Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

If you’ve visited the Ford Home during Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village, you’ve no doubt felt your mouth water as you gazed upon the beautiful Charlotte Russe cake on the Fords’ dining room table. The cake has been a must-bake dessert for us for years and a guest favorite. Beyond knowing that it’s pretty in appearance and tastes heavenly, what do you know about this centuries-old dessert?

A Charlotte Russe is a hot or cold cake with a filling of fruit and custards formed in a molded pan; if you had to select a similar dessert, a trifle would be your best bet. Invented by French chef Antonin Carême in the 1800s, the cake was named in honor of George IV’s daughter Princess Charlotte and then-employer Czar Alexander. You can learn more about Anontonin in Ian Kelly’s book, “Cooking for Kings.”

Adding grape jam to the Charlotte Russe mold inside of the Fords' kitchen in Greenfield Village.

By the late 1800s the cake had made its way to American tables, like that of the Fords. This layered cake would have been a very fancy presentation during the holidays and could have contained a number of fruit/filling combinations. In the colder months when fresh fruit wasn’t as available, families could have added preserved fruits and jams to make up the filling and stored it in a cellar to set. For a family living on a farm, all the ingredients you’d need were most likely in your backyard and in your pantry.

Charlotte RusseBy the early 20th century, a variation of the Charlotte Russe became very popular as a street food in Brooklyn. The larger cake was scaled down to an individual size and presented in a push-up-pop fashion.

Today, the Charlotte Russe is limited only by your imagination and ingredients on hand. Molds can be found in antique stores or online. While the Fords might have filled their cake with strawberries or other preserves, how does a strawberry-kiwi-grape Charlotte Russe sound?! Pretty tasty, if you ask us.

Try making your own Charlotte Russe at home and let us know how you make it your own. Need more inspiration? Use the “Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink,” a favorite resource among staff at The Henry Ford, for ideas, or visit Greenfield Village during Holiday Nights.

Charlotte Russe

2 tablespoons gelatin
1 cup sweet milk
1 cup cream
2 eggs (separated)
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar

Beat egg yolks thoroughly with ½ cup granulated sugar. Heat 1 cup milk. When hot, add gelatin and mix until dissolved. Cool down some and strain through colander into egg/sugar mixture. Flavor with vanilla. Whip 1 cup cream; fold into egg/milk mixture. Put a thin layer of jam or jelly on the bottom of the mold. Cut sponge cake into pieces to fit mold. Fill the center with custard. Harden in refrigerator.

Sponge Cake for Charlotte Russe

3 eggs
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 lemon
1 teaspoon soda
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 cups sifted flour
½ cup cold water

Mix together sifted flour, cream of tartar and soda. Grease a dripping pan. Separate the eggs. Set egg whites aside. In a separate bowl, add powdered sugar to egg yolks. Beat thoroughly. Squeeze half a lemon and add juice to ½ cup of water; add to sugar/yolk mixture. Beat egg whites to a froth; stir into egg and sugar mixture. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir without beating only long enough to get the flour well mixed. Pour into the pan and bake in a moderate oven.

Pick up everything you need to make these recipes at Meijer. For more recipes and inspiration, visit THF OnLiving.

Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

by Lish Dorset, events, Greenfield Village, recipes, holidays, Holiday Nights, food, Christmas

Earlier this year Mother Nature Network posted a story about root vegetables with the headline “the most underappreciated produce.” While root vegetables might not have the glossy, shiny look of other produce finds in the grocery store today, they’re a staple for winter cooking and an important part of our diets for hundreds of years.

What is a root vegetable? Potatoes, parsnips, turnips, carrots, rutabagas, beets, onions, garlic and yams are all root vegetables.

In the 18th century, fellow root vegetables skirrets and Jerusalem artichokes were common in many diets, along with the above offerings. During this time period, Americans’ palates were very explorative and diverse and included many takes on root vegetable preparation.

Take for example radishes. While radishes can often be found in our salads today as a small garnish, centuries ago they were grown to have large roots to consume. On the opposite hand, however, about 20 years before the Civil War, the carrot had primarily been viewed as a field crop; something you’d give to your horse to eat, not something to enjoy as a snack.

Families stored their vegetables in cellars or even in the ground during cold, winter months. From soups to stews and more, having a good supply of vegetables to choose from allowed the cook to experiment with different dishes.

