If cars, trains, machinery, furniture, planes and pieces from history died and went to heaven, their "heaven" would be The Henry Ford Museum. The one question I did not ask the docents but which I have wondered since we visited is, "How often do the museum pieces get cleaned?" Everything is spotless, waxed, and gleaming.
The moment we entered the museum, a docent happily helped us with the best strategy to see as much as possible. She suggested we start at the Presidential limousines, continue on to trains, move into the car section, then the planes. After that we could decide what else we wanted to see.
Time needs to be managed carefully to see the best the museum has to offer. Overall, we did very well. We spent a lot more time in the earlier sections suggested by the docent just because there was so darned much to see!
|1972 Lincoln used by Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, |
and George H. W. Bush
|John H. Kennedy car, a 1961 Lincoln|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower's Bubbletop 1950 Lincoln, |
a stylish convertible to see and be seen in.
|Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Sunshine Special, |
a 1939 Lincoln, first car designed and built for a president
|Teddy Roosevelt's Brougham, circa 1902|
|These "railroad" cars looked like stagecoaches on rails|
|The powerful Allegheny steam locomotive... |
eventually made obsolete by diesel engines.
|A pretty rail car from the Bangor and Aroostook line...|
|...pulled by the "Sam Hill," later renamed "The President"|
Below is the elegant half-coach chariot. Chariots were luxury vehicles used in the 18th & 19th centuries only by persons of high rank or considerable wealth.
|Chariot or half-coach|
The Canadian Pacific snowplow below did not have its own source of power. It was pushed by an engine.
The advent of personal vehicles changed America. Once people had vehicles powered by gasoline, they were free to explore their towns, states and country. Many new businesses flourished when the automobiles headed out on the road.
|1904 Packard Model L touring car|
|1980 Comuta-Car Runabout|
|1907 White Model G steam touring car|
|1949 Mercury convertible - nosed, shaved, |
filled, frenched, chopped, and lowered.
|1965 Goldenrod held land speed record from 1965 to 1991|
even with four massive Chrysler engines packed in
|An early city bus|
|The first Blue Bird school bus|
|1931 Duesenburg Model J convertible Victoria|
|1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale convertible - twice the|
horsepower of a Rolls Royce
|Love the Bugatti hood ornament!|
|Front ornamentation on a Bugatti|
|1899 Locomobile Runabout|
|Inspired by Piet Mondrian paintings|
People wanted to see the country. Vehicles gave them that freedom. Some of the most fashionable travelers, The Vagabonds (Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs) went out to commune with nature, explore their personal interests, and act like boys again. The only problem was, they were so well known, they couldn't really commune with nature when they were being followed by journalists. They gave up on their trips.
|An early pop-up camper|
|1935 Stagecoach travel trailer - a gift from Henry Ford|
to Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Annie
|1949 Airstream Trailwind travel trailer|
|1959 Volkswagen Westphalia - the first van camper|
|1975 FMC motorhome used for filming Charles Kuralt's|
On the Road. (See the CBS logo on the side?)
|TripTik strip map, TripTik cover, and a Mapquest strip map|
|The Tin Goose|
|The Wright Brothers first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk|
|Huge engine generator was moved to this spot|
and the museum built around it.
|Why Henry Ford built his museum around the generator.|
|Stationary steam engine with Gothic arches|
|R. Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion House - the only one left|
|Massey-Harris Model 20 combine|
|Stoves and lamps|
|Bye, we hope you enjoyed your whirlwind tour!|