River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan - Mon., Oct. 13

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!

Presidential limousines:

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"
There's a story in there somewhere, but you'll have to go to the museum to read all about it.

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
What would a railroad display be without a railroad diorama and working small-scale trains?

The Canadian Pacific snowplow below did not have its own source of power. It was pushed by an engine.
Railroad snowplow.
Automobiles (in no particular order):

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
1965 Mustang
1949 Mercury convertible - nosed, shaved,
filled, frenched, chopped, and lowered.
Race cars of all kinds:

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
Luxury cars:
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
An early runabout:
1899 Locomobile Runabout
Art cars:

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.

The Vagabonds
"Vagabonds," "tin-can tourists," "rootless gypsies," or "hardy pioneers" traveled in moveable "houses" of all sorts. What really caught our attention was a history of camping/RVing throughout the years, starting with a "house car." Maybe it's because we live in an RV full time.
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?)
Because I worked at AAA for six years as a travel counselor and trainer, I loved seeing the old TripTiks. When I worked there, I hand-made TripTiks for our customers. That was such a fun job!
TripTik strip map, TripTik cover, and a Mapquest strip map
We finished up with cars and moved on to airplanes.

Ford Trimotor
The Tin Goose
The Wright Brothers first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk
We finished up our da,y rapidly going through history exhibits, powered engines, furniture, power plants, R. Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion House, and a display on clocks and timepieces. Whew.

Huge engine generator was moved to this spot
and the museum built around it.
To understand the reasoning used by Henry Ford in building the museum around the generator, please read the following. It sums up the whole complex.

Why Henry Ford built his museum around the generator.
Spinning jenny
Stationary steam engine with Gothic arches
R. Bucky Fuller's Dymaxion House - the only one left
Massey-Harris Model 20 combine
Stoves and lamps
Below is the actual bus in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.

Bye, we hope you enjoyed your whirlwind tour!
Travel Bug out.


  1. This is on my Pinterest as a must see. Everyone that has visited this area loves this museum. Thanks for the great tour. I know Paul would really enjoy visiting here!

  2. HOLY COW! That looks like a super fun place to visit. So glad you are sharing Michigan with us and I'd have been stuck in the RV and train exhibits I think.

  3. Oh how neat! That looks like such a fun place to go exploring. Love the train snow plow :D

  4. We absolutely love the museum, only had one day so didn't get the village in, thanks for a great tour.

  5. We enjoyed the museum, it was a worth stop.


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