Dearborn Independent Graphics Files

Biographical / Historical Note

The Dearborn Independent began publication in 1901 in Dearborn, Michigan. It was published between 1901 and 1905 by J.J. Brown of the Suburban Publishing Company, and from 1905 until 1918 by M.T. Woodruff. Henry Ford purchased the small-town...

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The Dearborn Independent began publication in 1901 in Dearborn, Michigan. It was published between 1901 and 1905 by J.J. Brown of the Suburban Publishing Company, and from 1905 until 1918 by M.T. Woodruff. Henry Ford purchased the small-town weekly in November 1918 to provide a forum in which to rectify what he felt were misinterpretations of his opinions by the press, and as an outlet for his ideas on social issues. The Dearborn Publishing Company, which published The Dearborn Independent, was formed in November 1918, with Henry Ford as president, Clara Ford, vice-president, Edsel Ford, secretary-treasurer and E.G. Pipp, editor. The first publication under Henry Ford's ownership was issued on January 11, 1919.

Articles covered a wide range of topics and geographical areas, both national and international. The following fields were particularly well-covered: politics; industry and agriculture; transportation; education and training; science and technology; health and welfare; leisure and travel; entertainment and the arts.

The newspaper is remembered chiefly as a vehicle for Henry Ford's anti-Semitic views, aired in two campaigns in 1920-1921 and 1924-1925. The second, and most notorious, campaign criticized Chicago attorney Aaron Sapiro for organizing farmers into what Ford felt were unfair marketing monopolies. Sapiro brought a defamation of character lawsuit against Henry Ford in March 1927 which was settled out of court the following July. Henry Ford published his last issue of The Dearborn Independent in December 1927.

Despite its vast circulation, with subscriptions exceeding 900,000 at its peak in 1925 and 1926, The Dearborn Independent was not a commercial success during the Ford era, losing $5 million in 8 years. In late 1928, The Dearborn Independent subsequently resumed publication as a triweekly newspaper, under the new ownership of George O. St. Charles. It was amalgamated with The Dearborn Press in 1961, under the title, The Dearborn Press-The Dearborn Independent. In 1963, the name was dropped entirely from the newspaper, which continued to be published as The Dearborn Press.

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Scope and Content Note

These files were found in the home of James Clyde Gilbert, who was secretary to William J. Cameron for 20 years, including the period of Cameron's editorship of The Dearborn Independent between 1921 and 1927. The collection was acquired by the Benson...

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These files were found in the home of James Clyde Gilbert, who was secretary to William J. Cameron for 20 years, including the period of Cameron's editorship of The Dearborn Independent between 1921 and 1927. The collection was acquired by the Benson Ford Research Center of The Henry Ford in 1991.

The collection includes photoprints and drawings which were used to illustrate articles in The Dearborn Independent during a portion of the period of Henry Ford's ownership. The range of subject matter of the images is vast. The following examples give an idea of the diversity: laboratory technicians smashing plates in Washington DC to test the relative durability of American and imported crockery; hydro-electric power plants; blind war veterans plucking chickens in a rehabilitation project; inventions that include lie detectors, electronic medical equipment to diagnose disease, and coffee decaffeinators; Seminole Indians in full tribal costume instructing wealthy American women in archery; children visiting art galleries; bread lines in New York; the destruction of illegal gambling and distilling equipment during Prohibition; and an elderly African-American woman fleeing the flooded Mississippi River with her few remaining possessions.

The illustrations, and corresponding texts in which the images appeared, are organized by date of issue. The images are further subdivided by individual article within each folder. Related images taken to illustrate articles but never published are included in the corresponding folders. Miscellaneous graphics that cannot be identified with a particular article in The Dearborn Independent are included in box 16. There is also a box 17 which holds oversize material.

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Collection Details

Object ID: 91.98.1
Creator: Dearborn Publishing Company 
Inclusive Dates: circa 1750-1926
Size: 5.33 linear ft. and 1 oversize box
Language: English

Collection Access & Use

Item Location: Benson Ford Research Center

Access Restrictions: The records are open for research.

Credit: From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Digitized Artifacts From This Collection

In many cases, not all artifacts have been digitized.
Contact us for more information about this collection.

Blind Veteran Plucking a Chicken, Dearborn Independent, October 1919

  Details

Blind Veteran Plucking a Chicken, Dearborn Independent, October 1919

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Date Made

1922-1923

Object ID

91.98.542

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Related Objects

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Blind Veteran Plucking a Chicken, Dearborn Independent, October 1919

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

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  Details

Braille Map of the Evergreen School for the Blind, Made by Blind Veteran, April 1923

  Details

Braille Map of the Evergreen School for the Blind, Made by Blind Veteran, April 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Object ID

91.98.904

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Related Objects

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Braille Map of the Evergreen School for the Blind, Made by Blind Veteran, April 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Building Used for Those Employed to Care for Veterans at Wisconsin Memorial Hospital, November 1923

  Details

Building Used for Those Employed to Care for Veterans at Wisconsin Memorial Hospital, November 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Date Made

1922-1923

Creators

Vinje, A. M. 

Object ID

91.98.561

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Related Objects

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Building Used for Those Employed to Care for Veterans at Wisconsin Memorial Hospital, November 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Buildings and Grounds of the Wisconsin Memorial Hospital at Farwell's Point, Wisoncon, 1923

  Details

Buildings and Grounds of the Wisconsin Memorial Hospital at Farwell's Point, Wisoncon, 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Creators

Vinje, A. M. 

Object ID

91.98.906

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Related Objects

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Buildings and Grounds of the Wisconsin Memorial Hospital at Farwell's Point, Wisoncon, 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Chicken Yard Tended by Blind Veterans, Dearborn Indepenedent March 1921

  Details

Chicken Yard Tended by Blind Veterans, Dearborn Indepenedent March 1921

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Date Made

1922-1923

Object ID

91.98.178

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Related Objects

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Chicken Yard Tended by Blind Veterans, Dearborn Indepenedent March 1921

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Concrete Road Sections for Use in Experimental Impact Tests, Arlington, Virginia, 1921-1922

  Details

Concrete Road Sections for Use in Experimental Impact Tests, Arlington, Virginia, 1921-1922

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Date Made

1921-1922

Object ID

91.98.497

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Concrete Road Sections for Use in Experimental Impact Tests, Arlington, Virginia, 1921-1922

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Cooking Over a Campfire in the Missouri Ozarks, 1923

  Details

Cooking Over a Campfire in the Missouri Ozarks, 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Summary

Affordable cars promised freedom for average Americans. This couple escaped to the Ozarks in their Model T to enjoy the country. The caption of this 1923 photograph commented on the "Thousands of tourists, [who] now motor through these hills."

Object ID

91.98.154

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Cooking Over a Campfire in the Missouri Ozarks, 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Cottage for "Shell-Shocked" Veterans Being Cared For, Wisconsin Memorial Hospital, November 1923

  Details

Cottage for "Shell-Shocked" Veterans Being Cared For, Wisconsin Memorial Hospital, November 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Date Made

1922-1923

Creators

Vinje, A. M. 

Object ID

91.98.562

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Related Objects

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Cottage for "Shell-Shocked" Veterans Being Cared For, Wisconsin Memorial Hospital, November 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Dearborn Independent Newspaper for April 14, 1923

  Details

Dearborn Independent Newspaper for April 14, 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Newspaper

Date Made

14 April 1923

Object ID

91.98.908

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford R. Bryan.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Related Objects

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Dearborn Independent Newspaper for April 14, 1923

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details