Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates: Part 2

This week I am sharing the interior photos from Thomas Edison's Winter Estate. However, I must preface this issue with a tecnical note about the photos. These were all taken with my little Canon G9, basically a point-and-shoot model. I did not have a tripod so I had to do the best I could — experimenting with the built-in flash versus bracing the camera on any available sturdy surface. The exterior door in each room had a waist-high plexiglas barrier to keep visitors out. That became my platform for the non-flash shots.

When I returned to my sister's house, I looked at the photos on my MacBook (you really can't tell much from the built-in LCD screen). In my opinion, the flash photos were inferior to the non-flash. The reason is that a small light source like that tends to put too much light on the items near the camera — and little or no light on those items far from the camera (not surprising if you remember from your high school science classes that light intensity diminishes with the square of the distance).

However, the non-flash photos were tinted orange — because the light source was a combination of sunlight through the windows and doors plus incandescent interior lights. Since I did not have access to the room, it was impossible to use my WhiBal card to correct for the color of the light. Therefore, I just had to eyeball it in Photoshop with respect to color correction.

This is a long-winded way of saying that these photos are not really up to my standards — but until the Edison folks allow me better access (don't hold your breath), these will have to do.

This first shot is one of Edison's offices — the "Little Office" in the Moonlight Garden area. Note the vintage typewriter, stereoscope (for viewing photos in 3D) and the Edison phonograph.

Edison's winter home was probably the first in the Fort Myers area to have electricity — in fact, he generated his own. This is an original fixture that he designed, as are most (maybe all) of those in the home.

Note that this fixture appears to have been fixed or renovated at some point. Two of the bases of the individual lights (right-most and the one between it and the camera) appear to be more modern, commercially-available bases. The others look more authentically antique.

Here we find the living room — comfortably furnished with the original furnishings. However, I suspect the flowers might be new. Note the wide doors that opened onto the spacious verandas, providing cooling breezes when needed.

The living room from the other side. Note the piano. Edison was quite fond of music. As I recall, we were told that he did not play but his wife, Mina, did.

The far side of the living room opened into a family/reading room. Note the wicker chairs — the Edison's loved this style which was very popular at the time.

The far side of that same family/reading room.

Edison's bedroom. Light and airy — very comfortable looking.

More of the same.

Looking through one room to the dining room. I love those floors. It's amazing that the termites haven't destroyed them.

The dining room. Can you imagine the conversations that took place here?

The kitchen. Complete with fake pineapple and bread.

This is Edison's office in his lab. Note the cot in the left foreground — so he could nap without leaving the lab. We were told that he did not have a clock in the lab so he would work undisturbed.

The lab where Edison was trying to find a substitute for rubber (as I mentioned last week).

I looks to me that it would have been great fun to experiment in this lab.

He even had some heavy-duty equipment — here a lathe.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com