Estates an inventive tourist spot

Postcard From Spring Training

March 12, 2007|By PETER SCHMUCK

Among the top tourist attractions in Fort Myers, other than Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, are the winter estates of Thomas Edison and industrialist Henry Ford, which sit side by side on the Caloosahatchee River.

Edison purchased 14 acres of land in 1885 and built a winter home and laboratory. He became friends with Ford, who visited frequently and eventually built his own winter home on an adjacent parcel of land. The two estates have been combined into a single tourist destination that features year-round tours.

Bonus Cliffy Clavin fact: Did you know that Edison holds the record for being granted at least one patent in each of 65 consecutive years? Sort of makes him the Cal Ripken of inventors.

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