The last thing we did in Naples was to visit the Edison/Ford home in Ft. Myers. The kids have touched on Edison in school and I thought it would bring home the history lesson a bit more if they could see where he did some inventing.
It was a very hot day! Granny and Grandad went with us and we all learned alot!
Edison first visited Ft Myers in 1885, and he loved it so much that he purchased 13 acres on the Caloosahatchee River. There he built his winter estate(called Seminole Lodge in honor of the local Indian tribe) that included his home and an impressive guest house. Originally his laboratory was located adjacent to the house, but it was moved across the road and this office was built here in place of it.
Edison's Little Office:
Looks cozy doesn't it? I wish my office looked like this!
Below is the Moonlight Garden(behind the Little Office), can you imagine a party here?
Now for my favorite part of the grounds, the pool area. In times past when I have visited this area, the pool itself was a green algae mess. I often have wondered what it looked like when Edison and his kids swam in it. Well, here is the modern version of the pool today! Certainly it didn't look this good when Edison was here, as it was filled with water from an artesian well on the property (I am so very glad they cleaned it up, it looks so inviting now!).
This is the pier where Edison had his boat, and from which guests would arrive and all the building materials and contents(right down to the linens!) for his houses were brought in from ships. There were no roads or railroads when he built his estate. At the end of the pier there used to be an open "summerhouse"(kind-of like a covered porch) for visiting with guests and friends. My guess is 'cause it was cooler out on the water, with a breeze!
These "Electrolier" lighting fixtures were manufactured specifically for his house and I believe these are the original bulbs in them. Why can't they make light bulbs to last like that anymore????
This is the family room. Surrounding all sides of these rooms are wide covered porches, the kind that I long for if I ever build a house!
This is Thomas and Mina's bedroom, doesn't it look cool and inviting?
Part of the kitchen:
I so totally want a such a functional and eye-pleasing kitchen as this in my fictional house I would build! Ok, so I would copy Edison's floor plan... I LOVE this architecture!
The fruit of this tree is growing right on the bark of the tree, isn't that wierd? I can't remember the name of the tree now...so dissapointing.(I think it may have been a type of fig tree?)
The rock fountain used to be the water feature in the garden where the Edisons and their guests would cool off before the pool complex was built. It used to be smooth concrete and then someone got creative and covered it with the rocks by 1928.
This is the Ford home called "The Mangoes":
Ford was good friends with Edison and in 1916 Ford bought this house and property right next door to Edison's home. Again, I'm loving this architecture!!!
While you are waiting for a guided tour, there is a museum that contains alot of history about Edison. His childhood, and the years leading up to his life in Ft. Myers and his inventions and patents.
"Thomas Edison, Life magazine's "Number One Man of the Millennium," died October 18, 1931. He was 84 years old. Edison is credited with holding 1,093 patents and is the only person in our country ever to have a patent granted every year for sixty-five consecutive years, 1868 to 1933."
(That was taken from the website of the Estate.)
Below are some of the displays that are in the museum:
The above photo contains a replica of Edison's electric boat, Reliance.
This is the Banyan tree. It was a gift from Harvey Firestone, and in 1925(when it was planted) the tree was 4ft high and 2 inches in diameter. Now, it covers an acre and has some 350 roots!
The kids are standing with Thomas, Sweetie Pie is holding his hand, how sweet!
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
We didn't get to the lab part of the tour, Granny was hot, tired and ready to go home. We will go back another time and do the tour again, starting with the lab! The gardens there are the most varied I have seen. It is all because of the experimental nature of the caretaker! He always encouraged questions and exploring in his kids. This is such a wonderful place, and worth a visit for a day!
"There is only on Fort Myers, and 90 million people are going to find it out."
If only he knew...