Made in America: Manufacturing

Explore artifacts large and small documenting American manufacturing ingenuity from the 18th to 20th centuries.

Highlights

Model T Build

Create an Authentic Tin Lizzy

 Activity Henry Ford Museum   Details

Model T Build

Grab a wrench and help build one of the cars that made Henry Ford famous. 

Every day at the Museum we build a Model T. Visitors will gain new perspective about Henry Ford and the car that changed the world as they assist in the assembly of an authentic Model T. Spend as much or as little time as you want in this one-of-a-kind activity led by experienced presenters. Come help create the “Tin Lizzy,” the first affordable automobile.

  Details

Henry's Assembly Line

Hands-on Assembly Line

 Activity Henry Ford Museum   Details

Henry's Assembly Line

Try your hand at working on an assembly line building a miniature Model T. See how Henry Ford revolutionized modern manufacturing in this exciting activity.

What better way to learn about the innovation of the assembly line than to participate in one?  In this hands-on activity, you’ll work with other guests to assemble a miniature wooden Model T using the station and moving assembly line methods. The activity duration is approximately 20 minutes.

  Details

Steam Engine Lubricator, 1882

  Details

Steam Engine Lubricator, 1882

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Lubricator

Date Made

1882

Summary

African American mechanical engineer Elijah McCoy patented this version of his of lubricator in 1882. The many moving parts on a steam locomotive required constant lubrication, and crews had to apply oil regularly. McCoy's lubricator automatically deposited metered amounts of oil, reducing the need for manual lubrication.

Place of Creation

United States 

Object ID

31.2039.2

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Made in America

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Steam Engine Lubricator, 1882

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Exploded Ford Model T, Originally Manufactured in 1924

  Details

Exploded Ford Model T, Originally Manufactured in 1924

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Automobile

Summary

There were more than 10,000 parts in a Model T. Henry Ford's moving assembly line required that each one of those parts be manufactured to exacting tolerances and be fully interchangeable with any other of its kind. By splitting a car's construction into a series of distinct small steps, the assembly line generated enormous gains in productivity.

Place of Creation

United States 

Object ID

R92.0.1

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Made in America

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Exploded Ford Model T, Originally Manufactured in 1924

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Ingersoll Milling Machine Used at Ford Motor Company Highland Park Plant, 1912

  Details

Ingersoll Milling Machine Used at Ford Motor Company Highland Park Plant, 1912

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

Artifact

Milling machine

Date Made

1912

Summary

The Model T's distinction as a landmark car design can be traced in large part to machines like this -- a high capacity precision machine tool that performed just two production steps on the car engine's cylinder block. The Model T as a design achievement is inseparable from many hundreds of engineering, materials, and production innovations.

Object ID

31.671.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Henry Ford Museum
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Made in America

Get more details in Digital Collections at:

thehenryford.org

Ingersoll Milling Machine Used at Ford Motor Company Highland Park Plant, 1912

View in our Collectionson thehenryford.org 

What is The Henry Ford?

The national attraction for discovering your ingenuity while exploring America’s spirit of innovation. There is always much to see and do at The Henry Ford.

VIEW CALENDAR

  Details

Made in America: Manufacturing

McCoy Lubricator

African American inventor Elijah McCoy received more than 50 patents, including one for this device to keep moving steam locomotive parts oiled.  

Intricate Parts

Carefully crafted parts worked together to drive the engines.  

Model T Assembly Line

Henry Ford's implementation of the assembly line allowed the mass production of the Model T, and eventually, other products.