Edison & Ford Winter Estates Antique Car at Page Field



Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director

Photo attachments: Mina Edison greets a Ford built airplane at Page Field formerly known as Fort Myers Airport (source: Southwest Florida Historical Society); 1919 Ford Model T; 1937 Ford Coupe.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Antique Car at Page Field

FORT MYERS, FLA.(August 26, 2011)– The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is exhibiting a 1919 Ford Model T at the newly completed general aviation terminal at Page Field in Fort Myers. The 1919 Ford Model T will be on exhibit until October 2011 when it will be replaced by a 1937 Ford Coupe. Page Field has a rich history in the region and was used for both air travel and training. Photo to the right is Mrs. Edison at Page Field.

In 1926 Thomas Edison inspected two planes at Page Field (then known as Fort Myers Airport) the Miss Tampa and Miss Miami. Henry Ford made major contributions to aviation with The Ford Aircraft Division building passenger planes in 1929 that were known as the "Tin Goose" that consisted of three large air-cooled engines. By the latter part of the 1920s Ford became the first private carrier to have domestic airmail flights and was the world's largest producer of commercial airplanes. Ford, with the help of Charles Lindbergh, helped usher in a new era for aviation travel as numbers grew from approximately 2,000 passengers in the mid 1920s to over 400,000 passengers by the early 1930s. The Smithsonian Institute called Ford's innovative concrete runways "Ford's most important contribution to aviation." Ford is in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio.

T he 1919 Ford Model T on display at Page Field is a standard three-door touring model that sold for $525 and was powered by a 20 horsepower four-cylinder cast iron engine. It could r each a maximum speed of around 45 M.P.H. and had a ten gallon gas tank that averaged 14-21 miles per gallon. Electric starters became an optional feature for the first time in 1919 and cost an extra $75 to install. As a result, Ford began producing instrument panels equipped with an ammeter and ignition switch.

In October the Estates will replace the Model T with a 1937 Ford Coupe which is more represtative of the history of activity at Page Filed. The 1937 Ford Coupe was donated by Louis Furen Jr. to the Estates Museum in August 2004. Considered a full size Ford automobile the 1937 two-door Coupe featured a 221 CID 3.6 L Flathead V-8 Engine with 85 HP (three speed manual). Body style is the two-door Coupe and color is called Dearborn Blue. Original cost would have been around $850. The 1937 model consisted of a more rounded look, side hood grill, and had a distinctive V-shaped front grill that differed from its predecessors of the early 1930s. Headlights were built into the frame which also differed from its predecessors. A sharp car that also featured a trunk. Currently the car is under restoration by South Fort Myers High School Automotive students.

Visitors to the airport from around the world will enjoy and discover the importance of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and their impact on southwest Florida. Edison, considered one of the areas first tourists, arrived by boat to Punta Rassa in 1885. He purchased property along the Caloosahatchee and built his winter residence, “Seminole Lodge” in Fort Myers. Henry Ford purchased his home in 1916 and together they would explore Florida in Ford automobiles of course.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

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