Root vegetables would be cooked and dressed as part of the meal; eating them raw was unheard of, and is actually a relatively new way of enjoying them. Often times the vegetables would be cooked over an open fire with that day’s meat selection on a game roaster. Spices were added to the cooking for additional flavor.

As Americans diets and palates changed after the Civil War, the diversity in what we consumed changed into a less-exciting offering. Gone were the creative uses families a generation early had enjoyed.

At The Henry Ford today, we work hard to show our visitors what life was like for families who relied on what they created themselves; root vegetables are obviously a big part of that. Not only can you visit our homes and learn more about how a family, like the Daggetts, Firestones or Fords, prepared items like root vegetables in their own kitchens, you can taste them for yourself at one one of our restaurants.

If you’re curious to learn more about recipes including root vegetables, try looking at:

  • “The Compleat Housewife” by Eliza Smith
  • “American Cookery” by Amelia Simmons
  • “The Frugal Housewife” by Susannah Carter
  • “The Art of Cookery” by Hannah Glasse
  • The next time you’re at the grocery store, take a step out of your comfort zone and try a new-to-you root vegetable. When you try something new, make sure to tell us what you thought of it and how you prepared it. To get you thinking, try these recipes for chicken fricassee with root vegetables and braised rabbit.

    Chicken Fricassee with Root Vegetables
    INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 chicken breasts, large dice
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cups root vegetables, medium dice (parsnips, rutabaga and sweet potato)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • TT salt & pepper
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • METHOD

  • Sauté chicken in butter in a hot large skillet until brown, take out of pan, reserve.
  • Add onions, root vegetables, thyme and bay leaf to pan and cook through.
  • Add white wine and reduce by half then add the cream, chicken and nutmeg and simmer for 6-8 minutes until chicken is cooked thorough and sauce thickens.
  • Season with lemon, salt and pepper, top with parsley.
  • Can be served with buttered noodles or other favorite side.
  • Eagle Tavern's Braised Rabbit
    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole rabbit, 2.5-3 pounds
  • As needed all-purpose flour
  • Oil or butter to brown
  • 1 cup Spanish onion, large dice
  • 1/2 cup carrot, large dice
  • 1/2 cup celery, large dice
  • 1/4 cup turnip, large dice
  • 1/4 cup rutabaga, large dice
  • 1 cup red skin potatoes, large dice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 6 cups chicken or rabbit stock
  • TT salt and pepper
  • METHOD

  • Remove legs and arms off of rabbit with a sharp knife.
  • With a large knife or cleaver, chop off rib cage and tail portion for stock (if time permits roast these portions until brown and add to simmering chicken stock for bolder flavor).
  • Heat a braising pan or Dutch style oven until warm, season and dust rabbit pieces with flour and add slowly to pan to brown. By adding too quickly you will shock the pan and not allow proper browning and the rabbit may stick to the pan.
  • When rabbit has been nicely browned, take out of pan and reserve on a platter.
  • Add onion, carrots and celery, cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat then add remaining vegetables, potatoes and herbs, cook for 4-5 minutes more.
  • Add the rabbit back into the pot and then the stock.
  • Cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 1.5 hours or until the leg portions are tender and fall off the bone.
  • When tender add salt and pepper, taste adjust as needed.
  • Divide into four bowls and enjoy.
  • Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

    food, vegetables

    As every visitor discovers, The Henry Ford is about more than cars and trucks. But if its other exhibits are its heart, The Henry Ford’s world-class automobile collection might be its soul. For the first time, that collection is captured in one major book – Driving America: The Henry Ford Automotive Collection.

    Showcasing 100 historically-significant vehicles spanning a century-plus, Driving America puts a spotlight on the collection’s perhaps unexpected diversity. While it reflects Henry Ford’s fascination with American progress, the collection combines vehicles from nearly every major (and a few not-so-major) automaker, both foreign and domestic.

    Indeed, one of the collection’s most famous vehicles, the 1931 Type 41 Bugatti Royale, was born in Europe. In an essay, Bob Casey, The Henry Ford’s former Senior Curator of Transportation, explains that after its original owner fled Hitler’s Germany, the Royale was abandoned in a New York junk yard.

