Edison Lab and the Muckers


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

Photo attachments:  C. Azell Prince, Jr., the youngest Mucker at the Edison Botanic Research Lab; Jonathan Wadas, Ryan Harris, and Christian Augostenborg, Edison Ford Muckers who will presenting lab presentations and invention demonstrations in the Estates Museum.

Edison Lab and the Muckers

Fort Myers, FL (September 10, 2010) - There’s a new way to experience the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates while the 1928 building has a new roof put on during the next few weeks.  A group of historic interpreters, who call themselves the “Edison Ford Muckers,” will be presenting hands on demonstrations and lab presentations throughout the day with some of the famous friends’ favorite inventions.  This includes inventions such as the light bulb, the phonograph, the automobile assembly line with a replica Ford Model –T, and making a rubber-like polymer.

The Muckers hands-on demos are presented in the Estates Museum and are interesting for all ages.  A hundred years ago, Edison called his group of laboratory and invention workers, the Muckers, and encouraged their discoveries.  Today kids especially enjoy trying on a lab coat and making the polymer that Edison created in his laboratory next door.  Most of the Lab equipment has been brought into the Museum during restoration including test tubes, extraction equipment, grinders and other artifacts.  Also a film will be shown about the Edison, Ford, and Firestone’s quest for rubber which was based in Fort Myers, Florida.

During the next year, the Edison Lab will be undergoing about a million dollar restoration which has been funded by a variety of state, federal and local grants.  “During most of the project, the building will remain open to the public so that they can watch the restoration as it progresses.  There will be times when we will have to close for safety reasons, and that’s when the ‘Muckers’ Hands-On Demos” will be really important,” says spokesperson, Lisa Sbuttoni.  “That’s also when we will have free return passes available.” With the Laboratory restoration underway and more than $12 million in improvements already under its belt, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is completing nearly ten years of restoration to a dozen different residential buildings and structures including the 1915 Edison Portland Cement Swimming Pool.
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.

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The Estates has received a grant  from the Florida Legislature through the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.