By: Andrew Silverstein

Thomas Edison is, without a doubt, the most prolific inventor of all time.  With 1,093 patents filed up until nearly the day he died, Edison is the creator of a ton of useful objects and tools we still use till this day; the long-lasting lightbulb, the electric utility industry, even the first motion picture camera.  His main laboratory was in Menlo Park (now Edison), New Jersey, but he also had an expansive vacation home right here in Fort Myers.

Built in 1887, the estate was dubbed "Seminole Lodge" by Edison and acted as his winter home until his death in 1931.  The "Ford" part of Edison and Ford Winter Estates comes from Mr. Henry Ford himself who purchased the adjoining property in 1916.  Two of America's greatest innovators living right in Florida's backyard to make the Edison and Ford Winter Estates; pretty cool.

Today, both these estates act as a historical attraction open to the public year-round.  This 20 acre property boasts a variety of historical buildings, historic gardens, Edison's own botanic research lab, and an estate museum.

Tours of the estate are available in a variety of formats.  Take a self-guided tour and peruse the estate at your own pace with an audio recording detailing all the notable sights along the way or take a tour led by an official historian to get all the details on this historic estate.

If you want to go all out, you can opt for a VIP behind the scenes tour and see the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in a way not many others get to see.  Led by the estate's curatorial staff, this tour will take you to rooms not seen on normal tours like the back area of Edison's lab and many other places.

For more information on these tours and the estate, visit the Estates website here.  If this sounds fun, plan a trip and head out the Edison and Ford Winter Estates today for a dose of American history in Ft. Myers.