NewsLocal News


Edison and Ford Winter Estates receives antique Calliope donation

Posted at 12:50 AM, May 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 00:50:51-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On May 14, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates received a donated antique Calliope vehicle. The 1914 Model T is installed with a working pipe organ.

Donated by Michelle and Dale Day of Fort Myers, the car has previously been on display during the Estates' antique Ford car shows. The Day family has also donated a 1923 Model T to the Estates.

"We are very thankful for the donation," said Brent Newman, Chief Curator at Edison and Ford Winter Estates. "It was important to Michelle and her father that the car would be enjoyed by the public, and not just sit in a garage. To show our appreciation, we are giving the family a lifetime membership," said Newman.

The Calliope was originally designed for use in a circus and was called a "circus truck." Many were steam-powered and used to bring up the rear of the circus parade. These vehicles were generally homemade or converted and it is unknown how many were made; however, there are currently about 2,000 Calliopes in existence.

With the addition of the Calliope, the site will have 10 antique cars. General admission includes the museum, where visitors can see five other vehicles: a 1937 Ford Coupe, 1914 Model T, 1907 Model G Cadillac, 1918 Chuckwagon, and a 1916 Model T that belonged to Thomas Edison. Across the street, there are four other vehicles on the Ford property: a 1923 Model T, 1929 Model A, 1917 Model TT, and a 1921 Square Cab.

Visitors can learn more about antique cars during the specialty Automotive Tour, offered on Monday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Led by Automotive Curator, James Moss, the tour covers the different types of Ford models on site, how the cars were produced and how to operate and start a vehicle. Tickets for Automotive Tours are $40 for non-members or $15 for Edison Ford members. For more information, visit