    Eventually rescued by Buick’s Charles Chayne, the Royale was donated to The Henry Ford in 1957, where it still delights a half-century on.

    Driving America is filled with such trivia, providing a greater close-up than is possible on a museum floor. Across nearly 300 pages, vivid illustrations capture details such as the 1957 De Soto Fireflite’s pushbutton transmission, and the 1980 Comuta-Car’s label-maker dashboard. Technical specifications for each vehicle are also included.

    But like the collection itself, Driving America tells as much a story of those who’ve designed, built and driven across two American centuries as of the vehicles themselves. Innovation and ingenuity reflect in Oldsmobile’s 1903 Curved Dash Roundabout, and the 1997 General Motors EV1; family and adventure in the 1984 Plymouth Voyager minivan and the 1959 Volkswagen Westfalia camper; triumph and tragedy in the 1987 Ford Thunderbird Stock Car, and in President Kennedy’s 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine.

    In this regard, Driving America, like the collection it beautifully, thoroughly documents, honors not only The Henry Ford’s focus on the everyday extraordinary, but the automobile’s defining role in life as it’s known, or might someday be.

    Driving America from The Henry Ford

    Driving America, featuring a forward by Jay Leno and an introduction by Edsel Ford II, is available at The Henry Ford’s on-site gift shops and online shop. Special collector’s editions are also available.

    Justin Mularski is a writer based in Detroit. He occasionally forsakes his laptop to read of times long past, cheer for the Tigers, or make lists of home improvement projects he’ll never actually complete.

    car books, cars, Driving America

    During the first weekend of September, Greenfield Village celebrated the exciting sounds, scents, and sights of hundreds of vintage vehicles from the 1890s through 1932 during the 63rd annual Old Car Festival, America’s longest running antique car show. Many proud antique vehicle owners not only bring their cars, but get into the spirit of the event by dressing to match their car’s era which adds to the special ambience of this particular weekend long event.

    Annually on the Saturday night of the festival, many visitors gather at the reviewing stand near the Thomas Edison statue to listen the talented Hotel Savarine Society Orchestra perform many of the popular songs of the 1920s while watching a group of energetic and enthusiastic dancers outfitted in elegant mid-1920s period clothing perform such dances as the Charleston, foxtrot and tango. Just as all the reproduction clothing and accessories in Greenfield Village are researched, designed and created on sight by The Clothing Studio of The Henry Ford, so are the vintage looks worn by the dancers.

    This year, The Clothing Studio team worked collaboratively with the Creative Programs staff to create a more formal, “dressed up” head-to-toe 1920s look for the Old Car Festival dancers than in years past. The Roaring Twenties represented a break with traditions and the start to the modern age. It was a prosperous and exuberant time in history and, of course, the fashions of the time reflected this vibrancy. One of our challenges with creating these period accurate looks was that the clothing and accessories were not just for show – they also needed to be functional and durable since the dancers would be strolling through the village prior to spending two very active hours dancing outside.

    Dancers pose in 1920s formalwearSince men’s formal wear has generally changed little in over a hundred years, male dancers were elegantly dressed in a mix of black tuxedo styles which were appropriate for that era and remain stylish today. For formal occasions in the 1920s, men wore their tuxedos with white gloves and (when outdoors) top hats or even bowler hats. Special classically inspired touches such as suspenders, French cuffs with cufflinks and shoe spats helped to create an authentic look for each of our gentleman dancers.

    As for the ladies, The Clothing Studio focused on many of the fashionable trends of the era celebrating new-found freedoms women enjoyed in the 1920s ranging from the right to vote to more relaxed fashions which finally freed women from the constraints of the corset. Bare arms and the appearance of bare legs with nude colored seamed stockings as well as shorter skirt lengths were visible signs of new celebrated relaxed attitudes. Some of the trends featured in the stunning outfits worn by our Old Car Festival female dancers included beaded fabrics, tiered shirts, drop waists, straight simple silhouettes and embellished shoes.

    If you missed the vintage cars and fashions featured at this year’s Old Car Festival in Greenfield Village, be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s 64th annual Old Car Festival in September. Every year there is always a different mix of amazing vintage cars (and fashion) to enjoy.

