FORT MYERS- Hundreds of people are celebrating the birthday of Southwest Florida's most famous wintertime resident.
Actors playing the roles of Thomas and Mina Edison, Henry and Clara Ford, Harvey and Idabelle Firestone, and President-Elect Herbert Hoover and his wife Lou and son Herbert Jr., rode through the streets of Fort Myers on Friday in honor of the world-famous inventor's birthday. The actors reenacted the actual parade, which was to celebrate Edison's 82nd birthday.
Thomas Edison would have been 164 years old on Friday.
Edison & Ford Winter Estates Curatorial Staff recently acquired an original photo that the Estates did not have in its collection. This is an original Associated Press photo that appeared in national newspapers on Feb 13, 1929. The photo depicts Thomas Edison and President-Elect Herbert Hoover in an open motorcade as part of a parade through downtown Fort Myers honoring Edison's 82nd birthday on February 11, 1929. The man who appears behind them in the car is most likely a Secret Service agent. The majestic Royal Palms that gave the City of Palms its nickname can be seen in the background.
A motorcade of six cars carrying the famous vistors, accompanied by the Secret Service and mounted and motorcycled police, were included in the parade. The guests rode from the historic Edison Park neighborhood through downtown Fort Myers and down McGregor Boulevard to Seminole Lodge, Edison's Florida estate.
Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, both winter residents of Southwest Florida, enjoyed tremendous international popularity due to their inventions, industries, and achievements.
This year the festivities on Edison's 164th birthday on Friday at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include:
• 10 AM Birthday Celebration begins with performance by Edison Park School of the Creative and Expressive Arts students and birthday cake. The event is free to the public and is sponsored by the Estates and Edison Pageant of Light.
• 11 AM Motorcade with Mr. Edison and President Hoover departing the Edison Estate to downtown Fort Myers.
• 5:30 PM- 8 PM the Estates Museum will be open to the public with free admission.