Dan Gurney: 2014 Edison-Ford Medal Recipient

052120141029_KMSPhotography

Dan Gurney possesses a wide-ranging curiosity and hands-on attitude that has resulted in a number of innovations including the downforce-increasing “Gurney flap.” The only American to win a Formula One race in a car he built himself, Gurney also brought British race car builder Colin Chapman and Ford Motor Company together. The collaboration produced a Ford-powered Indy 500 winner in 1965. Chapman’s Lotus chassis was the first rear engine car to the win the 500, and rear engine cars have won every race since. Although Gurney’s California shop, All American Racers, no long produces Eagle race cars, they completed the prototype for the new Delta Wing race car in March 2012. In addition, Gurney continues to apply his talents and skills to the design and production of Alligator Motorcycles.

037320141029_KMSPhotography

2014 Edison-Ford Medal Recipient
On October 29, 2014 Dan Gurney received the Edison-Ford Medal for Innovation in a ceremony at The Henry Ford, with Charlie Rose as Master of Ceremonies.

028620141029_KMSPhotography

The prize honors individuals who fully leverage the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that resides in every one of us. Gurney’s many accomplishments, first as a driver and later as a designer, builder and team owner, exemplify the character of American ingenuity.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Ask Our Archivists October 30

Inside the BFRC courtesy of Michigan Andonian Photography

 

October 30 is Ask An Archivist Day and The Henry Ford is joining the discussion. From 1-3 pm we’ll have a team ready to answer questions and talk about some of their recent projects.

Feel free to ask us a question with the #AskAnArchvist; we’re looking forward to answering it.

Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

 

October and Apple Cider

cider-mill-print

 

When it comes to thinking about autumn, thoughts about visits to cider mills definitely come to mind. Learn more about this 1854 wood engraving, titled “October,” from our collections as October comes to a close.

Apple cider has long been synonymous with autumn. This 1854 print shows a bountiful apple harvest and cider making. In the background, the horse-powered crusher grinds apples into a pomace. In the foreground, men press the cider from the pomace. While we are more familiar with sweet cider, most cider at that time was hard cider– fermented to prevent spoilage.

Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

Just Added to Our Digital Collections: Clocks

clocks_31.1220.4

The collections of The Henry Ford contain hundreds of clocks. Many of these are on display, either in the Clockwork exhibit in the Henry Ford Museum or as part of the recreation of daily life in the buildings of Greenfield Village, but many more are not. We’ve just added a number of clocks, dating from the late 17th through mid-20th centuries, to our digital collections, bringing the total number online to about 120. More than half of these are not currently on display, including this early 19th century novelty clock, which keeps time by rolling a steel ball down a zigzag track. Visit our online collections to view our growing digital collection of clocks and related artifacts.

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

The Dymaxion House: A New Way of Living

dymaxion-site

How would you like to live in a round house built of aluminum, steel, and plastic, suspended on a mast like a giant umbrella, with built-in closets and shelves and a bathroom the size of an airplane toilet?

R. Buckminster Fuller thought this house, which he called the Dymaxion House, was just what the American public wanted. Fuller, an engineer, philosopher and innovative designer, conceived the house in 1927 and partnered with the Beech Aircraft Corporation in Wichita, Kansas, to produce prototypes in 1945. Although Fuller designed his house so that it could be mass-produced, only one was ever built and lived in. Continue reading

Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House

The Dymaxion House inside Henry Ford Museum.

The Dymaxion House inside Henry Ford Museum.

To some people it’s a giant Hershey’s Kiss, while others sense a kinship with the Airstream travel trailer—both, it should be noted, recognized as icons. Even the more general touchstones—retro-futuristic spacecraft themes seem to hold sway here—tie into something powerfully elemental. Either way, the Dymaxion house has over the last decade assumed an iconic presence in Henry Ford Museum, a presence that delights and provokes a wide range of visitors. Continue reading

A Visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame

The magnificent Great Hall, which welcomes visitors to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The magnificent Great Hall, which welcomes visitors to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Maybe it creates a sense of legitimacy, maybe it’s a shrine to honor past heroes, or maybe it just provides a place for fans to congregate in the off-season. For whatever reason, every sport seeks to create its own Hall of Fame. Baseball devotees have Cooperstown, football followers have Canton, and, for NASCAR fans, there is Charlotte.

As Halls go, NASCAR’s is young. The building opened (and inducted its first honorees) in 2010 after a four-year site-selection and design process. While Daytona Beach and Atlanta were both considered, North Carolina – with its deep stock car racing roots and status as home to much of the present industry – was the clear favorite. I recently had a chance to visit the establishment. Continue reading

Singing Vampires Meet Spell-Casting Fairy Sisters in Greenfield Village

0143_058120141012_KMSPhotography

Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village is a time-honored tradition at The Henry Ford. But, this doesn’t mean we’re afraid of shaking things up a bit! Much in the spirit of the spooky holiday, our Productions team likes to trick guests and keep each year a surprise in and of itself. This year has been no different, and with just one weekend left to enjoy the sights and sounds of Halloween, guests have been, and will be this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in for a treat.

According to Senior Manager of Exhibitions & Program Production, Greg Harris, Hallowe’en is a staff favorite, so he’s constantly taking a look back and asking how they can upgrade and improve with each year.

This year that surprise has come in the form of a brand new route and some never-before-seen experiences. Continue reading

Clothing Our Hallowe’en Characters

0048_012520141012_KMSPhotography

Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village has been delighting both visitors and members for more than 30 years. With each new Halloween season, the teams here at The Henry Ford like to blend crowd favorites with new experiences across the event. This year those changes include a revised path through Greenfield Village and new vignettes to enjoy. And for those who love interacting with our characters during the program, we’ve been excited to present nearly a dozen new costumed characters which were created in house by the talented staff of The Studio.

Joining guests in Greenfield Village for the first time in 2014 are the Good Fairy and Bad Fairy, Lady Pumpkin, Boatman, Plague Doctor, Singing Vampire Trio, two new witches and the one-and-only Igor at Menlo Lab. Many existing costumes are tweaked and improved each year. This year, the beloved dancing skeletons and the festive Pumpkin Witch were freshened up to be better than ever. Continue reading

1 2 92