Posts Tagged With: Flying Heroes

THE HENRY FORD MUSEUM, DEARBORN, MICHIGAN

Henry Ford was like many of us, he liked to collect “things”. When titans of industry collect it touches every walk of life: invention, history, work, employment, people, machines and how they changed and grew America. Sectioned off into themes, Truth and Justice, Jewelry, Pewter, and Prefab Housing- those are the places we didn’t get to. Art, Sue, Jim and I must have walked ten of the twelve acres under one roof, because the transportation and wheels of industry collection is immense. When you walk in the door, you are face to face with one of the biggest train engines ever made, the 1601, an Allegheny, built with two engines working in concert. Its 76 feet long and could haul 27 million pounds of coal up over the mountains at a fast clip of 60 miles an hour.

A surprising number of successful electric cars, including some made by Ford, were in this museum. In fact, his wife liked the quiet, easy starting car so much, he bought one for her from a competitor after he quit making them. It was considered a ladies car from the start. They didn’t have much range but distance wasn’t an issue when the roads were bumpy and people didn’t travel far from home.

This electric car was one of Henry’s. He sold a lot of them. Others were much earlier models from the late 1800’s made by small companies that faded in time.

The convertible that Kennedy was killed in, with the steps on the back for the secret service. A top was made for it from bullet proof glass and President Reagan used it.

The first motorized school bus made was assembled by an employee of Ford Motors. He built a box with bench seats and attached it to the bed of a Ford Pick-up. It fell apart on the bumpy roads. He quit Ford and began making buses in earnest on a Ford Chassis and started the Bluebird Bus Company that still makes school buses today.

Every Day the museum is open,  a new Model T is assembled on the spot with the help of people visiting the museum. It will run when finished, except, it has no gas in it. They build one each day and are now on their 845 one. Not only do you get to see it put together, and sit in it, etc. but a mini assembly line floats above with the parts for a complete car hanging on wires overhead and moving to their position on the line.

Besides just about every imaginable vehicle, their development, engines and builders, the museum contains unusual vehicles of interest such as one of Charles Kurault’s motorcoachs from his famous television show, On The Road With Charles Kurault.

And Hector Quevora’s Model A, driven from South America to Detroit  because his son wanted to see the museum. There was an early diesel-electric hybrid, from the 1920’s I believe, if memory serves me, and every early bicycle and tricycle known to man.

Consider this “ten speed”.

And this home made model with a fancy eagle head bar.
It was actually bikes that led to flight as Oliver and Wilbur Wright tinkered in their bike shop.

This model of the Kitty Hawk has the actual fabric from the real Kitty Hawk.

There were many women pilots, including barnstorming daredevils in the 1930’s. It only seems like Amelia Earhart was the only woman flier. Bessie Coleman was the first African American Woman in the world  to get her pilots license. (In 1921.)
Then there were the bizarre things in the museum, such as a sealed tube with the last breath of Thomas Edison captured in it. And this letter from Clyde Barrow.

Clyde Barrow so admired his stolen 1934 V-8 Ford that he wrote Henry Ford a congratulatory letter about his “fine car.”  Not long after this letter was received by Ford, Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death in that very car.

He lived wild and free until the guns brought him and his Ford to an end.
Then the little oddities such as this sheet music in the museum.

Jack Frost wrote two songs about the Ford, You Can’t Afford To Marry If You Can’t Afford A Ford and I Didn’t Raise My Ford To Be A Jitney. What a hoot!

I got a kick out of this ad with the sorry looking Amantha and her Cod Liver Oil fan.

And when you read about the wheels of industry? They really were wheels.  Gigantic wheels, that turned turbines and kept those early steam engines pumping.

The oldest known remaining steam pump is in this museum. You will find farm equipment, huge combines and corn planters and threshers, both old and fairly modern. There are craft shops here for younger people to learn how to run and maintain and build working machines of all  types.

If you are traveling with kids, there are a number of places in the museum that have kid’s activities. Here kids are making vehicles that can be tried out on a couple of slide roads.

Or maybe you might simply want to wrap yourself up as a hot dog in the Oscar Mayer Wiener exhibit.
We certainly could have spent another day in this museum. We started the day with breakfast with Art, Sue, Art’s parents and a friend, Lillie. And ended it with the Lambart’s traditional Sunday dinner at home with Art’s parents.

In fact, Lillie, on the right, wrote a song for Faith Hill, the country singer. They were waitresses together when they were young girls.
For more pictures, check out the link below:
http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/82210FordMuseum#

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