Search Results for "titanic"

Ragtime: A Whirlwind of a Weekend

Ragtime dancers

From 1895 to 1917, ragtime music charmed the world with its syncopated rhythm and easy-to-learn dance steps. Astoundingly, the same music that entertained passengers on the Titanic has a lot of its roots in Detroit and the industry surrounding it gave enormous opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t have found it. While it’s one of the most significant forms of music, as it’s the one steppin’ father of jazz, it had a very short-lived run.

During July 12-13, The Henry Ford celebrates this influential style of music during our Ragtime Street Fair. This two-day event highlights the era by teaching guests how to one-step and two-step, dance moves that are sure to impress anyone at any event. Guests can also “take the cake” in an authentic cake walk where everyone can show off their new moves. Continue reading

Membership: More than a “super pass”

It’s Member Appreciation Days at The Henry Ford, Nov. 9-11, with all kinds of members-only specials, giveaways, discounts and other good stuff.

Not long ago, I heard someone refer to an annual membership at The Henry Ford as a “super pass.”

It’s a great description, since a membership means a year’s worth of access to Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village without paying general admission. That benefit is the one I love the most. It gives my family the flexibility to head to the campus for a few hours to attend a special event, activity or exhibit, or just to stroll around one or more of the venues for the sake of strolling.

LEGO Architecture exhibit at Henry Ford Museum

Checking out the Lego Architecture Exhibition on opening day.

This past Sunday was a perfect example, I took my son and his friend to see the LEGO Architecture: Towering Ambition exhibit in the afternoon, and we ended our visit by catching the “Rocky Mountain Express” IMAX film. (Which we all thoroughly enjoyed.)

Titanic Tuesday at the Henry Ford Museum

It was great to have free admission to Henry Ford Museum when it was open late for the Titanic Tuesday Lecture series.

I can’t begin to tabulate the number of great memories we’ve had at The Henry Ford. There’s a certain element of wonder to each visit. We always enjoy it and learn something new, while the stream of special events and activities keep us engaged and coming back for more.

Checking out the Lincoln Chair in Henry Ford Museum

Checking out the chair in which President Abraham Lincoln sat when assassinated.

The mere fact that we can so readily stand thisclose to some of the most significant and iconic artifacts in our country’s history just never seems to get old.

I did a completely unscientific poll of my own friends I found (as I suspected) that many are or have been members of The Henry Ford and have enjoyed the benefits I mentioned above. I got a lot of comments along the same lines of the “super pass” bonus.

“We love to go walk around the museum or village for a couple hours on Sunday afternoons.”

“We go to the special events like the Civil War encampment and try to catch as many historic baseball games as we can.”

“It takes the pressure off of an all-day visit with the little ones.”

“We’ve been members for 15-years and have enjoyed watching our children’s knowledge grow.”

“I like going to eat at Eagle Tavern, especially during the fall. Being a member makes it an option.”

“We love the ride pass. I’m not sure why, but riding in a Model T never gets old.”

But this comment struck me …

“We got married at Martha-Mary Chapel and have been members ever since –even if we can’t always make a trip during the year.”

About 90 percent of memberships are purchased by local folks like us, who take advantage of more than one annual visit. There are also members who reside in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Canada, and states as far away as Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. These are folks who obviously aren’t dropping by for an afternoon visit but are choosing to support this gem of an institution by purchasing a membership.

How I Got Over - Dramatic Performance at Greenfield Village 6

Visiting a few times during the summer months gives us a chance to catch most of the dramatic performances. “How I Got Over” was definitely my kids’ favorite this year

There is a menu of memberships to fit all kinds of different scenarios. Since we typically buy the family pass, I didn’t really know all the flexible options that are now available. Companion, Family, Flex Family … the list goes on. In addition to including admission for more guests, some of the higher-level memberships include invitations to behind-the-scenes tours with curators and experts at The Henry Ford.

With each membership, there is the option to add a Ride Pass to fit the scope of the membership. The Ride Pass was introduced in 2006, and this year, more than 12,000 members purchased it. The pass allows for unlimited rides on all the historic transportation in the village and on the Herschell-Spillman carousel.

Having fun at the Members Holiday Lighting Ceremony

The kids had some good laughs and good times at the 2011 Members Holiday Lighting Ceremony, not to mention, Santa was there! We’re looking forward to this year’s event.

Members also often have the opportunity to purchase tickets for special events before they go on sale to the general public, receive discounts at The Henry Ford gift shops as well as are offered reduced prices for the IMAX Theatre and Ford Rouge Factory Tour. There’s also a special member price for the summer Discovery Camp. I didn’t know this until just recently, but there are even special member offers for discounts for local hotels and dining in the community.

