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  • Writer's pictureKay

An Enduring Friendship

We decided to spend an extra day in Fort Myers to tour the winter homes of two giants of industry - Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The two men first met in 1896 at a company convention while Ford was employed as Chief Engineer at Edison's Detroit Illuminating Company. When Ford shared with Edison his dream to mass-produce a gasoline-powered motor car, the elder Edison encouraged him to pursue the dream. Sixteen years later the two men would meet again to discuss using Edison's storage battery for the Model T, and they would continue to collaborate on innovations that would change the world for the rest of their lives.


Often described as America's greatest inventor, Thomas Edison held over 1,093 U.S. patents plus many more in Europe. He came to Fort Myers from New Jersey in 1885 and liked the area so well that he built a home and came back every winter for the next 30 years until his death. Edison invited Ford and his family to join him, and the two families spent many happy seasons together at homes separated only by a white picket fence. When Edison died, Ford never visited Fort Myers again. Their enduring friendship reminds us of what is truly important in life, and we are grateful.







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3 Comments


stonemcrae
Nov 16, 2021

This post is a lovely reminder of what a blessing friendship is. Thanks for sharing the details of this special friendship, something of which I was not aware. NF

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Guest
Nov 13, 2021

I went to the Edison laboratory in Fort Meyers about 45 years ago. He did his testing for the light bulb filament there. Very interesting. Seems like there was a swimming pool he used there also. You are discovering such great history. hh

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Kay
Kay
Nov 13, 2021
Replying to

Yes we went to the lab where he and Harvey Firestone and Ford also tried to discover another source of commercial rubber from the large banyan trees on the property. The pool is still there too!. So great that you were here 45 years ago!❤️

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