One the way to the Henry Ford
They call it The Henry Ford Museum but it is not just a museum tracking the evolution of the automobile, it is a look at America from its beginnings to present day. The original ideal was to build a structure that would house Ford's fledgling collection and construction started in the 1930's. It's 12 acres under one roof and is more like eight or more different museums, which is a little over whelming. We were told the Automobile in American Life was undergoing a complete makeover so I was sure our tour would be short. Internet research suggested the place was big and AAA suggested allowing a minimum of 3 hours...both wrong. The place is huge and it took a full day to see everything, even though the Automobile in American Life exhibit was closed. Towards the end of the day I was in brain overload and rushing through exhibits to see everything.
The museum is divided into "departments" each with its own theme. We managed to see most everything, but my brain certainly didn't absorb all the museum had to offer. I'll try to paraphrase some of the exhibits.
Automobile in American Life:
There were old cars
The Made in American exhibit detailed evolution of manufacturing equipment.
Below is an old train made of hitching buggies together.
This contraption makes light bulbs and continued in service until the 1970's
This exhibit demonstrates how much energy it takes to make a light bulb work.
Liberty and Justice for All was an exceptional exhibit of American Democracy. There was a detailed, but simple time line of American Democracy. The exhibit included Lincolns Chair that he was assassinated in and the Rosa Park Bus. It was really hard to photograph the time line so no photos here and the photo of Lincoln's chair didn't turn out will
Heroes of the Sky showed the evolution of the airplane. I didn't know Ford manufactured airplanes.
as well as a model of the Wright brothers plane
The Agriculture exhibit included early agriculture equipment :
Fully Furnished explored different furnishings from the lat 1600's to present day along with a good sampling of Eames chairs. Below is an example of a chair made out of horns of some sort. It doesn't look very comfortable.
Eames chairs are found everywhere today and represent utility and are fairly comfortable.
Your Place in Time explores everyday artifacts of American life by decade and includes the Dymaxion House. Only one prototype of The Dymaxion House was built. The concept was to provide affordable housing for WWII vets returning from the war. Fuller's had a hard time getting financing for the project and traditional mass produced housing continued on. The idea was maximizing storage and stream lining living spaces...much like our RVs.
The Museum Gallery provided a detailed exhibit of the Civil War Soldiers. Photographs were not allowed in the exhibit. I'm not sure why, because the rest of the Henry Ford allowed photos without restriction. The exhibit was very detailed and personalized many of the soldiers who fought in the war.
In addition to the main exhibits there were smaller exhibits which included clocks, jewelry, silver and pewter and an IMAX theater.
The crowds were starting to thin out about closing time and I was rushing through the exhibits hoping not to miss anything. We had purchased a combo ticket which also includes Greenfield Village, an 80 acre theme park depicting more of Ford's collection of homes and Americana. Its a good thing the ticket is good for a year, so we may wait a few days to return to the Ford complex. I think my brain needs a little rest.