Photographic Vertical File Series


Scope and Content Note

This assembled collection consists of the most often used images relating to Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company. Started in the 1950s, these photoprints were gathered from larger photograph accessions (particularly Accessions 188, 189 and 833) and from...

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This assembled collection consists of the most often used images relating to Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company. Started in the 1950s, these photoprints were gathered from larger photograph accessions (particularly Accessions 188, 189 and 833) and from miscellaneous sources. In many ways this collection forms a synopsis of the larger Henry Ford / Ford Motor Company photographic accessions. This file contains vintage as well as copy photoprints.

Topics covered include an encyclopedic range of subjects concerning Henry Ford and his family from 1890 to 1955; a broad selection of Ford Motor Company products, buildings, activities, and subsidiaries from 1903 to 1955; and a sampling of automotive industry images other than Ford Motor Company (for views of automobiles other than Ford products see Accession 1671). This collection reflects Henry Ford's wide interests, and includes images of famous people such as actors, authors, kings, and scientists as well as his personal friends, John Burroughs, Harvey Firestone, and George Washington Carver (for Thomas Edison images see also Accession 1630). Henry Ford's interest in historic preservation at Botsford Inn and Wayside Inn also is covered (for images of Henry Ford Museum AND Greenfield Village see also Accession EI 1929).

Some cities and towns are documented in this collection, particularly where Henry Ford's Village Industries, farms and homes were located and the sites of Ford Motor Company plants and branches. Michigan is particularly well represented because of the company headquarters in Detroit and Dearborn. Reflecting the activity of the Ford Archives in the 1950s many views of automobiles on city streets, country roads, and camping from the early decades of this century are part of this collection, gathered for Ford Motor Company's 50th anniversary advertising campaign, "The American Road."

Additional topics include automobile exhibitions, Stout and Ford Tri-Motor airplanes, Ford Tractors and World War I and II defense production. Copy photoprints of graphics such as company advertisements and documents are also in the collection (for the original artifacts see Accession 19 for advertisements, and Accession 1, Accession 62, Accession 285, and other manuscript collections for the documents).

The original subject arrangement was based on an idiosyncratic set of subject headings developed for use with the Ford manuscript collections. Beginning in 1986, the subject terms were changed to reflect Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division standards for subject arrangement. In 1987, a large portion of the photoprints in this collection was cataloged in The Henry Ford's collection management system with a concomitant videodisc made of the images.

The accession was previously known as the Archives Print Collection, the Reference Photofile, the Aircraft Subject Boxes, the Automotive Addendum, and the A Series Prints by Subject.

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Collection Details

Object ID: 84.1.1660.0
Creator: Ford Motor Company. Archives 
Creator Notes: Created by Ford Motor Company Archives
Inclusive Dates: 1890-1980
Size: 53.33 linear ft.
Language: English

Collection Access & Use

Item Location: Benson Ford Research Center

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.

Credit: From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Keywords

United States, Georgia, Richmond Hill 

United States, Michigan, Dearborn 

United States, Michigan, Detroit 

United States, Michigan, Charter Township of Ypsilanti 

United States, Michigan, Charter Township of Van Buren 

Aerial photographs 

Photographs 

Cityscapes 

Landscapes (Representations) 

Streetscapes 

Photographic prints 

Automobile industry 

Automobile industry workers 

Automobile racing drivers 

Assembly-line methods 

Automobile factories 

Racing cars 

Automobile racing 

Ford automobile 

Ford Model T automobile 

Lincoln automobile 

Mercury automobile 

Rubber industry and trade 

Tractors 

Trucks 

Camping 

Power plants 

Aircraft industry 

Airplanes 

Advertising 

Peace movement 

Military vehicles 

Women 

World War, 1914-1918 

World War, 1939-1945 

Transcontinental journeys 

Carriages (Vehicles) 

Actors and actresses 

Air pilots 

Airports 

Air shows 

Authors 

Automobiles 

Buses 

Exhibitions (Events) 

Hotels (Public accommodations) 

Taverns 

Kings and rulers 

Queens 

Politicians 

Politics 

Presidents 

Railroads 

Cars 

Ford, Henry, 1863-1947 

Ford, Clara Bryant, 1866-1950 

Ford, Edsel, 1893-1943 

Ford, Eleanor Clay, 1896-1976 

Ford, Henry, II, 1917-1987 

Ford family 

Bryant family 

Litogot family 

Burroughs, John, 1837-1921 

Carver, George Washington, 1864?-1943 

Disney, Walt, 1901-1966 

Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 

Firestone family 

Firestone, Harvey Samuel, 1868-1938 

Henry Ford (Organization) 

Wayside Inn (Sudbury, Mass.) 