    Written by Tracy Donohue, General Manager, The Clothing Studio at The Henry Ford. Photos by Lindsey Grudnicki.

    costumes, #Behind The Scenes @ The Henry Ford, Greenfield Village, events, car shows, fashion, Old Car Festival

    Hallowe’en is one of our favorite times of the year here at The Henry Ford and although we’re suckers for tradition, guests should expect some surprises on the horizon at this year’s spooky celebration.

    You see, for us, it’s not about the scream-inducing theatrics, but the history and background of Hallowe’en. That’s why the aesthetics we use to transform Greenfield Village are inspired by the 20th century to the early ‘60s.

    Wondering how we know so much about what Hallowe’en was like more than 100 years ago? Well, let’s just say we know how to do our research; it’s not an easy or short process, though.

    Our creative team works on Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village 365 days a year.

    “We are constantly researching and looking into anything that triggers our thought process. Additionally, new technology that can we can incorporate is always emerging,” says Jim Johnson, our Senior Manager of Creative Programs.

    Dennison's Bogie Book: Suggestions for Halloween & Thanksgiving, circa 1925 (Object ID: 90.228.474).

    Our most inspirational and useful sources of information regarding Hallowe’ens past come from party guides and pamphlets ranging from the early 20th century to the 1960s and Dennison’s Bogie Books.

    Surprisingly, Hallowe’en was a much different holiday when it first began, as compared to the terror-ridden night of horror we are accustom to nowadays.

    Hollows Eve actually started as a night of romance, even more so than Valentine’s Day. It was a night of finding your future companion by way of a fortune teller or completing a special list of activities at midnight so the face of your true love would be revealed.

    In fact, the trick-or-treating tradition we all know and love didn't come into play until the 1930s and was not prominently practiced until the ‘50s.

    This year, we’ve decided to implement a masquerade theme, featuring a nod to some classic literature and Frankenstein circa 1820s, complete with new visual, lighting and sound effects, fresh characters and a twist on some of our program staples. (Sounds pretty cool to me.)

    “Although we will have a few new elements,” Jim explains, “It’s not about what’s new, it’s about what’s ‘cool’. We’re more focused on ‘looking back’. This year’s program is very cool and definitely sparks the imagination of people of all ages.”

    Well, there you have it. History buffs we may be, but we’re nothing if not cool. We believe it’s all about continuing to evolve and that is exactly what we intend to do through our Hallowe’en event and beyond.

    Brianna Garza is a media relations intern at The Henry Ford.

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

    When you think of drinks at Eagle Tavern, does a classic cocktail come to mind? Many guests are often surprised to find that not only does Eagle Tavern serve some of the tastiest food from mid-19th-century Michigan, but also serves a selection of delicious alcoholic beverages from the time period. From punches to mint juleps, a meal at Eagle Tavern is definitely complete with a cocktail. However, if you're more temperance-minded, we do have several effervescing drinks to choose from, too, on our menu in the restaurant.

    Photo by Doug Coombe for Yelp.com

    Earlier this summer we hosted a historic-themed cocktail party in Eagle Tavern for Yelp.com members. They got to try a few of our favorite cocktails while enjoying Eagle Tavern fare and the sounds of Picks & Sticks. That night we had our guests try the Calvin, Maple Bourbon Sour, Mint Julep, Raspberry Shrub and even a Firkin offering. If you're curious to try a drink from the Eagle Tavern bar, try one of these recipes during your next happy hour.

    Raspberry Shrub from Eagle Tavern

    The Calvin from Eagle Tavern

    Maple Bourbon Sour from The Henry Ford

    Need some inspiration to help you start mixing? Here are some offerings from our online store:

  • Mixes
  • Cherry Shrub
  • Ginger Shrub
  • Strawberry Shrub
  • (To see more photos from our Yelp Evening of Historic Cocktails, take a look at their Flickr photo set.)

    Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

    cocktails, drinks, food

    Apples on the Farm

    September 10, 2013 Think THF

    Raise your hand if a visit to your local cider mill is on your to-do list right now. (We thought it might be!) The promise of cooler days and falling leaves have many of us pining away for a glass of cold apple cider.

    Almost 30 years ago the Firestone Orchard was planted in Greenfield Village. Having an apple orchard was an incredibly valuable asset to 19th century farmers like the Firestones, according to Firestone Farm Manager Ryan Spencer. Apples had a variety of uses beyond simple consumption. Not only might a farmer have his own orchard, but it wouldn’t be uncommon to see an apple tree right by the farm house’s kitchen window; it made for easier apple snacking!

