Celebrate Independence Day at Edison and Ford Winter Estates
FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 28, 2021) — Edison and Ford Winter Estates will be open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Independence Day, Thomas Edison’s favorite holiday. Visitors may take guided tours or meander at their own pace on a self-guided tour, using an app. The Garden Shoppe will also be open and offers a wide variety of plants and trees available for sale.
The site includes the historic winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the 15,000-square-foot inventions museum, the botanic research laboratory — a National Historic Chemical Landmark, and more than 20 acres of botanical gardens with plants and trees from around the world. The homes will be decorated with red, white and blue bunting for the holiday.
“July 4th is a great day for families to visit, learn about two American icons, and enjoy some ice cream along the river,” said Mike Cosden, COO and Vice President.
According to historical documents, Edison woke up early each Independence Day to spend time with his children and set off a giant firecracker in his yard. The children dressed in holiday costumes and they all tossed Chinese firecrackers. Edison even made his own fireworks with TNT added and called them “incendiary torpedoes.” As part of the holiday celebration, the family enjoyed ice cream and watermelon, just as many American families do today.
Records of an invoice from 1893 on the Thomas Edison National Historic Park website lists the purchases made for the holiday. The list 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, and 1 Firework Balloon 20 ft.”
The site is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week. The Ford Cottage Shoppe has souvenirs, ice cream and bottled drinks available for sale. Tickets for self-guided tours are $25 for adults, $20 for teens (ages 13-19), and $15 for children (ages 6-12), children 5 and under admitted free; guided-tour tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for teens and $18 for children. To purchase tickets or get more information, visit the website at EdisonFord.org or call 239-334-7419.