Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

barry-sanders-visits-thf

During the launch of Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame former Detroit Lion Barry Sanders toured the exhibit and received a special tour of the exhibit's highlights. Take a look at Barry's visit and hear what he has to say about this exhibit, on display at Henry Ford Museum through January 4, 2015.

Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

by Lish Dorset, sports, African American history, events, Michigan, Detroit, football

Dymaxion_ca1960

This week on “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation” you’ll learn about the Dymaxion House. Want to learn more? Take a look.

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  • Tuning the Dymaxion House
  • Repairing the Dymaxion House
  • Gauging the Condition of the Dymaxion House
  • The Dymaxion House: The Same and Improved
  • The House of the Future
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    Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

    The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation

    The Dymaxion House inside Henry Ford Museum.

    To some people it’s a giant Hershey’s Kiss, while others sense a kinship with the Airstream travel trailer—both, it should be noted, recognized as icons. Even the more general touchstones—retro-futuristic spacecraft themes seem to hold sway here—tie into something powerfully elemental. Either way, the Dymaxion house has over the last decade assumed an iconic presence in Henry Ford Museum, a presence that delights and provokes a wide range of visitors. Continue Reading

    The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation

    The magnificent Great Hall, which welcomes visitors to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

    Maybe it creates a sense of legitimacy, maybe it’s a shrine to honor past heroes, or maybe it just provides a place for fans to congregate in the off-season. For whatever reason, every sport seeks to create its own Hall of Fame. Baseball devotees have Cooperstown, football followers have Canton, and, for NASCAR fans, there is Charlotte.

    As Halls go, NASCAR’s is young. The building opened (and inducted its first honorees) in 2010 after a four-year site-selection and design process. While Daytona Beach and Atlanta were both considered, North Carolina – with its deep stock car racing roots and status as home to much of the present industry – was the clear favorite. I recently had a chance to visit the establishment. Continue Reading

    cars, by Matt Anderson, racing

    0143_058120141012_KMSPhotography

    Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village is a time-honored tradition at The Henry Ford. But, this doesn’t mean we’re afraid of shaking things up a bit! Much in the spirit of the spooky holiday, our Productions team likes to trick guests and keep each year a surprise in and of itself. This year has been no different, and with just one weekend left to enjoy the sights and sounds of Halloween, guests have been, and will be this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in for a treat.

    According to Senior Manager of Exhibitions & Program Production, Greg Harris, Hallowe’en is a staff favorite, so he’s constantly taking a look back and asking how they can upgrade and improve with each year.

    This year that surprise has come in the form of a brand new route and some never-before-seen experiences. Continue Reading

    Greenfield Village, events, Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village, Halloween, by Rebecca Hillary

    “Mystically spooky.”

    That’s how Jim Johnson described Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hallow.” The 1820s short story is the inspiration for the grand finale of sorts at Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village – where visitors cross the bridge and encounter the infamous Headless Horseman.

    Irving’s story, Gothic literature, legends and other spooky tales are fundamental elements for much of the fun at Greenfield Village’s annual Halloween event.

    “After the renovations to Greenfield Village, we decided to lift our Halloween event to a new level,” said Jim Johnson, who is senior manager of creative programs at The Henry Ford. “With the village as our backdrop, we wanted to find our own niche that had something for everyone and was family friendly.”

    Just being in the village at night is a unique experience, and it provides the perfect setting for a Halloween event inspired by the past.

    Graveyard at Greenfield Village

    Jim said they looked at how the holiday evolved. “We found interesting things about how the celebration of Halloween changed over time,

    “Customs started to take shape toward the at the end of the 19th century and almost click through a process that takes us to where we are today - where we decorate our homes and go house-to-house for trick or treating.”

    Coming into the 20th century, Halloween wasn’t necessarily a kids’ holiday – other than they commonly pulled pranks like knocking over outhouses, putting wagons on rooftops, etc., Jim said. In order to curb the kids’ enthusiasm for a little mayhem, municipalities got into the action by planning themed parties and offering games and treats as a diversion from the destruction.

    Halloween books at Greenfield Village

    To meet the party trend, at the turn of the century and into the 1920s and 30s, there were a multitude of Halloween party guides and booklets published mostly by women, and candy and novelty companies.

    Vintage Halloween party books

    A popular inexpensive resource was Dennison’s Bogie Books. Dennison’s sold crepe paper used to decorate and make costumes. Jim Johnson keeps these reproductions on hand for reference and inspiration.