Digitized Artifacts From This Collection

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

Garden at Fair Lane Estate, Dearborn, Michigan, June 1933

  Details

Garden at Fair Lane Estate, Dearborn, Michigan, June 1933

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic transparency

Date Made

14 June 1933

Summary

In the early 1910s, Henry and Clara Ford selected 1300 acres of farmland in Dearborn, Michigan as the site for a new home. They called the estate Fair Lane. Surrounded by woods, meadows, gardens, and the nature they loved, Henry and Clara found this home a peaceful respite. This image shows one of the gardens created near the house for the couple to enjoy.

Creators

Unknown 

Object ID

84.1.1660.535

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Garden at Fair Lane Estate, Dearborn, Michigan, June 1933

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

Launching the Green Island Freighter at the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, May 1937

  Details

Launching the Green Island Freighter at the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, May 1937

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Summary

Ford Motor Company launched the MS Green Island in 1937. The 300-foot vessel was part of a fleet that carried raw material, auto parts and other goods to and from Ford's mines, mills and factories. Green Island, with its low twelve-foot draft, was one of the longest ships to move through the New York State Barge Canal system.

Object ID

P.833.68308.K

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Launching the Green Island Freighter at the Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan, May 1937

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

Page from December 1912 Ford Times, "A Remarkable Photograph Showing Ford Flexibility"

  Details

Page from December 1912 Ford Times, "A Remarkable Photograph Showing Ford Flexibility"

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Object ID

84.1.1660.P.O.2591

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Page from December 1912 Ford Times, "A Remarkable Photograph Showing Ford Flexibility"

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

Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford at Firestone Farm, Columbiana County, Ohio, 1918

  Details

Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford at Firestone Farm, Columbiana County, Ohio, 1918

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Summary

Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone went on several camping trips as "vagabonds," a group that also included Thomas Edison and naturalist John Burroughs. In August 1918, Ford met Firestone at his old homestead near Columbiana, Ohio (now in Greenfield Village) before joining Edison and Burroughs in Pittsburgh. The foursome then traveled through Appalachian Mountains for the next couple weeks.

Object ID

P.34.164.18

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Related Objects

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford at Firestone Farm, Columbiana County, Ohio, 1918

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

William Clay Ford and Josephine Ford, November 1930

  Details

William Clay Ford and Josephine Ford, November 1930

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Date Made

01 November 1930

Summary

Josephine (1923-2005) and William Clay Ford (1925-2014) were Henry Ford's grandchildren and the two youngest of Edsel and Eleanor Clay Ford's four children. Here they are shown at age five and seven, leaning forward from inside an automobile trunk.

Creators

Unknown 

Object ID

84.1.1660.P.O.9257

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

William Clay Ford and Josephine Ford, November 1930

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

Traffic Light on Grand River Avenue East, Downtown Detroit, Michigan, circa 1922

  Details

Traffic Light on Grand River Avenue East, Downtown Detroit, Michigan, circa 1922

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Summary

Regulating traffic flow and keeping pedestrian safe along a busy commercial Detroit street involved the use of traffic lights, as seen attached to the pole in the center of the photograph.

Creators

Unknown 

Object ID

P.188.29272

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Traffic Light on Grand River Avenue East, Downtown Detroit, Michigan, circa 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

Portrait of Edsel Ford, circa 1939

  Details

Portrait of Edsel Ford, circa 1939

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Summary

Edsel Ford, the only child of Henry and Clara Ford, was president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 to 1943. Among his important contributions to the company were his management of the Rouge plant's construction, his championing of the Model A, and his direction in designing Lincoln automobiles. Ford's philanthropic efforts included significant gifts to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Creators

Unknown 

Object ID

P.188.74481

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Portrait of Edsel Ford, circa 1939

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

President Harding Visiting the "Vagabonds" on their Camping Trip, 1921

  Details

President Harding Visiting the "Vagabonds" on their Camping Trip, 1921

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Summary

Between 1916 and 1924, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs embarked on a series of camping trips. These self-proclaimed Vagabonds enjoyed camping, hiking, sightseeing and just being in each other's company. In 1921, Ford, Edison and Firestone -- Burroughs had passed away earlier in the year -- explored the central Appalachians. President Warren Harding joined the threesome for a few days' rest from Washington.

Object ID

P.189.1534

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

President Harding Visiting the "Vagabonds" on their Camping Trip, 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

Henry Ford and P. E. Martin with Ford Automobile Chassis, March 1932

  Details

Henry Ford and P. E. Martin with Ford Automobile Chassis, March 1932

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Photographic print

Summary

P.E. Martin joined Ford Motor Company in 1903. He quickly earned leadership posts in production. Martin made vital contributions to the Model T, introduced in 1908, and to the moving assembly line, implemented in 1914. To the end, Martin preferred spending time on the factory floor rather than in his office. He resigned from Ford for health reasons in 1941.

Object ID

84.1.1660.P.189.9777

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Location

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Henry Ford and P. E. Martin with Ford Automobile Chassis, March 1932

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