Melting Pot Ceremony at Ford English School, July 4, 1917

Summary

Graduates of Ford's English School wearing their "native dress" descend into a large pot labeled "The American Melting Pot." After going through a virtual smelting process, the immigrant's identity was boiled away, leaving a new citizen to emerge from the pot wearing American clothes and waving American flags. In an attempt to address the need to integrate growing numbers of foreign workers at Ford's Highland Park Plant, the company established the Ford English School in 1914. The school focused on training immigrants in the English language and providing civics lessons necessary to become US citizens. Ford's English School provided basic citizenship and language training for so many immigrants, that the US Naturalization Service counted graduation from the Ford English School as meeting most of the requirements needed to take the citizenship exam.

Graduates of Ford's English School wearing their "native dress" descend into a large pot labeled "The American Melting Pot." After going through a virtual smelting process, the immigrant's identity was boiled away, leaving a new citizen to emerge from the pot wearing American clothes and waving American flags. In an attempt to address the need to integrate growing numbers of foreign workers at Ford's Highland Park Plant, the company established the Ford English School in 1914. The school focused on training immigrants in the English language and providing civics lessons necessary to become US citizens. Ford's English School provided basic citizenship and language training for so many immigrants, that the US Naturalization Service counted graduation from the Ford English School as meeting most of the requirements needed to take the citizenship exam.

Artifact

Photographic print

Subject Date

04 July 1917

Creators

Unknown

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

84.1.1660.P.O.7227

Credit

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

Material

Paper (Fiber product)

Technique

Gelatin silver process

Color

Black-and-white (Colors)

Dimensions

Height: 8.25 in

Width: 10 in

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