After collapsing from exhaustion in 1885, some six years after inventing the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison was advised by his doctor to find somewhere with a mild climate where he could spend his winters. Upon taking a vacation in Florida he purchased 14 acres in Fort Myers and built a simple home and laboratory.
Edison’s good friend, Henry Ford, followed close behind and purchased the neighbouring property. When you visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates you enter a world of fine period furnishings and the architecture of these gracious, rambling buildings are reminiscent of a bygone era. The inventive genius of the pioneering pair are evident throughout these 17-acres of riverfront estates.
Located next door is the very modest winter home of Henry Ford. Mostly unremarkable, the garden does contain the largest tree in Florida – a Banyan tree grown from seed by Thomas Edison.