    From ciders to jams and jellies, apples were an important staple on the farm. Apples were often dried or stored in cellars to be consumed when fresh fruit wasn’t available at certain times during the year. Dried apple pie was a regular option for the family diet during the winter, a fact that many farmers lamented over time.

    The types of apple varieties available in the late 19th century were ever-changing as farmers heard about certain varieties doing well in one part of the country and wanting to try those out for themselves.

    Between the 1870s and 1900, America lost a lot of great apple varieties. Why? Orchards began to dwindle in number due to concerns of disease and the temperance movement. (It’s safe to say that Carrie Nation was no fan of applejack.) While all of this was going on, Washington was actually planting more apple trees, soon making them one of the largest apple producers, thanks to the state’s good climate.

    Firestone Farm

    Today at Firestone Farm you can find our staff drying apples, pressing sweet apple cider, or making apple sauce and apple jelly during the early fall. During our Fall Flavor weekends we’ll not only be doing that, but we’ll be giving tours of our apple orchard, too. Right now our Baldwins and Belmonts are getting ready, our summer Rambo is looking good, and our Maiden’s Blush is, well, getting a bit rosier.

    In the mood to bake something with apples now? Try a few recipes from our historic recipe bank as you get ready to embrace all-things apple this fall. Looking for something a bit more modern? Try this recipe for applesauce cake from the 1997 edition of The All New Joy of Cooking. Whichever recipe you try, make sure to tell us what you thought of the recipes by sharing your reactions with #THFOnLiving.

    Boiled Cider Apple Sauce (from the 1877 edition of Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping)

    Pare, quarter and core apples sufficient to fill a gallon porcelain kettle, put in it a half gallon cider, let it boil. Wash the apples and put in kettle, place a plate over them, and boil steadily but not rapidly until they are thoroughly cooked, testing by taking one from under the edge of the plate with a fork. Do not remove the plate until done, or the apples will sink to the bottom and burn. Mrs. W.W. W.

    Apple-Butter Custard Pie (Buckeye Cookery, 1890)

    Beat together four eggs, one tea-cup apple-butter, one of sugar, one level table-spoon allspice, and one quart sweet milk and pinch of salt; bake in three pies with an under-crust; - and, by the way, never omit a pinch of salt in custard and lemon pie; and, in fact, many kinds of fruit pies, such as green-apple, currant, gooseberry, and pie-plant, are improved by it.

    Apple Fritters (The Virginia Housewife or Methodical Cook, 1828)

    Pare some apples and cut them in thin slices – put them in a bowl, with a glass of brandy, some white wine, a quarter of a pound of pounded sugar, a little cinnamon finely powdered, and the rind of a lemon grated; let them stand for some time, turning over frequently; beat two eggs very light, add one quarter of a pound of flour, a table-spoonful of melted butter, and as much cold water as will make a thin batter; drip the apples on a sieve, mix them with the batter, take one slice with a spoonful of batter to each fritter – fry them quickly of light brown – drain them well, put them in a dish, sprinkling sugar over them, and glaze them nicely.

    To learn even more, Ryan recommends:

  • History of Agriculture in Ohio
  • Southmeadow Fruit Gardens
  • Henry Leuthardt Nurseries
  • Trees of Antiquity
  • Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

    apples, farming, farms, food

    “We’re going to let people try and hack the museum?!”

    When I first heard this a few months back, my jaw dropped. Hack the museum?! What?! Are you serious? What museum would even think of doing such a thing? Well, The Henry Ford would. We were indeed opening ourselves up to hacking, but not like you would first think.

    hackathonlogoAs part of Maker Faire Detroit 2013, our partners at Compuware came up with the great idea to host our first-ever hackathon inside Henry Ford Museum with the challenge of “creating an application which combines The Henry Ford’s digital collection with the imagination and power that are an essential part of the mobile culture today.” We were opening ourselves up to hacking, but by way of APIs used with our digital collections.

    Nestled above the “Heroes of the Sky” exhibit toward the back of the museum, six teams worked all day Saturday trying to create the most unique app for us possible. Nineteen participants, some local, some from out of town, consumed a lot of caffeinated beverages and wrote a lot of code as the faire happened around them.

