Edsel Ford Automotive Scrapbook Series

Biographical / Historical Note

Edsel Bryant Ford was born November 6, 1893 in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of Henry and Clara Bryant Ford. Educated in public schools and the Detroit University School, he was persuaded by his father when he graduated from high school in 1912...

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Edsel Bryant Ford was born November 6, 1893 in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of Henry and Clara Bryant Ford. Educated in public schools and the Detroit University School, he was persuaded by his father when he graduated from high school in 1912 to assume responsibilities at the company's new Highland Park Plant rather than going on to college. Edsel was elected secretary of the company on November 1, 1915, and vice-president as well as secretary on January 18, 1917. On December 30, 1918, when Henry Ford resigned as president of Ford Motor Company, Edsel was named president effective January 1, 1919, a position he would hold for the rest of his life.

Ford was a connoisseur of fine art and antiques and a designer of considerable talent. His vision for the Ford Motor Company included attention to design, production, and sales, combining the beauty of custom design with the low cost of production. Edsel established the first Ford Motor Company styling section, initially heading a three man team which included John Crawford, his executive assistant as shopmaster and production expert, and Eugene Turrenne (Bob) Gregorie as his designer.

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Scope and Content Note

Although there is no documentation for when the scrapbook was created, it is presumed from the illustrations contained that it was between 1911 and 1925. The pages hold magazine and catalog clippings of fine cars (mostly European), illustrations and snapshots...

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Although there is no documentation for when the scrapbook was created, it is presumed from the illustrations contained that it was between 1911 and 1925. The pages hold magazine and catalog clippings of fine cars (mostly European), illustrations and snapshots of English custom bodies on the Model T chassis, and pictures of early racing cars. Most of the first entries are from about 1913, when Edsel was age 19 or 20. In 1919, when he became president of Ford Motor Company, additions to the scrapbook taper off. Custom designed automobiles made for well known people and celebrities are also represented, as well as racing automobiles and boats. There were also a number of loose articles, drawings, clippings, and photographs that were removed from the scrapbook and placed in acid free folders. Included are images of a custom automotive body designed for Edsel Ford; photographs of automobiles; photographs of Edsel's speedboats in the early 1920s; photographs of the interior of his home; articles about boating, aviation, and automobiles in the early 1920s; and a printed label: "Air Transportation Service of Ford Motor Co."

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Collection Details

Object ID: 64.167.660.0
Creator: Ford, Edsel, 1893-1943 
Inclusive Dates: 1911-1925
Size: 0.4 cubic ft.
Language: English

Collection Access & Use

Item Location: Benson Ford Research Center

Access Restrictions: The materials are open for research.

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

Digitized Artifacts From This Collection

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

Scrapbook by Edsel Ford on Automobile Design, 1911-1925

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Scrapbook by Edsel Ford on Automobile Design, 1911-1925

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Scrapbook

Date Made

1911-1925

Summary

Given his father's obsession, it is no surprise that Edsel Ford was passionate about cars. While Henry Ford focused on the mechanical side of the automobile, Edsel Ford admired the aesthetics of automotive styling. This scrapbook features some of the designs that caught the younger Ford's eye. Elegant European marques like Hispano-Suiza and Rolls-Royce fill its pages.

Object ID

64.167.660.1

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

Scrapbook by Edsel Ford on Automobile Design, 1911-1925

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

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