Inventors in Paradise : Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers, Florida

Did you know that Edison is the only American who filed a patent each year for 65 consecutive years? That he was awarded 1093 United States patents throughout his life?

Edison is most famous for inventing the first commercially available incandescent light bulb, but his favorite invention was the phonograph. His work also included improvements on the telegraph, generator, motor, movie making, batteries, cement and the search for a domestic source of rubber. The list goes on and on, as he consistently worked on finding solutions to common problems.

Edison purchased a winter residence in Fort Myers, Florida, in 1885, for him and his family to enjoy the warm weather in Florida during the winter. Here he built a lab and worked on his many inventions. His good friend, Henry Ford, who visited Edison often, purchased the property next door in 1916. Ford had worked at one of Edison’s companies before going on to invent the first automobile and although there was a large age difference, they became close friends and Edison was Ford’s mentor. These two geniuses lived as neighbors in a personal and creative environment where they where able to explore new ideas together.

Edison and Ford loved camping, fishing, boating, and exploring the tropical surroundings, which Edison referred to as his „Eden“. Edison, Ford, the poet John Burroughs, and Samuel Harvey Firestone (of the automobile tire fame) created a long-lasting friendship and took annual camping trips. Ford even created custom-designed trucks for their camping adventures.

These great inventors thrived because they lived in a certain way, which all inventors can do as well:
-create your own inventing environment; a special lab, an office where you focus on your ideas
-surround yourself with open-minded, free-thinking individuals
-free your mind through naps or contact with nature to allow the subconscious mind help find solutions
-learn about and be inspired by other inventors

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