Free Admission for Veterans on Independence Day at Edison & Ford Winter Estates


Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Wilson, Marketing & PR Director

Free Admission for Veterans on Independence Day at Edison & Ford Winter Estates

 FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 17, 2016) -- To celebrate Independence Day -- and Thomas Edison's favorite holiday -- Edison Ford is offering free admission to United States veterans and their families. Free admission includes an audio tour of the historic homes, gardens, laboratory and museum. 
Veterans should present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers. Veterans will also receive a 10% discount on Edison Ford membership and items purchased in the Museum Store, Ford Cottage Shoppe and Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops.
Edison Ford is a member of Blue Star Museums, so all active duty military will also receive free admission. The program includes active duty military in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and NOAA Commissioned Corps. Up to five family members may also be admitted free. The Blue Star Museums free admission program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card. 

According to historical documents, Edison would get up early in the morning on the Fourth to spend time with his children and set off a giant firecracker in his yard. The children would dress in Fourth of July costumes and Edison and the children would throw Chinese firecrackers. Edison even made his own fireworks with TNT added and called them incendiary torpedoes.
Records of an invoice from 1893 on the Thomas Edison National Historic Park website, lists the purchases made for the Fourth. It included “2 dozen packages Electric Torp., 1 Dragon’s Nest, 1 Devil Among the Tailor, 1 Surprise Box, 1 Floral Fountain, 1 dozen Rockets, 1 dozen B.R. Candles, 1 lb. Colored Fire, 1 Firework Balloon 20 ft."
As part of the holiday celebration, the family enjoyed ice cream and watermelon, just as many American families do today.
The Fourth of July meant so much to Edison that he even used red, white and blue bulbs when he made the first strand of Christmas lights to represent the colors of the holiday!

On Independence Day, Edison & Ford Winter Estates is open the regular hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 239-334-7419 or


 Edison & Ford Winter Estates 
Edison Ford is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Edison Ford has been awarded the National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures," a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. Recently, the Edison Botanical Laboratory was designated as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the website at