Expert Sets

The experts at The Henry Ford have carefully created these sets. Explore a specific topic or use these as a foundation for building your own collection.

The experts at The Henry Ford have carefully created these sets. Explore a specific topic or use these as a foundation for building your own collection.

Just Added to Our Digital Collections

Created 01.24.2016 | 25 artifacts

Browse selected artifacts recently added to The Henry Ford's digital collections. These are just a handful of the over 1200 new items digitized in March 2017.

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Portable Music

Created 04.25.2017 | 18 artifacts

This group of artifacts challenges our notion of what "portable music" has meant, from the early 20th-century to present day. Some objects may seem familiar--some may seem laughably large to be considered "portable" today. An evolution of listening styles is also present: from the open channels of radio for news and top-40 music--to formats like the LP and MP3 that allowed people to take control of their listening experience, minus the DJ.

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Heroes of Radio and Television at The Henry Ford

Created 04.25.2017 | 12 artifacts

The Henry Ford is home to many important artifacts that document the early history of radio and television. In this set, explore technical wizards and advocate-entrepreneurs working in the rising communications industry of the early 20th-century: Edwin Armstrong, Lee DeForest, David Sarnoff, and Vladimir Zworykin.

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Rear Engines

Created 04.18.2017 | 20 artifacts

Most cars have their engines up front. This layout strikes a good balance between space, weight distribution and handling -- particularly with front-wheel drive. But it’s not the only option. Early automobiles, like the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, placed engines under their seats. This mid-engine design is still favored in racing and high-performance vehicles. The rear-engine format, ideal for air-cooled motors, was used by Volkswagen and Corvair.

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Signals Under the Ocean

Created 04.03.2017 | 9 artifacts

In 1866, with the second transatlantic cable in place, instant communication between North America and Europe became a reality. An abundance of new cable systems followed, materials improved—and geographic range extended. By 1902 the world was physically surrounded by a network of undersea communication cables. Even today, new submarine cables continue to be installed to carry Internet data.

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Starts and Stalls: Creating a Successful Transatlantic Cable

Created 04.03.2017 | 14 artifacts

This collection of artifacts details the preparation, installation, demonstration—and eventual celebration—of a working transatlantic telegraph cable system. When the first cable of 1858 failed within a matter of weeks, hope was not lost—people immediately rallied to start a second attempt. In 1866, instant communication—between continents, across the Atlantic Ocean—became a reality.

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Electric Stories - 2015-2017 IMLS Grant Project

Created 03.20.2017 | 22 artifacts

In 2015, The Henry Ford received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to digitize a selection of artifacts related to electric power generation and distribution. Many hidden stories have come to light as staff cataloged, photographed, and conserved these objects. This expert set presents just a small group of those artifacts and their stories preserved by The Henry Ford.

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Landmark Lincolns

Created 02.03.2017 | 17 artifacts

Henry Leland established Lincoln Motor Company in 1917 and, with his son Wilfred, built allied aircraft engines during World War I. When peace returned, Lincoln reinvented itself as a luxury automaker. But a poor postwar economy forced the Lelands to sell to another father-son duo, Henry and Edsel Ford. Lincoln thrived under Ford ownership, surviving depression and war, and introducing designs and nameplates that continue to inspire.

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America’s Romance with Water Power

Created 01.24.2017 | 18 artifacts

Set within nature, water power operations often evoke an emotional response. With idyllic “old mill” imagery and reverential views of modern hydroelectric plants, these objects illustrate water power’s enduring allure.

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Henry Ford and Hydropower

Created 01.24.2017 | 12 artifacts

Childhood visits to the local mill sparked a young Henry Ford’s lifelong fascination with water power.

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