Session S55c (Wednesday, 5:15pm, Willaman Gateway)

P880: Bringing a chemist's perspective to the restoration of a historical laboratory

Richard Wallace (Armstrong Atlantic State University, USA)

Thomas Edison along with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone created the Edison Botanical Research Corporation in 1927 as part of their search for a source of rubber that could be produced commercially in the United States.  A large amount of the research work on this project was carried out in Fort Myers, Florida at what is now known as Edison and Ford Winter Estates.  At the site in Fort Myers all aspects of the rubber production process were explored.  Over the last three years, a substantial restoration has been carried out on Edison’s research laboratory in Fort Myers.  In 2010, the presenter began a relationship with Edison and Ford Winter Estates to bring an organic chemist’s perspective to articles located in Edison’s research lab and to help interpret the importance of Edison’s rubber research work and its contributions to science in a larger context.

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