food available for purchase on the Ford Cottage Terrace, Mr. & Mrs. Ford leading informal tours of the Ford Estate.  Cost is FREE to Estates Members and $5 for non members. 

Antique Car Show Model T Tour and Lecture February 6, 11 AM & 1 PM

Learn the history of Henry Ford and his automobiles first-hand through the Estates collection.  Participants will tour the Ford Estate and meet antique car owners who will provide interesting information specific to their Ford.  Estates Members FREE; non members $5, lecture included in the price of Antique Car Show admission.

Naples Historical Society Presentation February 6, 2 PM, Estates Museum

Elaine Reed and John Mayer of the Naples Historical Society will present “Tales from the Past,” a history of the City of Naples.  They will discuss the pioneers and other colorful characters that put Naples on the map.  Estates Members FREE; non members $12 adults, $6 children ages 6 – 12 and includes admission to the Estates Lab and Museum. 

Etiquette at the Estates February 6, 11 AM – 1 PM, (Children ages 6 -12)

Etiquette at the Estates teaches children proper introduction, handshakes and dining etiquette during a three-course meal.  The classes will be taught by etiquette expert Suzanne Willis who has been teaching similar classes throughout the nation.  Registration is required. Cost:   Estates Members $40; non members $50.

New Volunteer Orientation February 9, 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. 

Edison’s 163rd Birthday Celebration and Book Signing February 11, 10 AM

Celebrate Edison’s birthday at the Estates with the staff, distinguished guests and Edison Park Elementary School students who will perform music from the Edison era.  Performance begins at 10:00 AM with cake to follow. The birthday celebration is FREE to the public.  In addition, Tom Smoot, Jr., author of The Edisons in Fort Myers; John Sheppard, author of One Man’s Family in Early Fort Myers; and Alan S. Maltz, author of Visions of Beauty Fort Myers, Sanibel & Beyond will be available to sign their books throughout the morning in the Estates public Heritage Gardens. 

Brunch with Mrs. Edison “Living with a Genius” February 12 & 13, 11 AM

Storyteller, writer, playwright and professional actress, Nan Colton, will bring to life the remarkable and charitable Mina Edison with unforgettable tales of “Living with a Genius”.  Brunch will be served in the beautiful Estates gardens. Hats are encouraged!  Reservations are required, seating is limited.  Estates Members $50; non members $60.  Group rates available.

Docent Training February 18, 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 meeting.

Art in the Gardens “Butterflies at the Estates” Exhibit February 28 – June 2010

In the heritage gardens at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Lee county students create an environmentally interactive artwork exhibit using recycled materials to make life-like garden art. The exhibit is sponsored by The Foundation of Lee County Public Schools, ArtFest, and Truly Nolen.  The exhibit is FREE to the public.

Brunch with Mina Edison – “Living with a Genius”

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 22nd

Due to popular demand, additional dates have been added for the upcoming theatre in the gardens program, Brunch with Mrs. Edison “Living with a Genius” at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.  The additional dates are February 12 & 13 at 11 AM. 

Storyteller, writer, playwright and professional actress, Nan Colton will bring to life the remarkable and charitable Mina Edison with unforgettable tales of “living with a genius.”  The performance will be presented under a tent at the Estates Moonlight Garden and includes brunch and mimosas amidst the beautiful historic plantings. Hats and gloves are encouraged!  

“Living with a Genius” is a witty, one woman show that engages the audience in what it is like to live with a genius – in this case, Mina Edison and her husband, Thomas Edison.  Colton is well known for her charming representation of historic women which includes storytelling and audience involvement. 

On February 12th, the event will include a show and sale of hats designed by southwest Florida artists and personalities.  The hats will be on display at Saks Fifth Avenue at Bell Tower, Fort Myers on February 4 – February 10.

Reservations are required, seating is limited.  Estates members, $50; non-members $60.  Group rates are available.  For additional information and reservations call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

NEW Sneak Peek Tours Behind the Scenes Inside the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 7th

On January 14, 21, 28 and February 4, 11, 18, 25 at 10:30 AM the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering a NEW 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.  In addition, lunch will be served riverside by the Ford Estate (weather permitting) otherwise in the Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours” space is limited and registration is required.

To become an Estates Member call the Estates Membership office 239-334-7419, or visit the website www.efwefla.org and fill out a membership application to receive free admission to the Estates and hundreds of museums and gardens throughout the United States and Canada; discounts in the Museum Store, Garden Shoppe and Ford Cottage Shoppe; invitations to special programs; discounts on classes, children’s camps and educational programs; and an inside look into the homes of two of the nation’s greatest inventors and their families.