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 07.10.2020 | 24 artifacts

Browse selected artifacts recently added to The Henry Ford's digital collections. These are just a handful of the 800 new items digitized in June 2020.

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Most Popular Artifacts during Our Pandemic Closure, 2020

Created 07.01.2020 | 50 artifacts

In 2020, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 sparked a worldwide pandemic. In response, The Henry Ford closed its doors on March 13 of that year and did not open them again until July 2. During that time, our Digital Collections was the most popular section of our website. Here are the artifacts virtual visitors were browsing most often during our closure, in order of popularity. Do you see patterns?

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Featured on The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation: Season 6

Created 04.20.2020 | 26 artifacts

These key artifacts appeared on the sixth season of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation. For episode information, please visit

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Trade Cards from Early Grand Rapids Businesses

Created 07.20.2020 | 13 artifacts

Grand Rapids, Michigan -- currently the second largest city in the state -- was incorporated in 1850. Its location along the Grand River allowed the city to flourish throughout the late 1800s. Back then, trade cards were a popular medium for advertising goods and services. This set of trade cards -- ranging from the sentimental to the comical to the more straightforward -- highlights entrepreneurial companies in Grand Rapids during this time.

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John Burroughs: American Naturalist

Created 07.14.2020 | 20 artifacts

John Burroughs was a keen observer of the natural world. He hiked the woods around his native Catskills home, fished the streams, listened to birdsongs, and cataloged the world he found there in essays that influenced others to find that same love of nature. While other naturalists celebrated towering mountains, scenic vistas, and the untamed wilderness, Burroughs urged his readers to find grandeur in the local, accessible, and familiar.

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American Arts and Crafts Movement

Created 07.01.2020 | 22 artifacts

The Arts and Crafts Movement emerged in the 1860s and 1870s in England, then the most industrialized country in the world. Theorists and designers promoted a return to an idealized past where artists and craftsmen collaborated to create beautiful and useful objects. Many of the Movement's ideas spread to the United States by 1900. Here is a representative group of objects from our collection, featuring high-end to mass-market examples.

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Recipe Booklets from the Early 20th Century

Created 06.10.2020 | 17 artifacts

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.

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Agriculture and the Environment

Created 05.13.2020 | 50 artifacts

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.

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Created 05.06.2020 | 16 artifacts

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.

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