    Frankenstein at Menlo ParkAdventure stories and Gothic literature were popular at that time and have sustained elevated interest at Halloween time. Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventures of buccaneers and buried gold in Treasure Island continues to inspire as seen in recent movie tales of tropical pirating. At Greenfield Village, pirates with sensibilities old and new populate the Suwanee Lagoon and walk among visitors, giving them a taste what it might be like conversing with an 1880s-style high seas treasure seeker.

    With a nod to Gothic literature, Dr. Frankenstein has a perfect workspace - setting up shop in Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory.

    Mary Shelley’s story of Frankenstein still holds the attention of audiences today, even though the book was first published in the early 1800s.

    Another famous character from Gothic literature is making his debut at the village this year. A silent film based on Bram Stoker’s 1887 Dracula is shown near Sarah Jordan Boarding House.

    Dracula

    Visitors are captivated by the large projections of the 1922 vampire film Nosferatu (Dracula).

    Works of the master of the macabre – Edgar Allen Poe – are highlighted in two prominent stops.

    The ravens resting on the railing at Eagle Tavern are treated to the eerie tale twice: narrated once by a famous actor and once by a fictitious man. Visitors can hear the chilling story told by actor Christopher Walken and again by cartoon character Homer Simpson.

    Tell-Tale Heart

    Poe makes another appearance near Town Hall where actor Anthony Lucas provides a mesmerizingly haunting performance of the mad man at the center of the Tell-Tale Heart.

    Hansel and Gretel

    A first person account of the Brothers Grimm tale of Hansel and Gretel (with a surprise twist) keeps audiences of all ages intrigued.

    Red Riding Hood

    Throughout the village – authentically or whimsically – many costume creations are inspired by characters from famous stories of old. Hunchbacks, witches, Little Red Riding Hood, mermaids, fortunetellers, strong men, Merlin the Magician... 

    … and even a character from Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser.

    Near the end of trick-or-treating through the village, visitors can take a seat and listen to the tale that sets the scene for the remainder of their journey – through the dark candle-lit tangles of the Mulberry Grove (not-too-hauntingly) transformed into Sleepy Hallow.

    Sleepy Hollow

    Actor Seth Amadei gives a riveting account of the series of events that led up to the mysterious disappearance of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hallow.

    Scarecrow

    Visitors just have to pass through the hallow and over the bridge …

    Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village - inspired by old, new, mystical, whimsical and just the right amount of spooky.

    holidays, #Behind The Scenes @ The Henry Ford, Halloween, events, Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village, Greenfield Village

    Our violin collection

    This week on “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation” you’ll learn about Henry Ford's impressive violin collection. Want to learn more about Henry's love of violins? Take a look below. Continue Reading

    The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation

    A 1931 Ford Model A leads a line of early cars and bicycles through Greenfield Village.

    The calendar tells me that summer ended on September 23 this year. I know better. It really ended with the conclusion of our September 6-7 Old Car Festival, the traditional finish to The Henry Ford’s busy summer event season. But now that it’s fall by anyone’s measure, it seems like a good time to look back on this year’s show.

    Dobles were mechanically superior, but alliteration made Stanleys the most memorable steam cars.

    Approximately 900 cars, trucks and bicycles, none newer than 1932, turned Greenfield Village into a veritable motor museum – and one where most of the vehicles operated, at that! Steam and electric vehicles -- along with a few obscure marques -- offered variety, while the mass of Model Ts and Model As reminded us of how popular those Fords were in their time. Continue Reading

    events, car shows, Old Car Festival, Greenfield Village, cars

    innovationnationpromo

    The very first episode of our new television show, "The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation" airs tomorrow morning during CBS' Dream Team lineup. We can't wait for you all to see the first episode, "Microscopic Windmills," featuring our own Menlo Park Laboratory in Greenfield Village. You can see a sneak peek below. Continue Reading

    The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation

     

    Henry Ford and Edsel Ford Introducing the 1928 Ford Model A at the Ford Industrial Exposition in New York City (Object ID: P.O.4083).

     

    It’s that time of year again, and Old Car Festival inside The Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village is the place to see Ford Model As. The beloved automobile will make up almost a quarter of the sweet rides on display this year. But wait, Old Car Festival covers 42 years of vehicles, 1890-1932, so why are there so many from the four years the Model A was produced? After some research and talking with our Curator of Transportation Matt Anderson, here’s why. Continue Reading

    Ford Motor Company, cars, Old Car Festival