Betty Speyer – who is the marketing manager of consumer engagement at The Henry Ford – said that the people who receive the most up-to-date information and perks are members signed up for the monthly “eUpdates” +and those enrolled in the Member Text Club. You can join by texting the word “member” to 36698. The Member Text Club was completely new to me. When I signed up, I received a text for one free guest admission, good until December 30th. That will certainly come in handy when one of our children wants to bring a friend along during the holidays.

Betty also told me that in the future, these electronic methods will be the only methods members will be up-to-date on special freebies offered, so it’s well worth the time to sign up for these communication channels.

We consider our membership an annual gift to our family and a great gift to give – since it’s one that keeps on giving.

Teachers, it’s your choice at IMAX

It’s hard to believe we’re already into the second month of school here in Michigan. We’ve already seen excited students visiting us on some of their first field trips of the year and we’re sure we’ll see many more thanks to Teacher’s Choice @ IMAX.

Beginning last week through Dec. 13, 2012, teachers, educators, and youth group leaders may enjoy a customized IMAX experience right here at The Henry Ford. Choose from seven different films AND choose the days and times that are right for you – all at no additional cost on Michigan’s largest screen.

How does it work? The films will be shown on a first-call, first-serve basis. We’re offering some great new films along with some educator classics. Science teachers might enjoy the new Space Junk 3D (take a look at the trailer below) or you can keep the Titanic discussion going with a showing of TITANICA. Tickets are just $8 per person and a 30 person-minimum is required to open a new timeslot.

You may choose either a 10:00 a.m. or an 11:10 a.m. start, Monday through Friday. And don’t worry if your choice is already booked – you can join any showing so long as there is room to accommodate your group.

To see the complete list of films, learn more about the program and book your movie, read the fine print here.

We’re excited to offer this special field trip offering to educators – hopefully you’ll find a movie that’s perfect for your class and join us for Teacher’s Choice.

Old cars and all smiles

This past weekend was the 62nd annual Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village. After spending the day moseying around the hundreds of vintage cars made beginning in the 1890s through 1932 – I decided it might be better named the “All-Smiles Festival.”

62nd Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village

It hit me sometime mid-afternoon that I couldn’t actually recall seeing a face sporting any expression other than joyful. If a day can be perfect, I’m pretty sure Saturday (and Sunday) fit the bill.

62nd Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village

The weather was spectacular – cooperating with a breeze and temps that hinted of fall. Vehicles were parked on the greens throughout all of the historic districts at Greenfield Village.

62nd Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village

The Old Car Festival – similar to many events at The Henry Ford – gives visitors the the opportunity to see history come alive as many of those vehicles took to the streets.

62nd Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village

I visited with many exhibitors and guests and everyone was having a great time. I sat to take a rest near Eagle Tavern and met two women who had come from St. Paul, Minn., to The Henry Ford to take the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. They saw the documentary Titanica at the IMAX Theatre and then decided to venture into the village – not knowing anything about the festival. They were having a great time. One said she was going to have to tell her father, who owns a few vintage vehicles. She said as a child she spent many weekends at car shows but always had her nose in a book to stave off boredom. She remarked that the village was a perfect place for a show – since there was so much for everyone to do.

Children in period clothing at Old Car Festival

I had never really thought of that. I’m sure children who come with exhibitors do carry with them some fond memories of hanging out and driving around at Greenfield Village during the weekend.

Antique vehicles from The Henry Ford collections

Vehicles from The Henry Ford’s Collections and The Automotive Hall of Fame were displayed and driven. Left to right: A replica of the 1896 Quadricycle (THF object i.d. 63.159.1) built by Henry Ford; a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent-Motor Wagon (part of the collections as the Automotive Hall of Fame), and an original 1922 Detroit Electric Vehicle (THF object i.d. 34.371.1).

62nd Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village

Visitors enjoyed the pass-in-review parades where historians Marty Bufalini, Bob Casey, David Liepelt, Glenn Miller and Ross Hill shared insight into vehicle histories as they rolled through. Vehicles at the show were judged and awarded honors in different categories.

The grandstand was also the place to be when the music started, and the 1920s-style dancers encouraged others to join.

Directing traffic at Old Car Festival

Police officers had their work cut out for them at intersections as they directed busy traffic – vehicle and pedestrian.

There were car games, bike games, drivers training for tots and more auto-related fun things to for the whole family.

