Scenic USA - Florida

Ford Winter Estate

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Ford Winter Estate - Ft Myers, Florida

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Henry Ford was born and raised on a Michigan farm, nearby today's town of Dearborn. Young Ford quickly demonstrated his love for mechanics and machinery. By Henry Ford age 16, Ford left the farm and headed to Detroit, taking a job as a machinist's apprentice. At age 32, Ford was seen driving through the streets of Detroit with his new invention, the quadricycle. Soon afterward, Henry Ford left his employer in 1903, the Edison Illuminating Company, and opened the doors of newly founded Ford Motor Company. The third attempt at auto manufacturing was successful, and by 1921 Henry Ford controlled over half of the American automobile market. By 1927, more than 15 million Model Ts rolled from the assembly line, another major improvement in manufacturing perfected by Ford.
   During Ford's busiest years at the new Ford plant, he would take off a few weeks to enjoy the balmy weather in southwest Florida, sometimes camping with the Edisons. By 1916, Ford purchased the property next door to Thomas Edison's winter estate, Henry Ford's long time friend. The winter estate of Henry Ford, called The Mangoes, is now owned by the City of Fort Myers. The Ford home is beautiful example of Craftsman bungalow-style architecture, listed on the National Registered Historic Site and American Institute of Architects for Florida Architecture. Opened to the public, the two winter estates on Caloosahatchee River are coupled together for various tour options. Both estates, surrounded by 20 acres of botanical gardens, are open daily from 9 to 5:30, except Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

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