For my birthday we visited the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL just 30 minutes south of our home. An IMPRESSIVE Banyon Tree greets visitors! In 1925, Harvey Firestone gave a 4 foot Banyon Tree to Edison in their search to find a domestic source of rubber. The milky sap can be used to create rubber. Now this tree covers an acre and is the largest of it's kind in the continental US.
This is Thomas Alva Edison's (1847-1931) lab where he experimented with 1700 plants for latex to make rubber. His friend, Henry Ford also own a winter home on the property. They winter here with their families for over 60 years!
Edison had only 3 months of formal schooling, because he was too "restless." His Mother, a teacher, taught him at home. Edison was 80% deaf in both ears, probably from a childhood illness. Nevertheless, he was a prolific inventor, named the 20th Century "MAN OF THE MILLENNIUM" by LIFE Magazine. He is the ONLY person to be granted a patent every year for 65 consecutive years! He was awarded a total of 1,093 US Patents.
I was extremely impressed by the giant collection of tropical plants from all over the world. Here I am in front of a huge Staghorn Fern, just one of three hanging from this Virginia Live Oak! And I love all the ferns growing on the branches at the top right corner of this picture. A very interesting day!
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