Fire truck at Old Car Festival

In addition to cars and more cars, the historic buildings were open for touring; Laura Ingalls Wilder stopped by to share some anecdotes from her life in a dramatic presentation near the Scotch Settlement Schoolhouse; the Simply Gershwin musical review pleased audiences in the Town Hall; the Greenfield Singers serenaded passersby, and there was a book reading and signing in Martha-Mary Chapel.

DE Johnson reads from his novel Detroit Breakdown at Greenfield Village

Author D. E. Johnson read from his newly released novel, Detroit Breakdown. It’s his third mystery featuring historic Detroit as a backdrop. It’s also the third Old Car Festival that has included a signing of history-buff Johnson’s books. He shared some of his research about the infamous Eloise Insane Asylum. I honestly was riveted by his reading from the novel and the history of the asylum. I left the chapel inspired to start with his two previous titles featuring his character Will Anderson, working my way to the latest.

Exhibitor with Photos

Similar to when I attend events like Motor Muster, the Civil War Remembrance Weekend, Maker Faire Detroit and others, I can’t help but feel people’s enthusiasm for what they exhibit. It is infectious.

Checking under the hood at the Old Car Festival

“You want to see under the hood?” was a question I heard repeatedly. (Since I know nothing of engines, the best I could say was: “Oh, it’s so clean!”) There was a sense of camaraderie and a spirit of sharing in the air.

So many people so graciously shared their time and their vehicles. Inside and out.

Looking inside and out at Old Car Festival

As well as generously shared their stories. Inside and out. So many vehicles have interesting histories, often very personal to the owners – whether they restored it, inherited it, searched for it, came across it in their travels or somehow stumbled upon it.

Standard Oil Bucket Truck

One story I loved came from a man who put together a 1931 Ford Standard Oil Company truck just like one his dad drove in 1932. It took him more than 30 years to find all the pieces; he finally finished it in 2007.

62nd Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village

I was fortunate to stay for the evening events.

Gaslight Drive at Old Car Festival

The gaslight parade was great fun and a unique site. I always find it a treat to be at Greenfield Village in the night.

Sitting on the corner at Old Car Festival

Children sat along the streets encouraging participants to honk their horns, and “ahoogas” sang throughout the village.

Fireworks at Old Car Festival

A fireworks finale was a fitting end to a great day.

If you’d like to see more photos from the event, check out The Henry Ford’s Facebook album, and see what others have posted to The Henry Ford’s timeline.

Titanic on the silver screen

Photo by Flickr member Stefan.

Whether you’re a fan or not of the 1997 blockbuster “Titanic,” it’s safe to say you’re probably familiar with one of the movie’s most iconic scenes – Jack and Rose “flying” on the front of the ship. During our photo opportunities here at the Titanic exhibit, that’s been one of the most recreated scenes – and funniest outcomes.

Titanic TV Guide

Photo by Jim Ellwanger.

Movies have been made about the sinking of Titanic for decades. The first movie about Titanic was released just 29 days after the tragedy. “Saved from the Titanic” starred survivor Dorothy Gibson and told the story of her rescue from the ship.

If you’re curious to learn more about the history of the Titanic in film, join us tonight at Henry Ford Museum for the last of our Tuesday evening lecture series. Tonight’s expert is our own Ron Bartsch, senior projection manager for The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. Ron is an avid Titanic historian and memorabilia collector. He’s also been a member of the Titanic Historical Society since 1984.

In tonight’s lecture, Ron will talk about how the Titanic sinking has been portrayed on screen for the last 100 years.

As part of tonight’s Titanic Tuesday programming, the museum will be open until 9 p.m.

Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

A magnificent Titanic talk and late hours at museum

Tonight Henry Ford Museum is open late and there are evening ticketed entries available for Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.

Titanic The Ship MagnificentDon’t miss the opportunity to hear an intriguing talk by Bruce Beveridge, honorary lifetime member of the British Titanic Society, the Titanic Historical Society and the Irish Titanic Historical Society.

He is a founding member and trustee of the Titanic Research and Modeling Association, and was the technical adviser on the plans, prints and models released by Hahn Titanic Plans. His books include, Titanic – The Ship Magnificent Volumes I and II and Olympic & Titanic.

Beveridge’s presentation begins at 7 p.m. near the museum plaza. Admission to the museum is required for the evening hours and lecture. Members are free.

Wedding Wednesday: A grand proposal on a Grand Staircase

When Michael Winagar of Novi, Mich., was ready to propose to his girlfriend of five years, Amanda Klukowski, he knew he wanted a special location to ask the big question – somewhere they both enjoyed and would serve as a memorable backdrop.


