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    Visiting the Edison Ford Winter Estates – Everything You Need To Know

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    While in Florida, you may be trying to think of the best places you can visit. Well, Edison Ford Winter Estates is one of the most fun and educational places you can visit. It's one of Southwest Florida hidden gems! Let's check it out! 

    Edison Ford Winter Estates is one of the most fun and educational places you can visit. It's a Southwest Florida hidden gems! Here is what you need to know. #florida #travel #edisonford #edisonfordestate #ourroaminghearts | Travel Florida | Florida | Edison Ford | Edison Ford Estate

    Visiting the Edison Ford Winter Estates – Everything You Need To Know

    Want to see the video from our visit? Scroll down to the bottom of this post and get a peak inside each room! 

    In his later years, Thomas Edison visited Fort Myers Florida and bought 13 acres along the Caloosahatchee River for only $2,750 in 1885. This is what is now the Winter Ford Estate. 

    Henry Ford and his family came to Fort Myers in 1914 to visit Thomas Edison. They fell in love with the area and 2 years later bought the property right next door to Edison's and built their house. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estates

    What is there to see at the Edison Ford Winter Estate?

    You may be wondering why the Edison Ford estate is so big. There are over 20 acres of stuff to see. From beautiful botanical gardens to historical buildings, you can see it all. Not to mention, you can even visit Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory and the Edison Ford Museum. 

    Edison Ford Estste Banyan Tree

    This property is known for its banyan tree and water views. The property is split into two sides of the main road. The side where you park has the famous Banyan tree that covers over an acre of land, the visitor center, some of the gardens, the lab, and the museum. 

    We started at the Laboratory. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Lab

    Edison Botanic Research Laboratory

    As if Thomas Edison didn’t have enough on his plate, he collaborated with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. They were looking for a way to produce rubber that could actually be grown and produced quickly in case of a shortage from the foreign supply.

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Laboratory

    This room is left just how he left it upon his death. The Edison Botanic Research Laboratory was built in 1928 and he tested over 17,000 plant samples until he found one he could make rubber with, goldenrod. The laboratory remained active for 5 years before the research was transferred to the Government. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Darkroom

    Darkroom

    His darkroom is set up here too. This is where he would record his findings. His photos were very technical with the plants and results. He kept very detailed records. 

     

    Edison Ford Winter Estates Plant Samples

    Edison's plant samples in his lab office

    Laboratory Office

    His office is set up as well. This is where he stored all the plant samples, his files. This is where they drafted garden plans, answered correspondence, held interviews etc. 

    This is a lab worth checking out because so much good stuff has come out of it. It’s even been named as a National Historic Chemical Landmark.

    Related: Visiting Winter and Hope at Clearwater Marine Aquarium – Clearwater, Florida

    Edison Ford Museum

    The great pair of human beings known as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford changed the world in a great way. This Edison Ford Museum sets on 15,000 square feet of endless knowledge and history. They had added on to it with new videos and exhibits in the last year. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Cars

    The beginning of the museum has 2 cars personal to Edison and Ford.

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Museum

    There is a timeline of the property, the history of the men and their families. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Museum

    Many artifacts and inventions from Thomas Edison.

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Spark Lab

    At this museum, there are special features like Smithsonian Spark Lab and the Timeline of Invention. I love that they have many hands-on activities for the kids! They were able to make a working doorbell and do some leaf rubbings. 

    Related: Weeki Wachee State Park – The Home of the Mermaids

     

    Edison Ford Winter Estates Garden Shop

    Edison Ford Winter Estates Garden Shop

    They have a garden shop on the visitor side of the property. Edison brought is so many plants from every continent except Antartica and many of those plants are now sold here. There is a statue of Edison wife in this garden. 

    This is also where you walk over to the road crossing to visit the homes and the gardens. 

    Related: Taking your Family to Historic Sunken Gardens St Petersburg Florida

    Edison Gardens

    Once you cross the street you pick up your audio guide and start your tour in the gardens. 

    Edison Water Fountain

    The first audio stop which is the water fountain. 

    Edison Pier

    This is where you can see the old pier and can walk right to the waterfront straight ahead. 

    Edison Gardens Fort Myers Florida

    To the right is the gardens. If you’ve never laid eyes on the Edison Gardens before, you’re in for a treat. These gardens are some of the most beautiful gardens you’ll ever see.

    Edison Ford Gardens

    The gardens here are home to over 1700 plants. You will find tropical fruit trees, heritage plants, bamboo trees, much more.

    Edison Ford Estate Gardens in Fort Myers Florida

    Seriously, if you want to see a bunch of amazing plants all in one spot, then the Edison Gardens are worthy of checking out.

    Edison Ford Pool

    Edison's pool area is also over here and it has a great view of the river. 

