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Edison Ford Estate Electric Boat Tour
by

Jack Kelleher

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When I heard the Edison & Ford Estate Museum, in Ft. Myers, FL, has a replica of Thomas Edison’s Electric Boat I had to visit the museum and take the riverfront tour on this vessel.  The museum actually has four replica vessels that provide 90-minute trips on the river. 

The replica boats, constructed of fiberglass are 33 feet long and seat approximately 20 passengers.  The original electric launch had four large wicker easy chairs for the Edison’s and their guests.

 A coast guard certified captain provided an interesting narrative about the river, the electric boat, and the waterfront.  The fiberglass replicas are manufactured by “Elco” the Electric Launch Company – the reincarnation of the original manufacturer of Edison’s boat has about a  3 hour cruiser radius.  To visit Elco’s web site click here
http://www.electriclaunch.com/history.htm

 

The trip started at the main Edison & Ford Estate Museum location.  A shuttle bus provided transportation to the Ft Myers City Marina; located on the Caloosahatchee River in old Ft Myers the location is beautiful.  At this point, the river is approximately a mile wide, at this point; the marina clean and to be well equipped.  The tour lasted approximately 90 minutes and you can see the melding of both the both old and new Ft. Myers.

We cruised silently, under the highway bridges of Ft. Myers past marinas, waterfront restaurants, condominiums, hotels, private homes and the Edison & Ford Estate Museum.  The various properties had extremely long docks because the river is very shallow.  It was particularly interesting to note the silence of the electric boat vs. the comparative roar of the other traffic.  As we passed the main estate, it was easily possible to imagine how Ft Myers looked in the beginning of the 20th century.  All too soon, we were returning to the City Marina.   

Was this a fun trip: a definite Yes.  I truly enjoy seeing:

1) The Ft Myers riverfront,
2) how people lived in other times, and
3) the trip on the river truly  was the embodiment of that joy. 
4)
at $5.50 USD it is a great value - I highly recommend it!


For additional information on this historic treasure chest click here to visit the Edison & Ford Estate Museum web site -


 

 

 

 

 

 

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