W. L. Reeves Blakeley Records

Biographical / Historical Note

W.L. Reeves Blakeley led an expedition for the Ford Motor Company to select a rubber site in Para, Brazil. A tract of 2,500,000 acres on the east bank of the Tapajos River was selected with a frontage of twelve miles on the river. In the summer of 1927,...

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W.L. Reeves Blakeley led an expedition for the Ford Motor Company to select a rubber site in Para, Brazil. A tract of 2,500,000 acres on the east bank of the Tapajos River was selected with a frontage of twelve miles on the river. In the summer of 1927, a new company, Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasil, was formed to operate the enterprise. The tract was named Fordlandia. In the spring of 1928, a crew of twenty-five men was dispatched to clear the land under Blakeley's supervision. Blakeley was recalled later that year.

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Scope and Content Note

The W.L. Reeves Blakeley Records are comprised of documentation of experiments, test papers, plant samples, printed material and a few hand tools.

Collection Details

Object ID: 64.167.534.0
Creator: Blakeley, W. L. Reeves 
Inclusive Dates: 1925-1928
Size: 2.6 cubic ft. (7 boxes)
Language: English | Spanish | Portuguese

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 Motor Company.

Digitized Artifacts From This Collection

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

Circle Hoe Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

  Details

Circle Hoe Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Weeding hoe

Date Made

1928-1945

Summary

From 1928 to 1945 Henry Ford tried, unsuccessfully, to establish productive rubber plantations on Brazil's Tapajos River. Rubber was an important component in Ford's automobiles, and he wanted a source that he controlled. W.L. Reeves Blakely, one of Ford's agents, selected the site for the Fordlandia plantation and used this weeding hoe during his explorations.

Creators

Unknown 

Object ID

64.167.534.3

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

Circle Hoe Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

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

Harvesting Chisel Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

  Details

Harvesting Chisel Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Chisel

Date Made

1928-1945

Summary

From 1928 to 1945 Henry Ford tried, unsuccessfully, to establish productive rubber plantations on Brazil's Tapajos River. Rubber was an important component in Ford's automobiles, and he wanted a source that he controlled. W.L. Reeves Blakely, one of Ford's agents, selected the site for the Fordlandia plantation and used this harvesting chisel during his explorations.

Creators

Unknown 

Object ID

64.167.534.4

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

Harvesting Chisel Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

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

Harvesting Knife Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

  Details

Harvesting Knife Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Harvesting knife

Date Made

1928-1945

Summary

From 1928 to 1945 Henry Ford tried, unsuccessfully, to establish productive rubber plantations on Brazil's Tapajos River. Rubber was an important component in Ford's automobiles, and he wanted a source that he controlled. W.L. Reeves Blakely, one of Ford's agents, selected the site for the Fordlandia plantation and used this harvesting knife during his explorations.

Creators

Unknown 

Object ID

64.167.534.2

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

Harvesting Knife Used during Ford Motor Company's Brazilian Rubber Plantations Venture, 1928-1945

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #10--Malva Grande, 1931"

  Details

"Plant Samples--Sample #10--Malva Grande, 1931"

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Plant fiber

Summary

In 1928, Henry Ford established rubber tree plantations in the Brazilian rainforest to supply rubber for automobile production. He also explored how to profit from the native plants already growing on his land holdings. Samples of Brazilian plants like this were sent to Ford's Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan, to determine if they could be used to make commercially viable products.

Object ID

64.167.534.1.2

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #10--Malva Grande, 1931"

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #11--Manguba, 1931"

  Details

"Plant Samples--Sample #11--Manguba, 1931"

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Plant fiber

Summary

In 1928, Henry Ford established rubber tree plantations in the Brazilian rainforest to supply rubber for automobile production. He also explored how to profit from the native plants already growing on his land holdings. Samples of Brazilian plants like this were sent to Ford's Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan, to determine if they could be used to make commercially viable products.

Object ID

64.167.534.1.3

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #11--Manguba, 1931"

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #16--Wild Cotton, 1931"

  Details

"Plant Samples--Sample #16--Wild Cotton, 1931"

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Plant fiber

Summary

In 1928, Henry Ford established rubber tree plantations in the Brazilian rainforest to supply rubber for automobile production. He also explored how to profit from the native plants already growing on his land holdings. Samples of Brazilian plants like this were sent to Ford's Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan, to determine if they could be used to make commercially viable products.

Object ID

64.167.534.1.4

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #16--Wild Cotton, 1931"

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #29--Pente De Macaco, 1931"

  Details

"Plant Samples--Sample #29--Pente De Macaco, 1931"

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Plant fiber

Summary

In 1928, Henry Ford established rubber tree plantations in the Brazilian rainforest to supply rubber for automobile production. He also explored how to profit from the native plants already growing on his land holdings. Samples of Brazilian plants like this were sent to Ford's Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan, to determine if they could be used to make commercially viable products.

Object ID

64.167.534.1.5

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #29--Pente De Macaco, 1931"

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #33--Vaicima, 1931"

  Details

"Plant Samples--Sample #33--Vaicima, 1931"

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Plant fiber

Summary

In 1928, Henry Ford established rubber tree plantations in the Brazilian rainforest to supply rubber for automobile production. He also explored how to profit from the native plants already growing on his land holdings. Samples of Brazilian plants like this were sent to Ford's Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan, to determine if they could be used to make commercially viable products.

Object ID

64.167.534.1.6

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #33--Vaicima, 1931"

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #37--Tauary Churu, 1931"

  Details

"Plant Samples--Sample #37--Tauary Churu, 1931"

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Plant fiber

Summary

In 1928, Henry Ford established rubber tree plantations in the Brazilian rainforest to supply rubber for automobile production. He also explored how to profit from the native plants already growing on his land holdings. Samples of Brazilian plants like this were sent to Ford's Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan, to determine if they could be used to make commercially viable products.

Object ID

64.167.534.1.7

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

"Plant Samples--Sample #37--Tauary Churu, 1931"

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