I wrote this article as one of the first articles on the website and many of the pictures and scans are poor because that was the equipment that I had at the time.

The Henry Ford Museum

Probably the crowning jewel in the history of my hometown of Dearborn, Michigan is the Henry Ford Museum,(the Edison Institute) and the Greenfield Village. The museum is literally acres under roof of scenes from the daily lives of our ancestors. You won't find many jewels and treasures of Kings and Queens here, instead you will find things that were the daily lives of the average American in our history. Plates, dishes, washing machines, farm equipment, anything that you can think of that was used in the survival of the early times is here in this magnificent museum. I have tried to visit the museum every time I go back to Michigan and I am here to tell you that the new auto displays are a must see if you love cars and the way of life that the automobile brought to this country.

Within the last few years the museum has gone through an everchanging metamorphasis to show the early years of this century and especially the fifties. All the icons of this age are there. The first signs of all the corporations that we know and love are there, McDonalds, Howard Johnson, Texaco, and many others. A diner, motor lodges, cabins, Airstream trailers, huge semitrucks, any thing that you can think of in this colorful part of our history are in the huge, beautiful building. I don't mean models, or just pictures, I mean real live pristine examples of everything I have just mentioned, are tastefully arranged in a flowing diorama of history.

The walkways curve through the displays and on each side, on elevated levels are examples of how the automobile has changed our lives. Hot Rods, dream cars, milestone cars, classics, they are all there for you to see and enjoy.

One of my favorites is an art deco tanker truck, that has been totally restored and sits in front of a complete and authentic Texaco gas station. There are cars on angles, hanging from the ceiling and dissected in pieces. In another section is a Model T that is hanging in wires from the ceiling showing how all the pieces fit together to make the completed car.

As you come into the display there is a row of past presidential limousines, and you will be quieted for a moment as you realize that one of these vehicles was the famous President John F. Kennedy- Lincoln Continental that he was asassinated in. It was restored and refurbished, then placed back in service and then was placed in the museum. Watching peoples' reaction to this car is a study in respect and reverance.

You could spend your entire visit here in just this section, but there are 20 times more exhibits to see throughout the entire museum. Trains, carriages, televisions, Abraham Lincoln's Asassination chair, Tom Thumb's carriage, planes, buses, streetcars, motorcycles, farm equipment, dynamos, assembly lines, musical instruments.
Hotrods and Customs, too.

All here collected for you to see. Your feet will wear out before your curiosity.

Did I mention that you still have an entire village filled with the actual homes, and businesses of the famous. Buildings, homes and factories of Thomas Edison, The Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, Stephen Foster, Daniel Webster, all brought from their original locations and reassembled on the grounds of this village. Buggy rides, trains, steamboat, early automobiles, bikes, or your feet will carry you from place to place as you veiw this actual village.

If you love your country and your history, you will love this museum. Henry Ford may have been a controversial man but his vision has brought a legacy of gigantic proportion to you and I, as we are able to enjoy and relive our heritage, and know that our children will be able to know what it was like in the beginning of this country. Hotrods and Customs, too.

Do not miss this museum if you are in the Detroit area and also don't miss Henry Ford's estate, called Fairlane, which is just a few blocks away.

Bob Nugent
copyright 1996 Hot Rods Online