Edison’s Laboratory for Ed’s Sunday Stills ‘L’

“Most of the exercise I get is from standing and walking all day from one laboratory table to another. I derive more benefit and entertainment from this than some of my friends and competitors get from playing games like golf.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

Edison’s Botanical Laboratory in Fort Myers, formed in 1928 with donations from Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, was the headquarters for Edison’s rubber research. Its aim was to locate rubber producing plants to ensure a quick supply to the American nation, should there be a shortage in foreign supply. Over 17,000 plants were tested, and Edison eventually found a source in the Goldenrod plant.


On our visit to Fort Myers last month, it was a such a treat to have a guided tour around Edison’s laboratory. I never imagined that one day I’d able to stand where the great inventor had stood so many years ago, and to see the equipment that he and his fellow researchers used in their quest. (Click any image to see more detail.)

This was Edison’s office, with his desk on the left, and that of his assistant Claude Azell Prince, on the left. Claude was employed as Edison’s right hand man at the tender age of seventeen, and lived until 2005. Thomas Edison, died of emphysema at the age ofΒ  eighty four, so he did really well, considering that he smoked thirty cigars a day.


To see more entries for Ed’s Sunday Challenge, click the link.



77 comments on “Edison’s Laboratory for Ed’s Sunday Stills ‘L’

    • Hahaha. Well, Hubby’s dad started smoking at 14, and lived to be 89, although he did die of throat cancer, so maybe if he hadn’t smoked all those years, he could have lived to be over a hundred like his wife. πŸ™‚

      • WOW, Sylvia, that’s a long time. I have a friend (79) who had throat cancer, and had his voice box removed. What a sad thing. I have never seen him smoke, so he probably gave it up at least in the last 15 years I’ve known him. I was shocked when I found out he had it, but friends who knew him longer said he used to smoke constantly. Whether you live longer or not, I’d rather not smoke. My brother still smokes, and he started at 13. He’s 61, so he may be one of those who lives long with it. Too young to tell. πŸ™‚ Life is a bit of a guessing game.

  1. Your photos brought back memories of the visit we had at Edison’s home. In fact, when I had family staying with me, I took them there because I thought it was a great place to see. It was fascinating the way his mind worked. I wasn’t into photography so I don’t have any photos. I may have to return soon. Your photo of his office and the others are fantastic. 😊

  2. How fascinating, I’ve alway loved test tubes and labs for some strange reason! One of my favourite gifts when young was chemistry set believe it or not!! Wonderful piece of history here Sylvia, thank you πŸ™‚ xx

  3. Were you the only visitors there? I am impressed that there are no people in these photos. You did a great job, Sylvia! It must have been exciting to be there πŸ™‚

  4. I saw a documentary about his life on PBS a couple of weeks ago. What a prolific inventor he was, I had no idea he was the brilliant mind behind so many of the conveniences of 20th century life. The man was unstoppable. Oh, I would love to see lab.

  5. A wonderful tour! I would be excited to stand there where the famous scientist/inventor stood there. I was quite excited just see where madam Curie burial place at Pantheon. I must see.

  6. When I visit such places as Monticello, I get that feeling of awe you described relative to being in the same space as such a powerful historical character — in my case, Thomas Jefferson, of course. Think of what these men could have accomplished had they had today’s modern technology at their fingertips. Of course, they were part of the reason we do have today’s technology if you stop and think about it. Edison contributed directly, and Jefferson left us with the University of Virginia, which has been turning out brilliant minds for about two hundred years, now.

  7. Thirty cigars a day, Yet he managed to invent something vital to our daily needs, I would spend countless hours just picturing everything he does in my mind πŸ™‚

  8. really enjoyed stepping back in time – the whole post has a quiet feel – with the window lights and down views – well done S… ❀ and thx – enjoyed this – and I love when we get tidbits of history that are not always in the standard text – like did not know about the cigars! ha

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