Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Hello Friends,

Over the weekend J and I visited the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL. This was my second time visiting the lovely grounds and J's first time. I love visiting historic homes and seeing how people lived. Thomas Edison had over 1,000 patents!  He is most well known for inventing the light bulb, but he really created the entire system in which we still use for electricity throughout the world. On a side note, his original light bulb will soon be a thing of the past in the United States as the government is regulating the sale of incandescent light bulbs by phasing them out and then banning the sale of them. 

One of the reasons Edison came down to Florida from the Northeast was to find domestic sources of rubber. During the war, rubber was scarce. Edison, Henry Ford (Ford Motor Company), and Harvey Firestone (Firestone tires) were looking for a way to make rubber here in the United States. Edison planted a variety of plants in his quest to find rubber, and the plants are still on the grounds for us to enjoy today.

Thomas Edison purchased the grounds for a winter home in Fort Myers. Thomas Edison was good friends with Henry Ford and persuaded him to purchase the house next door. Edison created many components needed to run cars. They were very close friends and the Ford's visited their winter home primarily to visit the Edisons.
One part of Edison's Winter Home
The original buildings on the property were for Thomas Edison and his wife Mina and Edison's good friend and partner Ezra Gilliland. Edison had plans drawn up for one house, then flipped the architect's plans over and had a second home built with everything in the opposite direction. Later Ezrea sold the home and Edison purchased the home and considered the two buildings to be one home.

After Thomas Edison passed away his wife Mina continued to visit the home. She later sold the estate to the city of Fort Myers for $1. She left all of the furniture and belongings in the home to the city of Fort Myers. The grounds has a museum with artifacts and original inventions from Edison.

Many of the light fixtures are some of the first electrical fixtures ever made. They are still in tact and working.

The antiques throughout the house were lovely too!

On the far left of this photo you can see the end of one of the homes. Just to the right of the tree on the far left is trellis walkway connecting the two homes.

This is one of the homes. There was an open walkway between these two structures connected by the porches.

The Calosahatchee River is in the background.
I have many more great photos to share of the grounds including Henry Ford's winter home. If you are ever in the Fort Myers area, I highly recommend stopping by the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Further north in Sarasota is the estate of John Ringling which is even more AMAZING.

Happy Day!
xoxo Susan


  1. I love to see how people lived in the past. Edison and Ford had beautiful homes. I hope to go there one day! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing all this, i really enjoyed my tour with you!
    The UK has virtually phased out those bulbs - you cannot buy the standard bulb now, only the new enrgy saving type which are supposed to last 10 years but in fact need to be changed as regularly as the old!
    Lovely photos!
    Gill xx

  3. Thanks for your comment on my post!
    Yes, I was convinced it was Friday yesterday! It's being a stay at home Mum combined with hubby now at home having taken early retirement -at the moment every day merges in to one another,dominated by exam revision nagging and supporting, and only punctuated (so it seems!) by my daughters GCSE exams (age 16)! Life will resume as normal after that and then hopefully i shall know where I am and what day of the week it is!!!
    Enjoyed reading this post again, thankyou - virtual sightseeing!
    Gill x