Thomas Edison: Inventor AND Chemist

Thomas Edison Perfecting His Wax Cylnder Phonograph, 1888 (Object ID: P.B.34600).

Thomas Edison Perfecting His Wax Cylnder Phonograph, 1888 (Object ID: P.B.34600).

All eyes have been on Menlo Park in Greenfield Village recently, both here at The Henry Ford and across the nation. Menlo Park kicks off the first episode of our new television series, “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation” on September 27 as Mo Rocca tours the building to learn more about Thomas Edison and the work he researched in that very space. This weekend members of the American Chemical Society (ACS) will be joining staff from The Henry Ford to bestow a special honor upon the building: National Historic Chemical Landmark. Continue reading

Recipes With An Updated Twist

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Beef Olives, sometimes referred to as a beef roulade (meat rolled around a filling), dates back to colonial times.  The original recipe for this delicious dish calls for a large amount of fat and is a significant source of saturated and Trans fats.  A few simple changes can reduce the amount of fat in this dish while retaining the traditional flavor of this dish.

Crisco shortening was created as a vegetable shortening alternative for lard. Originally made with hydrogenated oils, Crisco was high in Trans-fats that can promote heart disease.  Today’s Crisco is still great for baking and cooking, but contains significantly less Trans-fats (nearly trans-fat free).  For good health, limit your intake of all dietary fats. Continue reading

Just Added to Our Digital Collections: Lillian Boyer Photographs

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Lillian Boyer (1901–89) was a young waitress in 1921 when two customers took her for a ride in their airplane.  The same week, she took another ride and climbed out of the cockpit onto the wing, thus beginning a career as an aerial exhibitionist.  In her eight-year career, she was featured in 352 shows throughout the United States and Canada, performing stunts including wing walking, parachuting, and transferring herself from moving automobiles to flying planes.  We’ve just added a selection of photos of Boyer to our collections website, including this one-handed hang from around 1922.  View more death-defying photos of Lillian Boyer by visiting our collections website.

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

Recipe: Grilled Peaches With Pound Cake

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infoCenter_FallFlavordigitalflyer2014-page1Our Fall Flavor weekends are quickly approaching here in Greenfield Village. During a visit to one of our homes it’s not uncommon to see canned and preserved fruits and vegetables. If you enjoying preserving your favorite foods right when they’re in season, then this recipe from our partners at Meijer, sponsors of our daily cooking demonstrations in Greenfield Village, is for you. Pick everything you need to make this recipe and more from your local Meijer store. – Lish Dorset, Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

When it comes to decadent desserts, like a retro moist and delicious pound cake, portion size is the key to moderating calorie intake from fats and sugars. Top this recipe treat with a flavor burst from seasonal grilled peaches topped with a yogurt cream sauce. If the peach “off season” has arrived where you live, you can substitute thawed frozen peaches or canned peaches in place of the grilled version. Just toss with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg (no need to cook), place on top of your pound cake and finish off with fresh yogurt cream sauce. Continue reading

Ask The Henry Ford Curators

askacurator We’re excited to participate in another #AskACurator Day September 17! Joining the growing list of hundreds of museums across the globe, we’ll be fielding questions all day with the #AskACurator hashtag. We’ll be offering Twitter chats all day long as well with our own curators. Here’s what you can expect.

Ask a Curator Day 2014
Join The Henry Ford for the annual #AskACurator Day on Twitter Wednesday, Sept. 17. While we’ll be happy to answer questions throughout the day, a team of our own curators will be taking over our Twitter feed at assigned times to talk about some of their current work and favorite projects.

10-11 am: Ellice Engdahl, Digital Collections & Content Manager
How do objects like quilts and locomotives end up on our online collections website? Ellice will talk about how we digitize artifacts at The Henry Ford.

11 am – 12 pm: Charles Sable, Curator of Decorative Arts
Charles will showcase some of The Henry Ford’s collections of political lanterns, mourning jewelry, furniture, silver and pewter.

1-2 pm: Cynthia R. Miller, Curator of Photographs and Prints
Cynthia will share some of our most recently digitized photos from Jenny Chandler and The Henry Ford’s role in broadcast television over the years. She’ll also share some of favorite posters depicting women as part of the World War I and II work efforts.

2-3 pm: Kristen Gallerneaux, Curator of Communication & Information Technology
Kristen will be sharing news about artifacts recently digitized as part of our IMLS Communications Grant. She’ll also talk about Charles Francis Jenkins as well as our 1963 Moog.

3-4 pm: Jeanine Head Miller, Curator of Domestic Life
Jeanie will share information about the work The Henry Ford has been doing to learn more about the buildings found in Greenfield Village.

Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

Just Added to Our Digital Collections: Daggett Farmhouse Photos

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Though Molly Malcolm’s summer internship with the Historical Resources department at The Henry Ford has sadly ended, we are continuing with the project she initiated and digitizing materials related to some of our historic buildings.  This week, we’ve digitized over 80 photographs of Daggett Farmhouse on its earlier sites.  Daggett wasn’t moved to Greenfield Village until 1977—so this photo depicts a television and mid-century furnishings from the house’s stay in Union, Connecticut, from 1951 through 1977.  Visit our collections website to view all the recently added material related to Daggett Farmhouse, and keep an eye out for additional photos to be added soon.

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

Just Added to Our Digital Collections: Spindizzies

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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, on our collections website.  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.

Clara Ford’s Roadside Market: A Small Building with Big Aspirations

Clara Ford took her model of a roadside market to major garden and flower events across the country. Here she poses with it at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City (THF117982).

Clara Ford took her model of a roadside market to major garden and flower events across the country. Here she poses with it at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City (THF117982).

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. Continue reading

A Gothic Novelty

Steam engine with Gothic ornamentation by Novelty Works of New York, New York manufactured about 1855.  (Object ID: 30.489.1).

Steam engine with Gothic ornamentation by Novelty Works of New York, New York manufactured about 1855. (Object ID: 30.489.1).

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. Continue reading

Five Reasons Why We (and everyone else) Love the Ford Model A

Henry Ford and Edsel Ford Introducing the 1928 Ford Model A at the Ford Industrial Exposition in New York City (a href="http://collections.thehenryford.org/Collection.aspx?objectKey=276775">Object ID: P.O.4083).

Henry Ford and Edsel Ford Introducing the 1928 Ford Model A at the Ford Industrial Exposition in New York City (Object ID: P.O.4083).

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. Continue reading

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