||Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
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In 1885, Thomas Edison, age thirty-nine and already a world-famous inventor, met the two great loves of his life: Mina Miller and Fort Myers, Florida. Mina soon became his second wife, and Fort Myers—a remote, almost inaccessible, village on Florida's southwest coast—became their winter home. Other tomes tell the global account of Thomas Edison, the American icon named by Life magazine as the "Man of the Millennium." This book offers a look at his life in his tropical retreat, his "jungle," where for forty-six years he and his bride sought refuge from the cold winters and the demanding lifestyle of his New Jersey home, laboratory, and business complex. While in Fort Myers he watched over his extensive botanical gardens, fished from both his boat and his long dock, interacted with the locals, and labored for many hours in his laboratory. Henry Ford and his family lived next door and many dignitaries came to visit, including President-elect Hoover and Harvey Firestone. The Edisons became an essential part of the Fort Myers story. They made lifelong friendships with townsfolk and joined in local activities until the love affair of the Edisons was cut short by the death of Thomas in 1931. Mina continued to live out her love for Fort Myers and its people until her death in 1947. She gave their winter estate, Seminole Lodge (Thomas' "jungle"), to the grateful citizens of Fort Myers.