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Edison and his Spinning Orb.

Edison and his Spinning Orb

Field review by the editors.

Fort Myers, Florida

When Florida SouthWestern State College was still Edison State College, it commissioned local sculptor Don "D.J." Wilkins to make a statue of its namesake, inventor Thomas Edison. In his later years Edison had a home in Fort Meyers, and the ghost-white statue, dedicated on November 14, 2006, depicts him as an old man, leaning on a cane.

"Edison State College is proud to share the Edison name and entrepreneurial spirit it represents," reads a plaque next to the statue (Happily, the statue wasn't dumped along with the old college name). A larger, bronze plaque names the artwork, "The Wizard," and has the tagline, "Education is our brightest light."

With a motto like that, you'd think that Edison would be holding a light bulb. Instead, his upturned left hand holds a silver ball, "emblematic of Edison's remarkable mind," explains the plaque. You can spin it, but can't pry it from his grasp. The spinning, according to the plaque, signifies Edison's "relentless intellectual curiosity and willingness to examine a problem from all sides."

So... even though you may want a remarkable mind and relentless intellectual curiosity from Florida SouthWestern State College, you can't steal Thomas Edison's.

Edison and his Spinning Orb

8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL
On the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College. From Hwy 869/Summerlin Rd turn west at the stoplight onto Edison Pkwy. Drive past the first parking lot on the right, through the four-way stop, past the pond on the right, then turn right into the next parking lot. Drive as far north as you can and park. Walk north and you'll come to the Quad; the statue is on its right (east) edge.
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