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.
John and Edmund McLoughlin's publishing firm became well-known in the mid-1800s for its early adoption and skillful use of new color printing techniques. Realizing success in the emerging market for children's books, the brothers expanded their product line to include toys and games. Products bearing the McLoughlin Bros. name remained popular even after the company’s acquisition by Milton Bradley in 1920.
Attributing human characteristics to animals and objects is a natural tendency, and a technique that artists and writers have used for centuries. Personification ascribes human emotions and values to inanimate beings. Anthropomorphism gives things human agency. Depictions appear in a variety of media, and the messages conveyed can be amusing, persuasive, and thought-provoking.
Art pottery is typically made for decorative, rather than purely practical purposes. Most of us have art pottery in our homes--vases for flowers, patterned tile in kitchens or bathrooms, ornaments displayed throughout the house or in china cabinets--all reflecting our taste and personality. Here are highlights of our art pottery from the late 19th through the 20th century.
Artifacts in our Digital Collections were viewed more than 800,000 times during 2019, and the 50 artifacts that were viewed the most often during the year are listed below. Internet searchers intrigued by a Netflix movie, The Highwaymen, caused Clyde Barrow's letter to Henry Ford to become our top-viewed artifact of the year, while a box office release, Ford v Ferrari, catapulted a number of new items into the list, along with many old favorites.
Automobiles tempt us to push the limits of speed and durability. Whether racing up a mountain, streaking across salt flats, speeding around an oval track, sprinting down a quarter-mile straightaway, or enduring a high-speed road course for 24 hours, race cars have long captivated fans and made their creators and drivers famous. The Henry Ford’s collection documents memorable moments and features innovative cars from American racing history.
The turn of the calendar from 1999 into the year 2000 was cause for celebration but also cause for concern--at least the media made sure it was hyped that way! Would the Y2K computer bug at the turn of the millennium cause the end of the world as we knew it? Most of us didn't want to believe it was possible, but we stocked up on cases of water and partied like no one's business on New Year's Eve just to make sure!
Already known for its greeting cards, Hallmark introduced a line of Christmas ornaments in 1973. The company's annual release of an increasing array of ornaments revolutionized Christmas decorating, appealing to customers' interest in reliving memories, remembering special people and events, and expressing their unique tastes and personalities.
General stores stocked a variety of goods, yet they were organized shopping environments. Within their planned spaces, customers had ample opportunity to see, feel, and even taste the goods. Stores were divided into "departments," such as groceries, tableware, household equipment, and hardware. The 1880s-era J. R. Jones General Store in Greenfield Village was one such store. Take a look around!
Steam-powered automobiles were popular with early buyers. Steam was safe, reliable, and familiar. People had decades of experience with it in trains and boats, and even in experimental road vehicles. But early steam cars required constant care and attention--and up to 30 minutes to start. Automated quick-firing boilers solved these problems, but not before more efficient gasoline engines dominated the market and made steam cars obsolete.