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Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Posts Tagged vintage photos

Friedman_2009.158.317.10710

One of the gems to be found in The Henry Ford’s archives is the Dave Friedman auto racing collection, particularly covering racing from the 1960s through 1990s. The collection came to us with about 100,000 images in already-digital format, and we’ve been adding these to our digital collections over time. We’ve just added 600 images documenting the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, including the one seen here, showing not only the racecars in motion, but also the more general racetrack environment of fans in the stands and corporate logos/mascots in the background. With the addition of this latest race, 11,518 items from the Friedman collection are now available on our collections website. Browse just the latest set added, or peruse all the Dave Friedman imagery, by visiting our digital collections.

Ellice Engdahl is Digital Collections & Content Manager at The Henry Ford.

auto racing, racing, racing photos, vintage photos

This week, the 2013 Goodwood Revival kicks off in the United Kingdom, celebrating classic auto racing from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s in a three-day period-themed festival. The Henry Ford team will be there, and so will our Lotus-Ford race car usually on exhibit in Driving America. In honor of the Lotus and the driver who drove it to victory in the 1965 Indianapolis 500, we’ve digitized several dozen photos of the car, the race, and Jim Clark. View this photo of Jim in the car at Indy, plus other highlights from this digitization effort selected by Matt Anderson, Curator of Transportation, in a set titled Jim Clark and the 1965 Indianapolis 500.

race car drivers, race cars, racing, Racing In America, vintage photos

Pomona, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Laguna Seca, Sebring, Le Mans, Indianapolis…race fans know that these are the tracks where legends were made.

 

Gurney, Shelby , Foyt, Hall, Clark…driving legends who defined modern automobile racing. If it had an engine and rolled, they raced it.

 

Cobra, Lotus, Lola, Porsche, Corvette, Ferrari…cars that defied the laws of physics and the test of time.

 

Between 1960 and 1990, tracks, drivers and cars combined to create a memorable era in automobile racing, and one of the best-known photograph collections documenting this era is now accessible. Selected images from the Dave Friedman collection are now available for viewing at The Henry Ford’s Flickr page. More than 10,000 images have been uploaded since the beginning of 2012, with many more to come!

1960 Pomona Road Races. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thehenryford/6732275289/

During the 1950s and 1960s, American auto racing underwent a radical transformation, evolving from a sport of weekend racers in their home-built hot rods and dragsters to professional teams driving powerful race cars in competitions all over the world. Photographer Dave Friedman had a front row seat for the action during this important transition, capturing the excitement, the grit and the glamour - and creating some of the most iconic images of American motor sports of that era.

12 Hours of Sebring, 1964. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thehenryford/6659919781/

In 1962 Friedman was hired as staff photographer for Shelby-American Inc., the racing design and construction shop owned by a former driver, the late Carroll Shelby. While with Shelby-American Inc., Friedman had the unique opportunity to document the development of one of racing’s iconic stable of cars, the Shelby Cobras. In 1965, Friedman continued to capture the dynamic innovations of Shelby and Ford Motor Company as he documented the development of the record-setting Ford Mark IV race car that was the first American-designed and built car to win the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1967 . Friedman continued to pursue his passion for motor sports into the 1990s, when he refocused his lens on a new art form – classical ballet.

12 Hours of Sebring, 1970. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thehenryford/6761503307/

In 2009, The Henry Ford acquired the unique collection of this internationally renowned photographer, author and motion picture still photographer. The Dave Friedman collection consists of over 200,000 unique images, including photographs, negatives, color slides and transparencies. The collection also includes programs, race results and notes from across the United States and around the world. Dating between 1949 and 2003, the images and programs illustrate the transition of auto racing from dirt tracks and abandoned airfields to super speedways.

 

The Dave Friedman collection is a unique resource that documents in subtle shades the art, power and passion of automobile racing in the second half of the 20th century.

 

What's your favorite moment in automotive racing history? Tell us in the comments below, or check out Racing In America for more details on these iconic races and more.

 

Peter Kalinski is an archivist at the Benson Ford Research Center, part of The Henry Ford.

race cars, racing, Racing In America, racing photos, vintage photos

Since Thomas Edison’s birthday happened to be this past Saturday (February 11), it made me think of this first known portrait of him.

Even after 35 years of working with the museum’s photograph collections, this 3 x 2-3/4 inch daguerreotype still gives me goose bumps when I look at it. Made at the dawn of photographic technology, it serves as a powerful reminder of the unique connection between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.

Because of Henry Ford's friendship with Edison, many objects, photographs and manuscripts became part of the museum's collections, including Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory.

Menlo Park employees, 1880-1881, in front of the laboratory. (From the collections of The Henry Ford)

This daguerreotype was a gift to us from Edison’s widow, Mina, probably in the 1930s. The depth of Henry Ford’s admiration for Thomas Edison was so great that he named his museum and village "Edison Institute" in honor of the inventor.  The dedication ceremony occurred on October 21, 1929, to coincide with Light's Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of Edison's invention of the electric incandescent light bulb.

Menlo Park Laboratory inside Greenfield Village. (Photo by Michelle Andonian, Michelle Andonian Photography)

I find it fascinating to view this photographic image of the famous inventor when he was just a child. Daguerreotypes, invented in 1839, became very popular in theUnited Statesfrom the 1840s through the mid 1850s. The process took about 20 seconds, and Edison, shown at age 4, had to sit completely still! His seriousness and look of concentration go beyond the need for stillness. It seems to me that he is thinking about how and why the camera is working as much as obeying the adult admonition not to move.

Cynthia Read Miller, Curator of Photographs and Prints, is continually fascinated with the museum’s over one million historical graphics.

antique photographs, antique photos, Edison, vintage photographs, vintage photos