|Edison and Ford Winter Estates
Edison Winter Home
The Thomas Alva Edison winter home and laboratory complex offer a rare opportunity to view evidence of the personal life and work of a man who profoundly impacted the way people live. Everything in the house and laboratory belonged to the Edisons and remain just as they left it.
Already a prolific and commercially successful inventor when doctors recommended a warm climate for health reasons, Edison purchased the 14 acre estate on the Caloosahatchee River in 1886 and wintered here with his family for 46 years. Edison used his working vacations in Ft. Myers to perfect many of his most famous inventions and to work on new ideas. The laboratory, with its chemical vials and bottles, electric motors and notes, reflects his experiments to create domestic rubber for automobile tires from the goldenrod plant, the work he was doing when he died in 1931 at the age of 81. Edison registered 1,097 patents, more than any other inventor, and the museum adjoining the lab contains an extensive collection which includes carbon filament light bulbs that still function, phonographs, motion picture projectors, and the storage battery, which took him 10 years and 50,000 experiments to perfect.
The home, gardens and laboratory can be viewed only by taking one of the guided tours conducted every half hour. The tours are an interesting blend of fact and personal anecdotes which last about one hour 30 minutes.
Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were good friends and visits to the Edison home in Fort Myers resulted in Ford’s purchase of the adjoining property in 1915. Ford encouraged Edison’s experiments to produce domestic rubber for automobile tires from native plants grown in his garden. The special Model T that Ford built for Edison can be seen in the Edison Museum and is a tangible reminder of the strong friendship of these two important inventors. After Edison’s death, Ford and his wife lost interest in coming to Fort Myers. The unpretentious Ford home has been restored and furnished in the period of the 1920’s, but does not offer the immediate connection with the people who once lived there that one feels at the Edison home. If your time is limited, spend it at the Edison complex.
2350 McGregor BIvd, Ft. Myers
Monday - Saturday, 9:00am – 5:30 pm. Last tour departs at 4 pm.
Sunday, Noon – 5:30 pm. Last tour departs at 4 pm.
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
$12 adults; $6 children 6-12.
Handicapped accessible, although wheelchairs may be difficult to move through the narrow spaces in the laboratory.
Allow 1.5 hours minimum for the Edison Complex and an additional 45 minutes if you wish to see the Ford property.
|NOTE: This information is gathered and presented for the visitors convenience. AAA is not responsible for changes in dates, times, prices and details.