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 | 19 artifacts

Browse selected artifacts recently added to The Henry Ford's digital collections. These are just a handful of the more than 700 new items digitized in December 2017.

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The Most Popular Digital Collection Artifacts of 2017

Created 12.27.2017 | 50 artifacts

We add thousands of artifacts to our Digital Collections every year--and every year, these digital artifacts receive thousands of views. Here are the 50 artifacts that were viewed the most in our Digital Collections in 2017, including a variety on display in the Museum and the Village, a few not currently on exhibit, and a number featured on The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation. Are your favorites included?

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A Flight of Firsts: The Piccard Stratosphere Ascension

Created 12.19.2017 | 17 artifacts

In October 1934, Jean and Jeannette Piccard set a new altitude record, ascending 10.9 miles in a metal gondola carried by a hydrogen balloon. Jeannette -- the first American woman licensed as a balloonist -- piloted, while Jean gathered scientific data. On this historic flight, Jeannette became the first woman to reach the stratosphere.

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The “Peanuts” Gang: From Comic Strip to Popular Culture

Created 12.12.2017 | 24 artifacts

“Peanuts” began as a simple comic strip in 1950, but it has come to pervade mass culture through merchandising, advertising, and media. Its continuing appeal can be attributed to Charles Schulz’s endearing characters and their relatable stories.

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Dogs & Puppies

Created 12.06.2017 | 21 artifacts

Dogs guard, guide, hunt and herd, but they also entertain, inspire and offer comfort. In exchange for their pets' loyalty, owners provide room, board, and affection. Owners convey love and respect for their working dogs in personal ways, through portraits and photographs. And businesses capitalize on public affection for dogs and puppies by featuring them in advertisements and showcasing them on consumable products from tableware to trinkets.

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Alphabet Blocks and Spelling Toys

Created 10.12.2017 | 12 artifacts

Combining learning with play, blocks and other alphabet toys help develop motor skills and teach children letters, numbers, and spelling. Their versatility and perceived educational value have made these toys enduring childhood classics, with designs that reflect new technologies and changing tastes.

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Electric Stories - 2015-2017 IMLS Grant Project II

Created 09.29.2017 | 20 artifacts

In 2015, The Henry Ford received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to digitize a selection of artifacts related to electric power generation and distribution. Many hidden stories came to light as staff cataloged, photographed, and conserved these objects. This expert set (the second in the series) presents just another small sampling of those artifacts and their stories preserved by The Henry Ford.

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Diesel-Electric Locomotives

Created 09.06.2017 | 9 artifacts

The diesel-electric locomotive offered many advantages over its steam-powered counterpart. It needed less maintenance, used less fuel and could be operated with a smaller crew. It also didn't require expensive support structures like roundhouses, coaling towers and water tanks. After World War II, the "dieselization" of American railroads was rapid. Of the 21,000 new locomotives bought between 1945 and 1955, fully 95 percent were diesel-electric.

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The Wrights: Wowing the World

Created 09.05.2017 | 20 artifacts

After their first flight at Kitty Hawk in December 1903, the Wright brothers spent five years in relative seclusion, testing, tweaking, and trying to patent their Flyer. While the brothers’ secrecy foiled copycats, it also led to doubts of their success. Skeptics were silenced when Wilbur Wright piloted the Flyer in a series of spectacular public demonstrations near Le Mans, France, in 1908.

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Ford Tri-Motor: Promotional Use

Created 09.05.2017 | 10 artifacts

Early American airlines embraced the Ford Tri-Motor. It was rugged, built of metal rather than wood and fabric. It was reliable, able to land safely with just one of its three engines. And it was versatile. Tri-Motors flew passengers and freight for public carriers, and served as executive transports, traveling showrooms and aerial delivery vans for private companies. Ford built nearly 200 Tri-Motors from 1926 to 1933.

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