Edison & Ford Winter Estates Exhibit Opens September 2, 2010 At Southwest Florida International Airport


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

Photo attachments: Historical photos on exhibit at Southwest Florida International Airport include: “Exploring Southwest Florida,” Thomas Edison, Dr. Stanley Hanson and members of the Seminole Tribe; “Birds and Birding in Southwest Florida,” Thomas Edison with pelican at Fort Myers estate; “Royal Palm Trees on McGregor Boulevard.”

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Exhibit Opens September 2, 2010

At Southwest Florida International Airport

Fort Myers, FL (August 25, 2010)The Edison & Ford Winter Estates exhibit, “Discovering Southwest Florida with Thomas Edison and Henry Ford” opens on September 2, 2010 at Southwest Florida International Airport.  The exhibit will be located on the upper level of the terminal in the East Atrium.

The exhibit features a collection of historic photographs of Edison and Ford’s favorite pastimes in Southwest Florida accompanied with contemporary photographs and artifacts from the Estates collection.

Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and their families came to Southwest Florida more than a hundred years ago when Fort Myers boasted only a few hundred families.  They established riverside neighboring estates, a botanical laboratory, and research gardens from 1885 through the 1930s.  They vacationed here and continued working on important projects.   They also explored Florida and enjoyed the beaches, waterways, fishing, hunting and visits from their famous friends.  In the process they contributed greatly to the history and development of the region.   In fact, Edison’s quote, “there is only one Fort Myers and ninety million people are going to find out” became reality as the area grew.

“The exhibit is a great opportunity to share Southwest Florida history and natural resources with residents and visitors from all over the world,” says Chris Pendleton, president & CEO of the Estates.  “The Edison and Ford families enjoying much of what we enjoy today about Southwest Florida, fishing, shelling, boating, paddling, and exploring.”

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.

Southwest Florida International Airport served more than 7.4 million passengers in 2009 and is one of the top 50 U.S. airports for passenger traffic.   No ad valorem (property) taxes are used for airport operation or construction.   For more information, log onto Southwest International Airport.

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The Estates has received grants from the Historical Museums Grants-in-Aid Program through the Bureau of Historical Museums, Division of Natural Resources, Florida Department of State and Secretary of State and the Lee County Tourist Development Council.