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.
Star Wars remains one of history's most popular film series. It's a classic saga of good versus bad in a galaxy far, far away. Episodes I, II and III trace the fall of the noble Republic to the evil Empire, while Episodes IV, V and VI follow the scrappy Rebel Alliance fighting to end imperial rule. Star Wars inspired numerous Hallmark ornaments based on characters from the first six movies.
In 1973, Hallmark produced a fledgling line of 18 Christmas ornaments. By the 1990s, the company was introducing hundreds of Keepsake ornaments each year -- success fueled by Hallmark’s design, technology, and marketing innovations that revolutionized holiday decorating.
These key artifacts appeared on the tenth season of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation. For episode information, please visit https://www.thehenryford.org/explore/innovation-nation/episodes.
In the early 1800s, bandboxes stored clothing, hats, accessories, and other small items for a growing number of American travelers. Box makers covered their products with swatches of colorful wallpaper or papers with vivid images and scenes specifically made to decorate the outside of the box. Bandboxes were affordable and expressed the traveler's taste. Today, we appreciate them as markers of travel, style, and the lives of early Americans.
When we think of literacy, we often think of mastering the ability to read and write – but literacy is more than that. Literacy can include the ability to communicate effectively not only with words but with numbers, technology, or a host of other physical, social, and informational skills. Here are just a few literacy-related collections from The Henry Ford.
From wartime, to worktime, to playtime, the Jeep has done it all. It's been dressed up, stripped down, reimagined, and retro-styled, but it's never lost its appeal. Yet the Jeep is also an automotive paradox. It’s a timeless design that’s routinely updated, a rugged off-road vehicle refined for highway cruising, and a free-spirited brand coveted and controlled by corporate owners. Above all else, the Jeep is an American original.
Ford Motor Company operated its own industrial railroad at the Rouge factory. Ford-owned locomotives moved incoming railcars filled with raw materials, and outgoing railcars loaded with finished parts and vehicles. Ford employees crewed trains, cared for locomotives, and maintained 100 miles of track within the factory grounds. At its 1930s peak, Ford's Rouge railroad was one of the largest privately owned rail operations in the world.
In 1973, Hallmark Cards, Inc. ventured into the world of designing and producing Christmas ornaments. The company initially offered eighteen designs and added new ones to the growing line each year. Hallmark ornaments became more than holiday decorations. They helped personalize holiday trees -- marking life milestones, reflecting one's interests and tastes, and stirring fond memories.
Board games have engaged Americans in friendly competition for two hundred years. Reaching their height of popularity from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, board games remain a widespread leisure activity. Colorful graphics and a playful purpose belie their cultural significance, but a closer look reveals important shifts in American society.