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.
These key artifacts appeared on the sixth season of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation. For episode information, please visit https://www.thehenryford.org/explore/innovation-nation/episodes.
Recipe booklets are a great resource for learning about the changing eating habits of Americans and discovering early products from some of the well-known companies in the food industry today. For many companies, recipe booklets were a method of marketing, where recipes offered creative ways to use that company's specific products. This set features booklets from entrepreneurial companies in our Recipe Booklet Collection.
Raising livestock and growing crops requires year-round work and specialized knowledge and skills. Farm families used tools to reduce the physical strain of daily and seasonal work. The shift from animal to mechanical power further transformed farm life and raised questions about sustainable practices. Understanding changing relationships between humans, plants, animals, and the environment begins by exploring historic farming technologies.
The taxicab is a fixture in American cities. Unlike buses, subways, and streetcars that run on pre-determined routes and schedules, the cab operates on the rider's terms -- it takes you where you want to go, when you want to go. From horse-drawn cabriolet carriages to specially-built sedans, the taxi itself has evolved. But its convenient point-to-point transportation remains unchanged, even as newer ridesharing services compete for customers.
Americans are often described as a restless people on the move--crossing the vast continent, pursuing new opportunities, and reinventing themselves under new circumstances. They developed a range of transportation modes--carriages, locomotives, bicycles, automobiles, airplanes--to carry them forward. Here are some significant vehicles in The Henry Ford's collections.
The Henry Ford's communications and information technology collections, dating from the 17th-century to the present day, document how technologies and systems are used to provide access to knowledge and to move information at increased speeds. From the printing press to the Internet (and beyond), these collections document the physical hardware as well as the ephemeral ways we live through technology.
Social transformation involves a shift in the collective consciousness of a society. It occurs when people create change through new patterns of behavior or social action. This can include political shifts, social movements, economic change, changing systems of beliefs and values, new patterns of racial relations, or a rethinking of personal and collective identities. This set explores socially transformative artifacts across our collection.
The Industrial Revolution in America radically altered how things were made and how workers did their jobs. With many new products on the market, manufacturers depended upon advertisers and designers to ensure that their products would stand out. By the mid-1900s, design came to imply not only aesthetic refinement of products but also an emphasis on problem-solving. These artifacts represent design and making landmarks across our collection.