The Florida Life of Thomas Edison

The Florida Life of Thomas Edison

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by Michele Wehrwein Albion
     
 

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was America's most famous and, arguably, most prolific inventor. But few realize the extent to which he called Florida, not New Jersey, home.

 

From 1885 until his death in 1931, Edison wintered in the sleepy Gulf Coast town of Fort Myers, south of Tampa. There, he was the pride of the small town, which eagerly watched to see

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Overview

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was America's most famous and, arguably, most prolific inventor. But few realize the extent to which he called Florida, not New Jersey, home.

 

From 1885 until his death in 1931, Edison wintered in the sleepy Gulf Coast town of Fort Myers, south of Tampa. There, he was the pride of the small town, which eagerly watched to see what magic the Wizard would conjure. The local newspaper chronicled Edison's local experiments, his establishment of a laboratory in town, and his unsuccessful efforts to electrify the area.

 

Edison's presence encouraged Henry Ford to buy the Florida estate next door. Edison's experiments with rubber from local plants intrigued Ford and Harvey Firestone, who funded Edison's research.

 

Using a wide range of little-known resources, including photographs, manuscripts, maps, and newspaper accounts, Michele Albion explores an important facet of Edison's life that is largely unknown. In doing so, she presents the full story of his professional and leisure time while on holiday. Particularly interesting is the impact his wife, Mina, had on the culture and community of Fort Myers. The Florida Life of Thomas Edison reveals how the Edisons' legacy influenced women's history, environmental history, black history, and Florida history.

 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813032597
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Publication date:
09/04/2008
Edition description:
First
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,379,343
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Michele Wehrwein Albion, former assistant curator and registrar at the United States Holocaust Museum, was the first professional curator of the Edison and Ford Winter estates in Fort Myers, Florida. She lives in Dover, New Hampshire.

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Florida Life of Thomas Edison 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having had minimal knowledge of Edison beyond his inventions, as a woman, I found this book on his life in Florida to be most revealing of him emotionally and socially. While I knew he was brilliant, I had no idea of what made him tick. I was fascinated by the many challenges his dear wife, Mina, faced with him and his choice to summer in such a rural outpost which was such a contrast to her previous lifestyle. My husband found this book to be a great read. He loved the history, the adventure, the maps, the photographs, and, especially, the tarpon fishing. All in all, the author did her homework and made Edison's and Mina's life in Florida not just a part of history but interesting and entertaining.