What the Dickens? Discovering Sir John Bennett’s Famous Customer

 Portrait of Charles Dickens, 1867 (Object ID: 00.3.3723).

Portrait of Charles Dickens, 1867 (Object ID: 00.3.3723).

Sir John Bennett Jewelry Store in Greenfield Village. The building was reconfigured from five-stories to two, to better scale the building with others in Greenfield Village (Object ID: 31.61.1).

Sir John Bennett Jewelry Store in Greenfield Village. The building was reconfigured from five-stories to two, to better scale the building with others in Greenfield Village (Object ID: 31.61.1).

Many people are familiar with the numerous literary connections at Greenfield Village: poet Robert Frost, lexicographer Noah Webster, and textbook author William Holmes McGuffey. But a little known literary relationship is that between Sir John Bennett, a clock and watchmaker and jeweler–whose storefront was moved from London, England to Greenfield Village in 1931–and one of his most prestigious customers, author Charles Dickens. Continue reading

Report from the 2014 Concours d’Elegance of America

The Henry Ford's 1929 Packard 626 Speedster at the Concours d'Elegance of America.

The Henry Ford’s 1929 Packard 626 Speedster at the Concours d’Elegance of America.

The Henry Ford is privileged to participate in a number of concours auto shows each year, but I have a particular soft spot for our “hometown” event: the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s, held each July in Plymouth, Michigan. This past Sunday marked the show’s 36th year. With more than 250 cars in attendance, it’s clearly as strong as ever.

Among the featured automobiles this year was a class entitled, “The Evolution of the Sports Car, 1900-1975.” Our 1929 Packard 626 Speedster, a trim eight-cylinder roadster capable of 100 miles per hour, fit quite nicely alongside racy models from Alpha Romeo, Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche, together with less exotic – but no less exciting – cars from Chevrolet, Ford, Nash and Studebaker. Continue reading

Just Added to Our Digital Collections: Rosa Parks Bus Restoration

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You might have heard that we are partnering with Litton Entertainment to create a brand-new TV show, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, premiering on CBS later this year. As we worked with Litton to develop story ideas that might be featured on the show, we also wanted to make sure we digitized a variety of artifacts from our collections related to those stories.  To that end, we’ve just digitized a couple dozen photos of the Rosa Parks Bus before and during its 2002 restoration. As former curator Bill Pretzer relates online, the bus had been left in a field and used as a storehouse for decades, leading to the significant condition issues that you can see in this photo of the driver’s seat. See more newly digitized photos of the restoration process by visiting our collections website, and learn more on Innovation Nation this fall!

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

Ben’s Encore Returns to Maker Faire Detroit

Premier event photography by KMS Photography

It’s that time of year again – time for Maker Faire Detroit. Once again the event will showcase more than 400 makers. One particular group, Ben’s Encore, promises to have a special appeal to young, aspiring musicians.

Ben’s Encore strives to provide opportunities for aspiring musicians and music education in Detroit and its surrounding areas. The organization started a few years ago, as a tribute to Ben Borowiak of Detroit, who passed away due to complications from epilepsy that developed after being hit by a drunk driver. Ben wore many hats; though professionally an accountant, he was known by his family and friends as a multi-talented musician and philanthropist. Continue reading

How to Make the Most of Maker Faire Detroit 2014

Maker Faire Detroit

mfdlogoMaker Faire Detroit is just a few days away. Soon Henry Ford Museum will be buzzing with more than 400 makers from around the country showing off their latest projects to curious guests Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27. If you’re joining us for the big event, we’ve got a few tips to help you plan your visit that will help make this another over-the-top Maker Faire Detroit.

Where Should I Park?
Parking at The Henry Ford is at a premium the weekend of Maker Faire Detroit. (The Outdoor Midway of Maker Faire Detroit fills our museum parking lot). To alleviate congestion around The Henry Ford we have partnered with the University of Michigan-Dearborn to provide a free parking and shuttle service to Maker Faire Detroit. The free shuttle parking lot is at the U of M Dearborn Fairlane Center Campus on Hubbard Drive. The alternate parking and shuttle will allow for an easy, relaxing beginning to your exciting day at Maker Faire Detroit! Continue reading

Just Added to Our Digital Collections: Armington & Sims Machine Shop Photography

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When you enter Armington & Sims Machine Shop in Greenfield Village, you feel like you are entering a truly historic building. However, as intern Molly Malcom notes, A&S is a building that was constructed onsite between 1928 and 1930 in honor of Pardon Armington and Gardiner Sims, who built steam engines for Thomas Edison in the Rhode Island factory A&S was modeled after. The authentic feel comes from original records, equipment, furniture, and parts that were acquired from a former A&S employee and now populate the building. As part of an ongoing project, we have digitized some of our images of the original facility, including this interior shot, and related people. View these photos and other collections related to Armington & Sims on our collections website.

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

A Passion for Wheels

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From big wheels to business school, Ali Kermani, Product Designer and Brand Manager, at Razor USA, and former professional skateboarder, has a passion for wheels and having fun that has driven him to achieve great success.

We’re so pleased to welcome Siemens PLM Solid Edge software to The Henry Ford as a sponsor of OnMaking and Maker Faire Detroit 2014. Ali, creator of the Crazy Cart, will be on hand to share his innovation story. Learn a little bit more about his journey over at Maker Faire Detroit.

Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

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