    Mike Butman, our Chief Information Officer at The Henry Ford, worked with the teams on how best to access the collections’ APIs throughout the day. For Mike, the hackathon was not only a way to see new ideas, but a source of inspiration and personal challenge.

    “It was extremely invigorating,” Mike told me. “Not just to see the technical components, but to see the outside perspective and how these individuals could develop something for our guests to interact with.”

    With their work done at the end of the day on Saturday, all that was left was a presentation to our team of judges. The six teams presented their ideas and made their cases in front of our judges. The judges that had the tough job of selecting just one winner included:

  • Matthew David, Chief Digital Strategist at Compuware
  • Eric Weinhoffer, Product Development Engineer at MAKE
  • Bruce Elenbogen, Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems at UofM Dearborn
  • Lauren Ann Davies, Deadline Detroit
  • Marilyn Zoidis, Director of Historical Resources at The Henry Ford
  • In the end, we had one winner and two runners-up (I said it was a tough choice). Team 42 and Chi-Ackers took second place with Sam Harrell of Team Sam taking home top honors. What was the app that wowed our judges so much?

    Hackathon App

    The app used image recognition with computer vision, kind of like augmented reality.

    Hackathon App

    Guests take the app and move it across a sign. The app recognizes points on the sign and pulls related information from the digital collections of The Henry Ford.

    Spanish

    The app can then also translate the information into dozens of languages. It’s easy to use. Instead of looking for information on multiple web pages within your mobile browser, all related items are pulled together all in one place.

    Sam had been thinking of an app like this for a while. The hackathon, with the access to our APIs, was just what he needed to pull it all together.

    “I loved the thrill of starting something from scratch and building it out,” he said.

    Will you see the app anytime soon? There’s consideration here at the institution of being able to make something out of the results from the hackathons, like the one at Maker Faire Detroit, in the future.

    For Compuware’s Matthew David, suggesting a hackathon as part of their Maker Faire Detroit sponsorship was a natural idea. Hackathons all across the globe continue to gain popularity. For small groups of people, a hackathon often gives them the opportunity to not only be developers but also entrepreneurs. Did you know that the Facebook “Like” button was the result of a Facebook hackathon?!

    “When you work on emerging technology, you’re so very passionate about it,” Matthew said. “Being up to your eyeballs in code, racing against the clock for a fun prize... people are doing it for the honor of winning. They light up Silicon Valley passions outside of Silicon Valley. Folks really can do something. These solutions emerging and then happening? That’s pretty fantastic.”

    Digital Collections Initiative Manager Ellice Engdahl proudly watched the presentations the next day on Sunday. To the leader of the team creating and publishing our digital collections, the idea of allowing outside developers access to our raw data meant a lot.

    “The true purpose of digitizing our collections, both on the floor and in storage, is to make them available. If our digital assets aren’t used, there’s no point in creating them,” Ellice said. “It was fabulous to see creative programmers find new ways to share our materials.”

    Ellice also really appreciated the thoughtful way each team approached the challenge and brought their own perspective to it.

    “Team 42 was interested in engaging diverse audiences, Team Chi-Ackers wanted to encourage learning through collections-related gaming, Team CIA encouraged easy sharing from the museum to visitors and from visitors to visitors, Team Handsome Quartet encouraged users to gain social badges through viewing collections objects, Team Sam thought about how the existing labels on the Museum floor could be improved and enhanced, and Team Wambatech incorporated outside videos and images alongside our own assets,” she said. “It was great to see such a variety of results coming out of the teams’ original goals and perspectives, and exciting to think of the diverse audiences that would appreciate all the teams’ efforts.”

    While the hackathon has come and gone for 2013, the enthusiasm is here to stay. You can keep up to date with Maker Faire Detroit updates on our website and through our enthusiast channel, OnMaking.

    If you had a chance to create an app for The Henry Ford, what would you make?