    Thomas Edison's Study Fort Myers Florida

    Thomas Edison's Study Fort Myers Florida

    Also on this side of the property is the caretaker's house and this is traditional Florida “cracker” style. Edison's Study is here too. This was where his original laboratory stood when the house was built. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estates Garden

    The 4th path takes you to Edison's house. 

    Related: Fun Things to do on Vacation in Every State in America

     

    Thomas Edison Winter Estate

    Thomas Edison's Seminole Lodge

    Thomas A. Edison’s winter home is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The house is two identical post and beam homes built and connected by a breezeway. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Palm Tree Row

    This is also where the famous palm tree row walkway is. It makes for some great photos! 

    Edison Master Bedroom

    Edison Master Bedroom

     

    The side of the house closest to you when you enter the property is called the Main House. This is where Edison's master bedroom is and his bathroom with an interesting item for its time, an electric sit in sauna. 

    Thomas Edison's Library Fort Myers Florida

    Thomas Edison's Library, Fort Myers Florida

    Across the porch from the master bedroom is the library that holds over 10,000 of Edison's books. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estates

    Edison Sitting Room

    Attached to the library is a sitting room with huge windows and doors that bring the outside in. Above this part of the house are family bedrooms which are not open to the house. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estates

    The porch here is covered in original wicker furniture that they brought in from Maine.

    From there you can cross under the pergola breezeway that attaches the main house to the guest house. 

    Edsions Piano Room

    The Guest House section has sitting toom with the piano that was Edison Wife's and she loved to play for guests. 

    Edison Dinning Room

    Edison Dining Room

    Next to the music room is the formal dining room. The rooms above are the guest rooms and also are not open to the public. The side of the dining room is attached to the kitchen via breezeway and covered porch. 

     

    Edison Kitchen

    Edison Kitchen

    The kitchen had a work area, a cooking area, and even an icebox. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estates

    From the back of Thomas Edison's home, you have beautiful views of the river and many of the amazing plants he planted. 

    From there you go through the gate over to Henry Fords home. 

    Related: 11 of the Absolute Best Places to View Manatees in Florida

    Edison Ford Winter Estates

    Henry Fords The Mangoes

    As you enter the property you are greeted with a small garden and a statue of Henry Ford. 

    Henry Ford Cars

    Henry Ford's Cars

    Then to your right is a carport built after Henry Ford sold the property but is now used to house several of his cars (and there is a bathroom here too if you need it.)

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    Henry Ford's Secretary Room

    Then you head to the back porch of Henry Ford's home. I worked from left to right so here we go. The far-left room is the Secretaries room that shares a Jack and Jill bathroom with the bedroom next door. 

    Henry Ford Maid Room

    Henry Ford Maid Room

    The bedroom next door is the maid's bedroom. 

    Henery Ford Kitchen

    Henery Ford Kitchen

    The maid's bedroom is right next door to the kitchen. The kitchen connects to the dining room as you can see. 

    Henry Food Living Room

    Henry Food Living Room

    The next room is the living room which has a wood ceiling. 

    Henry Ford Guest Room

    Henry Ford guest Room

    The last room on the back porch is the guest room. 

    Henery For Back Yard

    The view from the back porch is amazing. You can see the river and there is a palm tree-lined walkway out to the river. 

    Mysore Fig tree

    Henry Ford's Mysore Fig tree

    There is also a massive tree here called a Mysore Fig tree, it's right on the water.

    Henry Ford Mysore Fig tree

    Mysore Fig tree

    Check out the roots on the tree! For sure a great backdrop for pictures!

    From here I suggest looping back around via the front of the homes.

    Related: 24 Free Things to do in Naples, Florida

    Henery Ford Winter Estate

    The Edison Ford Winter Estates Front Yard 

    The front of the Henry Ford home. You can take in the views of the mango trees from Ford's front porch. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estate

    There are some massive shade trees in the front yard. 

    Edison's Winter Estate

    As you continue on you can get some amazing views of Edison's home. 

    Edison Ford Winter Estate Friendship Walk

    In front of his house are 2 things you should notice. The first is the Friendship Walk as he calls it. It's the stone path with his friend's names on it. 

    Banyan Tree

    The second is a smaller banyan tree that you can get up close too. 

    Related: Top 15 Free Things to do in Tampa, Florida

    Edison Light Bulb

    The Edison Ford Winter Estates Gift Shop

    I always like to wrap up my trips with a visit to the gift shop. You have a new appreciation for the items shown and I always pick up a magnet for my collections. The Edison Ford Winter Estate Gift Shop has all things Edison Light bulbs. 

    Edison Ford Quote

    They also took many of Edison and Ford's famous quotes and turned them into all sorts of home decor. 

    Edison Light

    My favorite item was by far this pully light!

     

    Have you been to the Edison Ford Winter Estates? I'd love to know what you thought! Let me know in the comments below! 

     

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