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‘A Tale of Two Halgrims’ is Safron’s latest documentary


The 9th Annual Fort Myers Film Festival debuted a documentary by Ilene Safron Whitesman and Mail Sail Video Productions. Titled A Tale of Two Halgrims, the film tells the history of the first two directors at Edison and Ford Winter Estates. For a total of 50 years, the Halgrims personally influenced the day-to-day management of the estates – now one of the country’s most visited historic sites and tourist attractions.

From 1927 through 1931, Robert Halgrim, Sr. worked for Thomas and Mina Edison. In 1947, Mina deeded the Edison estate to the City of Fort Myers. Halgrim became the first director to solely manage the estate, serving in that capacity from 1948 until 1972. In 1973, his son Robert Halgrim, Jr. became the second director and operated the site until his retirement in 1998.

During highlights from an interview with Robert Halgrim, Jr., this short documentary chronicles the history of the Halgrims’ stewardship, detailing how Mina Edison gifted the Edison estate to the City of Fort Myers; the idea to collect thousands of Edison artifacts for a museum; how Henry Ford’s home was added to the site; and a list of some of the most famous people who have visited the property.

Even the most knowledgeable historians may learn something from this story.

December 17, 2019.

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