    Maker Faire Detroit 2013 Hack the Museum Participants

    Team Sam

  • Sam Harrell - Chief Hacker
  • Team 42

  • David Wilhelm - Developer; HTML/CSS, Javascript & PHP
  • John Leftwich - HTML/CSS/design - Education Consultant
  • Katherine Scott - Interaction Engineer/IMAGINEER
  • Jennifer A. Scroggins - Front-end design and dev; HTML/CSS; all-around idea person museum junkie
  • Chi-Ackers

  • Jeff Molsen - Development
  • Cody Greene - Robotics and Development
  • Dennis J. Schleicher, Jr. - User Experience
  • The Handsome Quartet

  • Jon Radon - Moral Support
  • Robert Muhic - Core Operations Development Engineer, Manager of Nightly key Enterprise Yodeling
  • Eric Panek - Senior IT Director of Enterprise Code Monkey Operations Architect and Human Resources II
  • Peter Richards - Developer & Senior Caffeine Acquisition Officer
  • Creative Innovators Achievers (CIA)

  • Mukesh Gupta - Lead
  • Krishna Mudiraj - Developer/Designer
  • Reda Bouaichi - Developer/Designer
  • Vijay Vardhan - Architect
  • Wambatech

  • Jason Rodriguez - Designer
  • Shane O’Dell - Developer
  • Jeff Goergen - Developer
  • Nathaniel Plane - Developer/Team Lead
  • Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

    computers, hacking, Maker Faire Detroit, making

    Earlier this summer we were honored to have some of NASCAR's greatest drivers paired with the drivers of tomorrow for a tour across our campus. Take a look at this video as Curator of Transportation Matt Anderson talks about their visits.

    race car drivers, race cars, racing

    HENRY 150 SEAL_chromeNew England Institute of Technology, with three campuses in Rhode Island, has formed its own Quadricycle Club. The purpose of this club is to have Mechanical Engineering Technology (MCT) students, as well as interested students from any of the college’s more than 40 academic programs, work collaboratively towards a goal of reverse engineering, manufacturing, and building Henry Ford’s first automobile, the Quadricycle. Club Advisor, Christopher Vasconselas, a faculty member in the MCT program is thrilled to see the excitement in his students as they bring their very own Quadricycle to life. The club meets anywhere from 2-5 hours per week, and the members hope to have the Quadricycle ready to take its maiden voyage in two years—a labor of love for certain.

    The club was formed one year ago and now has 20 members who are familiar with various computer software programs such as SolidWorks mechanical design software as well as Microsoft Word and Excel. They work with equipment such as a manual engine lathe, manual vertical mill, horizontal and vertical band saw, pedestal grinder, and belt sander. There are many activities and skills that these students must perform in the building of the Quadricycle, some of which include interpreting engineering drawings, solid modeling using SolidWorks software, raw material and parts quoting, machining metal, basic carpentry work, electrical wiring, welding, and assembly. In fact, the students are making the majority of the parts from scratch with only 10-15 percent being produced by outside vendors. One student is even doing welding at home. Everyone is so enthusiastic!

    NEIT Blog Photo 2

    The students are honing their electrical, carpentry, machining and assembly skills. So far, they have manufactured the main bearings, front spindle arm, drive pulley, ignition spring holder, drive pulley washers, drive sprocket, connecting rods, rear engine support, timing gear bolt, drive sprocket pins, rudder connector, water jackets, front engine mount, rear axle bearings, front engine bolt and support, and jackshaft.

  • Two students built a Quadricycle dolly so the car can be easily moved from place to place during construction.
  • The New England Tech Quadricycle is the only one of its kind in Rhode Island. After taking it for a few spins around the college parking lot, Chris hopes to showcase the Quadricycle at the college for faculty, staff, students and visitors to enjoy. To follow the club’s progress, email Chris at cvasconselas@neit.edu or call 401-739-5000, ext. 3617. You can view his photo library here.

    Under the leadership of President Richard I. Gouse, New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit technical college with an enrollment of more than 3,000 students. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

    Follow NEIT on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Tumblr, and the NEIT Blog.

    By Linda Dionne. Since 2009, Linda A. Dionne has served as Media Relations Specialist at New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich, RI. In addition to writing articles for various trade publications and blogs, Linda is responsible for preparing and distributing press releases as well as coordinating all media requests and interviews. Linda is also the editor for the college’s quarterly newspaper, Tech News, and a monthly on-line newsletter, Tech Talk. Linda is a graduate of Bryant University (RI) with a Bachelor of Science degree in management and marketing.

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