Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Detroit: Henry the Collector

Henry Ford was an exceptionally wealthy man who wanted to preserve history. So, he began to collect things--sometimes entire buildings--and created a museum in Dearborn, Michigan. And next to that museum, spread across 90 acres, Ford developed Greenfield Village where nearly 100 buildings were moved from their original settings to illustrate life in America over the past 300 years. Together the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village comprise the largest museum complex in the USA. Without preservationists like Henry Ford, we might not know what life was like in earlier times. What from today's world do you believe will be found in tomorrow's museums?

To fully explore both sites would take many days. I was only able to spend one full day, but I made good use of my time. A lot of what I saw was a trip down memory lane for me. The photos below provide a good sample of what you can see when you visit The Henry Ford Museum and its companion site, Greenfield Village.

A sedan just like this 1949 Ford once sat in my parents' driveway. It was our family car when I was a child.

Ford Museum has a collection of presidential vehicles. This 1961 Lincoln was the car President John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was assassinated.

This shows what McDonald's looked like in the 1950s when a hamburger cost 15 cents.

Signs like this could be found across America. They alerted travelers that a clean motel room was waiting for them.

An early Weinermobile

There was an extensive display of steam powered machinery and old farm equipment.

How would you like to ride to school in this old open-air school bus? Think how cold you might be in the winter. But, it was better than walking!

This brought to mind an old TV commercial, "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the bright red Texaco star."

This is the city bus Rosa Parks was riding when she refused to give up her seat and move to the back.

Do you recognize this airplane? It is a Wright flyer, one of the first airplanes.

This is one of many trains on display. How was this old behemoth powered?

A kid's delight ... a huge model train.

This is a reconstructed model of the original Ford Motor Company, only 1/4 the size of the original.

Ford had the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop in Ohio moved to Greenfield Village.

He also moved the Wright Brothers' family home from Ohio.

Ford greatly admired Thomas Edison, one of America's most prolific inventors.

This is part of Edison's Menlo Park compound that Ford moved.

An old windmill

What do you think this structure is? It is a dovecote. For what is it used?

George Washington Carver's cabin

1 comment:

Rach said...

Wow. Just wow. I can't imagine having entire buildings moved. That's incredible.

I remember the Holiday Inn sign, and seeing the red Texaco star from when I was little.

I'm glad you had a good visit. :o)