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.
Over the years, Ford Motor Company's River Rouge factory turned out everything from tractors to cars to pickup trucks. But its first products had no wheels at all. From May 1918 to October 1919, Ford built 60 "Eagle" anti-submarine patrol boats at the Rouge. World War I ended before any of the Eagles saw action, but they proved that even warships could be made on an assembly line.
Auto shows serve many purposes. They provide automakers with a place to share their latest models with the press and the public. They allow aftermarket vendors to promote goods and services. And they give visitors a chance to research -- or maybe just dream about -- their next new car. Part trade show, part show business, the auto show is an institution nearly as old as the automobile itself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.