I have written about this before, but I still have this “thing” for gates. I have an entire collection of gates from living in Stephens County, and I should post them but just haven’t had time. This little door and gate is near where I work in Marietta. Whenever I see it, I always think about the story of the gate located between the summer homes of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison in Ft. Myers, Florida. The two men were life-long friends. A small fence with a gate separated their two properties. Whenever they were at their homes together, the gate remained open. But when one left, it was closed. Here’s a quick reminder of friendship taken from the history of the Edison and Ford estates.
“Edison, on the advice of his doctors, left his home in Menlo Park, N.J., for the warmer climate of Fort Myers, Fla. As would be expected of a man with 1,097 patented inventions, Edison outfitted the home with all kinds of novelties. There was an intercom system which he mischievously used to startle guests, and lights in the closet that blinked on automatically whenever the doors were opened. Edison also had the kitchen built in another building instead of the main house because he didnâ€™t like to smell food cooking.
“Ford was a regular visitor. In 1916, when the seven-bedroom home next door became available, Ford bought it. A wooden fence separated the two estates, but the gate always stood open and became known as the ‘friendship gate.’ When Edisonâ€™s doctors ordered him into a wheelchair in the last years of his life, Ford, still brisk and active, bought one too so they could race around the grounds together.”