Although there were lots of highlights, one that really got my mental gears spinning was the Edison-Ford Winter Estate (with 250,000 visitors annually). It was here that I saw (again!) the marriage between technology and the environment (not to mention, a lot of amazing exhibits):
Into the Wild." Henry Ford saw his Model T as a way to transport not only this quartet to the wilderness, but as a way of bringing a love (and escape) to nature to the everyday man. The "Tin Can Tourist" was invented!
One of my favorites is a book I got there: "The Inventor's Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford" by Suzanne Slade. (Spoiler alert: The secret? Grit, perseverance, stick-to-it-ive-ness!)
The Winter Estates website takes you to some other great resources:
Within their “Our Collections” tab, you can request information, request a photo, find links for other Edison and Ford websites, books and DVD's. I was particularly interested in the link to the STEM Resources for Students & Teachers at ThomasEdison.org website!
They also have an extensive Education Tab on the website with the following categories--many for locals: Edison Ford Home School programs, Emerging Inventors Early Learning Classes; Inventors Summer Camp; School Break Camps, and monthly Garden Tours.
Thomas Edison was not a stellar student when young. He did not function well in the regular classroom (possibly an attention deficit kid, prior to that being a diagnosis), only truly thriving when his mother took him out for homeschooling. Henry Ford was a teenage tinkerer who mastered the art of watch repair through his own exploration and investigation. For both, it was through perseverance and failing forward that they ultimately made their mark on history. And it makes perfect sense that these two geniuses of their time would gravitate toward each other.
For a great overview video of the Winter Estates, check out the video on their home page. It might just inspire a visit the next time you are down in the neighborhood of Ft. Myers! You might find yourself channeling these two great inventors, seeing your own mental gears start spinning around your own innovations!
|Screenshot from http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/|
& place to view a super & informative video!