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Friday, September 20, 2013

Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn. Part I - The Museum.

One of the true highlights of our August trip was a visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  If you haven't heard of this gem, just run through a few of the reviews on Yelp.  It truly is in the same class with the Smithsonian.

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The museum started out as Henry Ford's personal collection of interesting items but soon grew to reflect the theme of "Ideas and Innovations That Changed the World."  There is much more to the Greenfield Village site than just the Ford Museum, but we only had one day to devote to the area.  It would be easy to spend several days here.

The clock tower in that picture above might look familiar.  It's a copy of Independence Hall in Philadelphia that I had on the blog in an earlier post.  Here they are, side by side.

Henry Ford arranged for the museum to be formally dedicated by U.S. President, Herbert Hoover, as the Edison Institute in 1929 on the fiftieth anniversary of Edison's invention of the incandescent light bulb.

Near the entrance to the museum hangs a 17 by 7 foot mural painted by Irving Bacon depicting the dedication.  There is a good story of the dedication here.  If you are at all interested in the history of the early twentieth century, you'll likely want to spend some time looking at the painting and the guide below it.


It really must have been quite a party.

For example, here are (highlighted - from right to left) Edison, Ford, Hoover and Marie Curie as Edison delivers his address that was broadcast over a wide network of radio stations.

There is a large photograph of Henry Ford, his wife, Clara and their son Edsel in the same area.  It illustrates the only complaint I have about the museum: the lighting of most exhibits makes it exceptionally difficult to take a good photograph.

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