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Early 20th century American industrialist first met his boyhood hero Thomas Edison at a conference in 1896. While that encounter was brief, the two men would go on to have a close friendship for many years.

Ford and his wife visited the famous inventor at his Fort Myers estate in 1914. Two years later, he purchased the home next door and called it “The Mangoes.”

In the years that followed, the Fords vacationed at their Florida home just a few days a year. It was always in February to coincide with Edison’s birthday which, even then, was celebrated in grand style with lighted parades and community gatherings.

Watch our companion story about Thomas Edison’s Florida Estate

Both estates are open year-round and bundled together when you purchase a tour. The property includes a comprehensive museum documenting the extraordinary relationship between Ford and Edison. On display is a custom Model T that Ford presented as a gift to Edison and a camper the men used in their many camping expeditions together.

To plan your visit, go to EdisonFordWinterEstates.org.