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Edison Estate

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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