The Henry Ford - More Henry Ford than you can shake a stick at
JC, MG & I visited the Henry Ford, which consists of several
attractions. The Henry Ford Museum showcases American Industrial
history, and the beginnings of the automative age. Greenfield Village
was created by Henry Ford. He moved many historical buildings to the
Village to preserve them for future generations. We saw sites such as
the Wright Brothers' cycle shop, and Thomas Edison's laboratory.
Friday and Saturday were spent in Dearborn, the
location of "The Henry Ford." The Henry Ford what? Nothing, it's just
the Henry Ford. I guess if you change how the entire industrialized
world works you can name museums whatever you want.
The Henry Ford consists of several complexes. The museum has a
history of transportation...planes, trains, and automobiles. They have
several presidential vehicles, including JFK's car, and the last
presidential horse-drawn carriage. There are several locomotives,
including a really nifty snowplow.
The Rouge Tour was up next. The Rouge is Henry Ford's all-in-one
dream factory. It starts with two movies that explain the history of the
factory, and the Ford F150 manufacturing process. Then we were taken up
to the observation deck where you could see the buildings of the Rouge.
After the deck we were able to tour the Dearborn Truck Plant, which is
where the F150 truck is made. We weren't allowed to take pictures, and
the camera phone pics I managed to sneak are too low quality.
Another section of the Henry Ford is Greenfield Village. The village
is a recreation of many different periods of American history. Henry
Ford brought historical buildings to Greenfield Village to preserve them
for the future. One of the most interesting places was the Edison
compound. It included Edison's glassworks, a laboratory, and a
scaled-down electricity generating plant.
There is also a section of 1800s craftsmen's shops. There was a
potter, a silver smith, wood carver, and glass blowers. A relocated
lumber mill shows you how the old water-powered mills worked.
Back to museum...there's a great exhibit about the evolution of
industry and manufacturing, which I think my Dad would get a kick out
of. You start out with handcrafts, moving on to items such as looms and
carding machines, and then dive deep into the steam age. There are many
different complex machines, such as water pumps, AC generators, and
steam plants. It really conveyed how much mankind can do, but also
showed the darker side of the industrial revolution. Machines were
cheaper than manual labor,and the pollution was changing the
environment. Poor working conditions were deadly to the factory workers.
OSHA would have had a field day.
A side note: I also got a greater appreciation for stories set in
steam punk worlds.
The museum's automobile exhibit showcases the history of the car,
from the horseless carriage to modern Nascar racers. You can even check
out the Wienermobile if you've never seen one tooling around outside
Washington, D.C. or Philadelphia.