Thursday, November 11, 2010

Henry Ford Museum

The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan, is not just Fords. It's a display of the metamorphosis of machines and utensils for the home, the fields, and the roads.  The displays and the gift shops are constantly being updated to include more of the history of mankind's fascination with machines and utensils.
Nancy sets the timer and then rushes in to get in on the picture at the entrance to the Henry Ford Museum. 
Set in a park area along the same street that is lined with the many impressive buildings that house Ford Motor Company, the Museum is easy to find and easy to drive to, so don't let the fact that it's close to the big city of Detroit deter you from visiting. We arrive on a Sunday and there is ample parking.

We check out the farm machinery first because it is on the closest to the entrance of the huge building.
At first I am a bit disappointed that the farm machinery display isn't larger, but I soon realize that what they have are really unique items, like this sickle mower, which is far older than any I have ever seen.
And instead of just an early model of the famous 9N, we see the actual prototype.

an Oliver plow patented in 1869
Henry Ford's experimental tractor
Below is the 1917 Model 1 Fordson tractor

Below is an American Cow Milker

Models of stoves as they were improved

A classic Farmall

a milk truck used in 1912

This grain drill is really old but it looks very much like the one we used in 1950 when I was a kid.
Also, it isn't much different than the one Nancy and I used when we farmed in 1975. 

I like this picture because it gives the full title of this machine.

Here is an early Allis-Chalmers

Now for the cars. There were acres of them.
And an electric car from 1922!

Above: Mustang (right), Prototype (left)

An aluminum car from 1925

We follow a path along a platform that displays cars of all kinds
 from the very beginning to the present "world cars."

Other kinds of items on display include replicas of cars used by presidents Kennedy and Reagan, several brands of muscle cars, the first commercially made school bus, and a dining car.

Our favorite exhibit is the dining car, which has been carefully refinished to its original glory, except that no food is served. The coffee cup in my hand is just a prop. 
Our informative guide tells us that next year they want to be able to serve some sandwiches 
and coffee in the dining car.  Nancy and wish out loud that they served some food now.

But no amount of wishing is going to make serving food there happen this year, and since Nancy and I are hungry, we decide to get something to eat before we visit the expansive Greenfield Village, which appears to be about 40 acres or so of historic buildings, working craftsman shops, and gardens. 
That's the subject of another blog.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson 

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