Greenfield Village Online
Greenfield village is a national treasure provided to
everyone by the vision of the premier industrialist Henry Ford, the car guy. For
what ever reason, Henry Ford envisioned the need to preserve places of
importance to the industrial age rather than allow them to disappear. Greenfield
Village is a collection of thousands of artifacts which trace the development of
technology through the early phases. Even the structures where technology was
developed are present in the collection.
This GreenfieldVillageOnline website presents details
and references to aspects of this open air history museum in a consolidated
manner. Photographs with descriptions add to the information presented. And
biographies of the people of Greenfield Village are included.
Not everyone can visit this wonderful location. But
now with the power of the internet, everyone can at least get slightly closer to
the inspiration that is Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.
So click on and tour what is the best presentation of
industrial America in the early phases extant.
Use the navigation buttons above to quickly travel to
each category of information. When you reach each category, there you will find
a link rack to help you quickly navigate through the many pages of details
present at this web site. Thousands of links are also provided so you can follow
your interest as it develops. Use your back button to return to this directory
page. You may want to select it as a favorite or shortcut for easy return.
You're off. Have fun!
Thomas Edison re-enacts his invention of
the electric light bulb as Henry Ford and Francis Jehl look on,
October 21, 1929. Photo from the collections of Henry Ford
Museum & Greenfield Village
Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village
The world's largest indoor-outdoor history
museum provides educational experiences based on the authentic lives,
stories, and objects from America past, focusing on the country's
traditions of ingenuity and innovation. More than one million people
visit the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village each year.
Automotive pioneer Henry Ford (1863-1947)
could have purchased great works of art by the truckload, but he chose
to collect commonplace items like toasters, farm machinery, kerosene
lamps, and steam engines. Ford felt that these everyday objects told a
truth not written in history books. He also collected historic
buildings, brought from different parts of the U.S., that represented a
variety of time periods. He wanted his museum to be a place where people
could see how their ancestors lived and worked, so that these traditions
could inspire people to help shape a better future.
Ford began storing these items on property
next to his engineering laboratory while his 13-acre museum building and
81-acre outdoor village site were being constructed. On September 27,
1928, Thomas Edison pushed a small garden spade once owned by botanist
Luther Burbank into a block of hardening concrete that would become the
cornerstone for Ford's new museum. One year later, on October 21, more
than 100 dignitaries, including President Herbert Hoover and Edison,
attended formal dedication ceremonies inside the partially completed
building. The dedication date also commemorated the fiftieth anniversary
of Edison's invention of the first practical incandescent lamp and
electric lighting system. The museum, in fact, was originally named the
Edison Institute in honor of Ford's mentor and friend.
After Ford's death in 1947, it was renamed
Henry Ford Museum. The Edison Institute name, however, remains the
registered name for the entire complex. Because Ford wanted all of the
museum's public areas to be located on one floor, the main exhibition
hall is a single eight-acre room with a distinctive teak floor. The
front facade of the museum is a replication of Philadelphia's
Independence Hall, one of the best known symbols of American freedom.
The museums celebrate the accomplishments of
American innovators, such as Ford himself, Edison, the Wright Brothers,
George Washington Carver, Noah Webster, and others. Among themed
exhibitions are "Made in America," which explores how
production of goods impacts society, and "The Automobile in
American Life." This auto exhibition, which illustrates how rapidly
the car changed America in the twentieth century, includes a restored
diner; a 1952 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, one of the world's most famous
"productmobiles;" a rare hand carved Lalique crystal hood
ornament for a 1920s luxury car; the Ford Mark IV race car; the
Allegheny (steam) Locomotive, stretching 125 feet long and weighing 600
tons; and more than 100 vintage cars. Unique historical items include
the chair that President Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was
assassinated, and a folding camp bed that General George Washington
actually slept in during the Revolutionary War. A sampling of other
"everyday" items in the museum are a 1930s era kitchen; and
collections of American clocks, American glassware, and treadle sewing
Greenfield Village, which opened in 1933,
consists of more than 80 historic structures on a site laid out like a
small New England community-farmhouses, workshops, shops, mills, a
railroad depot, and a bandstand. It is also divided into themed areas
which include: crafts and trade, historic homes, transportation,
pre-industrial farm life, and town buildings. The village also includes
the restoration of moved homes and workplaces of famous innovators, like
the Wright Brothers' Home and Cycle Shop and Ford's first automobile
assembly plant. The centerpiece is the reconstruction of Edison's Menlo
Park Laboratory Complex, originally in New Jersey, where he created some
of his most famous inventions, such as the phonograph and the light
bulb. The result is a unique history park.
Documentation comprises a pictorial souvenir
book and the book, An American Invention, about the museums,
Originally submitted by: John D. Dingell,
Representative (16th District).