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Hail to the Chief: Henry Ford’s Activities with POTUS

February 17, 2014

Our collections include Presidential artifacts and memorabilia, from George Washington to Barack Obama, but Henry Ford actually met several Presidents of the United States himself. In honor of Presidents' Day, here are snapshots of those encounters.

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President William Howard Taft spoke to the Detroit Board of Commerce in 1910. Taft also visited Henry Ford’s office at the new Highland Park plant, which opened that year (THF96601).

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Henry Ford rode with President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson during a visit to the Highland Park Plant. Wilson encouraged Henry to run for the United States Senate in 1918 (THF113675).

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President Warren Harding joined Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone (“the Vagabonds”) on a camping trip in Maryland in 1921 (THF105486).

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Henry Ford and the Vagabonds visited President Calvin Coolidge's farm in Vermont in 1924. Coolidge presented Henry with a bucket used in collecting maple syrup (THF108551).

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President Herbert Hoover visited Greenfield Village with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison for Light’s Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of Edison’s incandescent light and the dedication of the Edison Institute, in 1929 – just days before the stock market crash (THF98981).

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President Franklin Roosevelt toured the Willow Run Plant with Henry Ford and production manager Charles Sorensen in 1942, as B-24 bomber production began. They rode around the factory in the Presidential limousine, the "Sunshine Special," which was also used by President Harry Truman (THF93105).

Jim Orr, Image Services Specialist at The Henry Ford, and Mr. Ford have met a combined total of six United States Presidents.

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