Saturday, November 1, 2008

Edison Lab & Museum Part 2

After WW1 the importing of rubber became difficult and expensive. So Edison, Ford and Firestone decided to try there hand and making it here. This is the original labratory and all the contents (with the exception of the fire extinquishers and exit signs) are original.

This is the front office of the lab. Edison would document all the experiments long hand at his desk and his clerk would eventually type them up and file them away in a binder. Edison was meticulous in his documentation.

There was a cot next to Edisons desk. Edison was a full fledge work-a-holic and he'd work until he was exhausted, then catch a cat nap (fully clothed) on the cot, then get up and keep working. If corporations were allowed to do this, you know all our cubicles would be big enough for a cot :)

This is the original phone from the office.
There were so many experiments going on with different plants that they had a huge demand for glass ware. Bottles, beakers, test tubes galore. So, Edison hired a full time glass blower.
The long view of the lab.

The full time glass blower worked in a little room in one corner of the lab. As you can see from the above picture it was very cramped.

Higher view of the room.

The cabinet where the glass supply was kept.

Of all the plants that Edison experimented with the weed Goldenrod was the most successful. Normally this common weed grows 3-4 feet and he was able to produce a 5% yield. He was able to develope a strain of Goldenrod that was 12 feet high and had a 12% yield.

Edison worked during the winter months in this lab until June 1931. He went back north for the summer months to work in his other labs. He died in November 1931 at the ripe old age of 84 - work-a-holic until the end.

Ford and Firestone kept the lab working until 1936. Although they had some successes, they didn't forsee a large commercial use for the products that they had developed.

In 1947, Mrs Edison deeded the estate and lab to the City of Ft Myers for $1.00. She wanted her husbands work to be preserved for future generations and the city has since opened the full estate and lab up to the public. My trip here was too short. I didn't even get to see the Ford or Edison estates. I'm definately going back, this was a great excursion!

1 comment:

Christina Baldwin said...

SO COOL!!!! I can't imagine the stuff that came out of this guy's head. And what's the deal with the banyon tree? Weirdness!!