Thursday, April 2, 2009

Edison-Ford Winter Estates

On our first full day in Fort Myers, Betsy, Steve and I went to tour the Edison-Ford winter estates. Russel stayed at the hotel in avoidance of pollen. Thomas Edison built his house first and his great friend Henry Ford came soon after and built his right next door. The main purpose of Edison's estate was to research various tropical plants that produced rubber and Edison's lab on the grounds tested over 15,000 different types of latex-producing plants. After years of research, it was determined that goldenrod provided the most latex per pound of plant, but even that was horribly expensive and inefficient. After all that, Henry Firestone, a frequent guest, discovered that man-made materials (a by-product of petroleum) made excellent rubber for the tires of Mr. Ford's cars. Enough facts. If you want to learn more, check out: On to pics.

This first pic is of Edison's home, showing the pergola to it's right, covered with Queen's Wreath. I thought it was wisteria from a distance, but up close, Queen's Wreath is much more impressive.
This is the back side of Henry Ford's home. It was under rehab, so not much to see inside. We could only peek in both houses, but pics of antiques or bare floors are booooring, so I'll spare you those.
On the grounds, this huge bouganvillea appeared to have palm trees growing out of it!

Aside from all the antiques, here is a pic of what Mr. Edison called an "electrolier," one of the electric chandeliers gracing his home. With all the windows and doors open, the cross breezes make this home very comfortable except in the summer, when everyone fled back north.

This is Betsy and Steve admiring a Mysore Fig, a champion Florida tree. This kind of tree produces latex, but not very efficiently.

Here's a close-up of a Queen's Wreath. Definitely not wisteria.

More Queen's wreath.

Close-up of Bouganvillea. Love that pink!

Another view of Edison's home with glimpses of Ford's behind it. Yep, they're that close to each other.
Last, but not least, this Great Snowy Egret was fishing the waters of the Caloosahatchee River, which separates Fort Myers from Cape Coral. His breeding plumage is almost all gone, but what looks blurry off the back of his head and the end of his tail is the remnants. Click on the picture to see him better.

That's it for today. I'll have pics of what we made at last Saturday's workshop in my next post, probably not until Sunday or Monday, as I have to recreate a couple of the things we did and that I gave away as door prizes. Silly me forgot to take pictures first!
Thanks for stopping by.

(-: ¸.·´* .·´*¨¨)) -:¦:- ***
-:¦:- ·· ((¸¸.·´* .·´*((¸¸.·.·´ *-:¦:- ... :-)


~* Tracy *~ said...

thank you for sharing all the wonderful things you saw on your trip away. Look at the roots on that Mysore Fig! Wow! The flowers are very pretty, I love that pink too. Very interesting stuff on Edison and Ford.

Deelite said...

I really enjoyed your input on your trip, and THE FLOWERS omgoodness I love them. You and I sure love our flowers and birds. TFS your trip with us.

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