"Monkey Bar" Diorama, Made by Prisoner Patrick J. Culhane and Presented to Henry Ford, 1914-1915

Summary

In 1915, Patrick J. Culhane, an inmate at the Massachusetts State Prison, presented this diorama to Henry Ford. Culhane depicted monkeys engaging in activities he believed lead to the downfall of many prisoners, such as gambling and drinking alcohol. Ford, interested in the man who produced this elaborate work, probably secured Culhane's release and gave him a job at the Ford assembly plant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 1915, Patrick J. Culhane, an inmate at the Massachusetts State Prison, presented this diorama to Henry Ford. Culhane depicted monkeys engaging in activities he believed lead to the downfall of many prisoners, such as gambling and drinking alcohol. Ford, interested in the man who produced this elaborate work, probably secured Culhane's release and gave him a job at the Ford assembly plant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Artifact

Diorama

Date Made

1914-1915

Creators

Culhane, Patrick J. 

Place of Creation

United States, Massachusetts, Boston, Charlestown 

Creator Notes

Made by Patrick J. Culhane as a prisoner at Charlestown State Prison.

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

15.1.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Patrick J. Culinane.

Material

Peach pit
Wood (Plant material)
Nitrocellulose
Paper (Fiber product)
Tin (Metal)
Lead (Metal)
Glass (Material)

Technique

Handmade
Inlay (Process)
Woodcarving

Color

Brown

Dimensions

Height: 11.875 in

Width: 16.125 in

Length: 20.25 in

Inscriptions

Printed on card mounted at back of case: PRESENTED TO MR. FORD AS A TOKEN OF APPRECIATION AND ESTEEM FOR HIS BENEVOLENT AND MAGNANIMOUS ACTS TOWARD, AND KEEN INTEREST IN PRISONERS. BY A PRISONER

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