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.
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!
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.
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.
The Henry Ford marks its 90th anniversary in 2019. In celebration, The Henry Ford's curators have taken a decade-by-decade look at how our collections have grown -- through significant additions and evolving philosophies. This set looks at some of the objects and archives collected during the 2010s.
In the 1890s, artists and designers in Europe and the United States attempted to create a modern aesthetic for the 20th century. The decorative style that emerged, Art Nouveau, featured bold color contrasts and organic lines, sometimes flowing gracefully and sometimes sharply undulating--like a whiplash. This expert set explores Art Nouveau's beginnings, its expression in American design, and references to the style in later examples.
On October 21, 1929, Henry Ford hosted a celebration for Light's Golden Jubilee. The event marked the 50th anniversary of Edison's invention of the incandescent lamp and served as the official dedication of The Edison Institute of Technology (Ford's village and museum complex in Dearborn, Michigan). It culminated in an elegant banquet. Years later, Ford asked his staff artist, Irving Bacon, to capture the banquet in a panoramic painting.