Thomas Alva Edison purchased 14 acres of land on the south side of the Caloosahatchee River in tropical Fort Myers, Florida and built a beautiful home, a laboratory along with botanical research gardens. In 1896, Edison became friends with legendary automobile maker Henry Ford and in 1916 purchased a two story home next to Edison. The Edison & Ford Winter Estates offers guided tours through the historic homes and gardens as well as audio tours in English and German.
The museum is filled with artifacts, inventions and special exhibits. Edison’s tropical botanical gardens contain many varieties of exotic plants imported from all over the world including the world’s second largest Banyan tree. The Edison Botanic Research Lab is one of the most important buildings on the site. During WWI, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone became aware that the supply of rubber in the US could be cut off and there would be major costs to their industries and to the American Economy.
The Museum and Museum Store, Historic Cottage Shoppe and Garden Shoppe and Banyan Café are open daily. The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is a National Register Historic Site, a Florida Historic Landmark and is among the top 10 visited historic homes in America.
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