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 | 18 artifacts

Browse selected artifacts recently added to The Henry Ford's digital collections. These are just a handful of the more than 300 new items digitized in April 2018.

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Hay

Created 05.22.2018 | 14 artifacts

Hay is a mixture of cut grasses or crops like alfalfa or clover that keeps farm animals well fed during winter months. Making hay is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process--farmers cut, dry, and store hay all summer long. It is also a race against time--rain damages the crop drying in the fields. Mechanical innovations have reduced the time and labor--but not the urgency--required to complete this essential chore.

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America’s Bicentennial Celebration

Created 05.18.2018 | 17 artifacts

The 1976 Bicentennial of American Independence was a major cultural phenomenon. A wave of patriotism and nostalgia swept the nation. For more than a year, it seemed that everyone was organizing events and activities to commemorate this milestone.

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Favorite Eames Artifacts

Created 05.11.2018 | 13 artifacts

Husband-and-wife team Ray and Charles Eames are icons of mid-century modern design. Here, some of our design-loving staff members select a favorite Eames artifact from our collections and elaborate on their choice.

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Concept Cars

Created 05.08.2018 | 16 artifacts

For many people, concept cars are the highlight of any big auto show. These fantastic vehicles showcase futuristic technology or bold styling -- and sometimes both. Some are fully functional, while others are little more than fiberglass shells. Few concept cars ever go into production, but the innovations they feature occasionally find their way into the cars we drive every day.

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Emergence of the Tractor

Created 04.20.2018 | 15 artifacts

American agriculture entered a "golden age" during the late nineteenth century. High market prices for wheat drove farmers to the Plains and Western states where they carved out large -- and profitable -- "bonanza" farms. Innovative machinery reduced labor costs and a competitive traction engine industry emerged. In the 1910s, to meet the needs of farmers with less acreage, these steam-powered traction engines evolved into today's iconic tractor.

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Holiday Inns: Revolutionizing an Industry

Created 03.23.2018 | 18 artifacts

On a family road trip in 1951, building developer Kemmons Wilson spent nights in motel rooms that he found to be overpriced and uncomfortable. When the entrepreneur returned home to Memphis, Tennessee, he decided to build his own motel that offered consistent, quality service and amenities at family-friendly prices. Within a few years, Wilson’s Holiday Inns had revolutionized industry standards and become the nation’s largest lodging chain.

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The Golden Age of Motels

Created 03.19.2018 | 19 artifacts

Through the 20th century, as Americans showed a preference for traveling long distances by car rather than by railroad, roadside lodgings evolved to meet their needs. From bare-bones tourist cabins and cottages to fully-featured tourist courts and motels, these promised modest rates, convenient car parking, a range of comforts, and a homey atmosphere.

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Personification and Anthropomorphism

Created 03.06.2018 | 22 artifacts

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.

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Alexander Girard Designs for Herman Miller

Created 02.08.2018 | 18 artifacts

Alexander Girard, renowned mid-20th century architect and designer, used color and pattern joyfully and unselfconsciously in an era of muted minimalism. As the head of Herman Miller’s textile division from 1952 until 1973, he designed over 300 textiles – many which feature surprising color combinations, folk art-inspired graphics, and geometric abstractions. This expert set highlights a few of our artifacts from Girard’s tenure at Herman Miller.

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