Back in June, we announced the digitization of selections from our collection of slot cars, model race cars most popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Recently, we’ve been digitizing a collection acquired last year of spindizzies, an earlier type of model race car. Spindizzies were popular in the 1930s and 1940s, incorporating model airplane engines powered by gasoline, and were either raced together on grooved tracks or tethered to a pole and run singly on circular tracks. Our new collection, donated by Eric Zausner and the E-Z Spindizzy Foundation, includes cars, tools, and accessories. You can now view a number of these, including this 1939 “Silver Streak” model, in our Digital Collections. Check out all the cars and accessories we’ve digitized from this collection so far, and keep watching as we add more over coming months.
Ellice Engdahl is Digital Collections & Content Manager at The Henry Ford.
Buying fresh produce direct from local farmers is a key to our efforts today to “eat local.” Nearly 90 years ago, Clara Ford was advocating the same thing, to improve on diets that were undermined by too much processed food and--more importantly to her--to improve the situations of rural farm women.
The great Novelty Works steam engine in the Henry Ford Museum is arguably the finest surviving example of mid-19th century ornamented American machinery. Built in about 1855, the 30 foot tall, 50 ton gothic-style engine is a true visual emblem of the collision between traditional society and the modern industrial world taking place in this country just prior to the Civil War. Victorian engineers oftentimes covered their creations with ornament in a vain effort to harmonize these alien objects with the world about them. In the process, they unconsciously left a record of their own inner struggle to adapt to a new and alien world.
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.
Later this month the first episode of our new television series, The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation, will debut on CBS as part of the Saturday morning Dream Team programming block. Members and visitors to The Henry Ford will recognize a familiar building in the first episode: Thomas Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory.
We've collected a handful of our digital resources for you to immerse yourself in. Make sure to check the blog every week this fall for more episode resource posts.
A few years ago, when The Henry Ford embarked on its "teaching innovation" initiative, we did not anticipate that it would rapidly evolve into so many different forms and lead us to so many new opportunities and unique partnerships. Innovation 101, our core curriculum for inspiring innovation, has proven to be a highly adaptive and dynamic teaching tool that continues to be applied in a wide variety of settings, engaging multiple audiences to think and act like innovators. In some instances, we are the direct drivers; in others, we are the catalysts nurturing innovative thinking among stakeholders. Here are some of the ways we are teaching innovation, learning in the process and innovating new applications. We consider our efforts a humble start and look forward to more exciting possibilities unfolding in the future.
One-Room School is one of The Henry Ford’s longest-running programs. It has made memories for generations; current teachers and staff members remember coming to Greenfield Village for this program as children themselves. And now we have revised our One-Room School Teacher’s Guide to update the program.
Corliss engines were renowned for their superior economy but it was their smooth running speed and swift response to changes in load that ensured their great success. These engines were particularly attractive to the textile industry. The energy needed to drive the vast numbers of machines used in textile mills was considerable but the delicacy of the threads and fabrics produced by textile machinery demanded that the power source be very responsive. The patented Corliss valve gear allowed the engine to maintain the precise speed needed to avoid thread breakage while simultaneously responding to varying loads as different machines were brought in or out of operation.
As a homeschooling teacher of 11 years and a middle school teacher before that, it has been clear to me for sometime that children learn not nearly as much from textbooks and tests as they do from reading, writing, seeing, and doing. And so, when I saw that The Henry Ford was putting on a writing contest, I knew that this was a great opportunity for learning--to learn about innovative Americans who began as just shop keepers and, through perseverance, became the first in flight.