Posts Tagged ‘Henry Ford’

The Historic Edison and Ford Estate Gardens

Friday, May 20th, 2011

The great inventor Thomas Alva Edison was also an impassioned amateur botanist and enthusiastic gardener. Edison and his wife Mina began gardening soon after arriving in Fort Myers, Florida. Today, gardens at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates encompass 20 acres and contain more than 1,700 plants. The collection includes more than 400 species from six continents. These gardens are on every “must see” list for SW Florida, and a visit is easily incorporated into a stay at a Cape Coral or Bokeelia Bed and Breakfast vacation.

Largest Banyan Tree In The US / Thomas Edisons Estate / Fort Myers / Florida

Banyan Tree at Edison's Winter Estate in Fort Meyers

Edison approached his gardens as he approached his work, methodically and with purpose. Ever the inventor, Edison constantly researched the uses of plants. He used bamboo in his lightbulbs, and by the late 1920’s was known throughout the world for his work with rubber trees. Yet he and his wife also loved nature; many of the flowers were planted to attract birds and butterflies, and many fruit trees were planted for their fruit. (more…)

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

These men were giants, and they were friends. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford transformed our lives. They brought us the telegraph, telephone, and x-ray machine. They brought us the automobile, and paved the way of the future. Their winter estates in Fort Myers, Southwest Florida are fascinating – everyone should visit them.

It is easy to spend a whole day at the Winter Estates of Ford and Edison. Visit Edison’s laboratory, where he discovered that goldenrod could be used to produce latex. Visit his Botanical Gardens, which are home to more than a thousand varieties of tropical plants – many of which Edison used in his experiments. A tour of the botanical gardens reveals some of Edison’s uses for the plants, such as what bamboo has to do with the light bulb. As I say, fascinating.

The remarkable banyan tree at the Edison Winter Estate.

The remarkable banyan tree at the Edison Winter Estate.

The museum houses many interesting exhibits; learn about the young Edison and his inventions; see his collection of movie projectors, cameras and nickelodeons, as well as his extensive phonograph collection. See photographs of Edison, Ford and their families and friends in and around Fort Myers. Visit Ford’s gallery, and see the 1916 Model T Touring Car that Ford gave to Edison.

You will undoubtedly work up an appetite here, which may be satisfied at the Banyan Café between 10am and 3pm. There are also numerous restaurants in Fort Myers. Ask your Fort Myers Florida bed and breakfast innkeepers for a list of their favorite spots to eat near the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

You’ll be happy when you head back to your SW Florida bed and breakfast. It is good to learn about Thomas Edison and Henry Ford –  somehow it creates a sense of awe and optimism. These men had great visions and the perseverance to make their dreams reality.

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