“I had heard about the Titanic exhibit here, and I thought it would perfect,” he said. “We both love the movie [ Titanic] and had heard great things about the exhibit, so I thought, ‘Oh, this would be a great place to propose.’”


So Michael stopped by Henry Ford Museum one morning and let a few of our team members in on his secret – he would be bringing Amanda through Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition a few days later, and when they got to the Grand Staircase, he wanted to pause just long enough to present her with a ring.

Grand Staircase - Credit - Titanic The Artifact Exhibition

Before long, our Guest Services staff was buzzing with excitement as word spread that they would be witness to a marriage proposal. At just after 3 p.m. on the big day, Michael stood in line for the Grand Staircase photo opportunity inside the exhibition with Amanda – who was completely unaware! – and waited for their turn to climb the steps.


As our exhibition staff photographers positioned the couple for their photo, Michael knelt down to tie his shoe…and slowly raised an open ring box before Amanda.

Titanic proposal

Our Guest Services and exhibition security team members (who had quietly gathered at the doorway to watch the big moment) stood with bated breath as Amanda stared at the ring in shock – and then broke into a big smile as she said, “Yes!” and kissed her groom-to-be!

Titanic proposal - kiss

Michael was thrilled – he had completely surprised her!

Titanic proposal

Everyone broke into applause for the happy couple…but Michael had just one more request: “Do you mind if we take a normal picture, too?”

Titanic proposal - couple

Still laughing and looking completely surprised, Amanda asked Michael, “So, did you purposely untie your shoe?”


“Oh yeah, right over by the coins [artifact case],” he laughed. “I’ve been setting up this shoe tie idea all week!”


Congratulations to Michael and Amanda…thank you for allowing us to be part of such a special memory for you, and we wish you many years of happiness together as husband and wife!

Late hours and a lecture – join us for Titanic Tuesdays

Tuesday, May 8, is the next installment of our monthly series – Titanic Tuesdays.

The series – offered the second Tuesday of each month through September - features a 7 p.m. presentation and gives visitors an after-hours opportunity to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition as well as the other exhibits in Henry Ford Museum. When planning your visit, keep in mind that entry to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is timed, and we highly recommended that you purchase tickets in advance. The final entry to the exhibition is 9 p.m. on Titanic Tuesdays. (The rest of the museum closes at 9 p.m.)

This month’s presenter is award-winning filmmaker Stephen Low who will share his experience making the IMAX film TitanicaThe film is currently being shown at The Henry Ford’s IMAX Theatre.

A look at the Titanic from the IMAX film - Titanica

A look at the bow of the Titanic from the IMAX film Titanica.

The film was shot during the expedition of the Russian research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh to the North Atlantic. The team made 17 dives in two state-of-the-art submarines. A self-proclaimed “ocean freak,” Low is known as a hands-on director. As a diver and adventurer, he understands the demands of the IMAX format like few other directors. Bringing the ill-fated Titanic to the big screen had been Low’s dream since its discovery in 1985.

Edward Tenner speaking at Titanic Tuesday at Henry Ford Museum

April’s presenter was Edward Tenner who is a historian of technology and culture and a visiting scholar at Rutgers University, the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center and Princeton University.

Upcoming presenters for Titanic Tuesday include underwater photographer Tony Gramer, archeologist Ken Vrana, author Bruce Beveridge, and Titanic Historical Society member Ron Bartsch of The Henry Ford.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition runs through Sept. 30, 2012. Vistors can purchase tickets online or through the call center at 313-982-6001.


Titanic Ticket Tuesday Rules


One family pack of four (4) tickets. Tickets will be held under the winner’s name at The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre will-call desk and must be claimed and redeemed by Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. Tickets are valid for one-time use only and include admission to both Henry Ford Museum and Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. Tickets are valid for ONLY 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. time slots and are subject to daily availability of these time slots.

Tickets are awarded each Tuesday through Sept. 18, 2012.

To Enter and Eligibility:

To be eligible for this contest, you must “like” The Henry Ford – America’s Greatest History Attraction’s Facebook page. You will receive one bonus entry for each of the following:

1) Like, The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre’s Facebook page

2) Like, OnInnovation’s Facebook page

3) Each friend who enters the sweepstakes from your shared post

Submissions must be entered no later than 11:59  p.m., Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. Users must be 13 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States for the duration of the contest. Minors between the ages of 13 and 17 must first obtain the consent of their parent or legal guardian in order to enter. If the prize is won by a minor, it will be awarded to a parent or legal guardian on the minors’ behalf.

You need only enter this contest one time and remain a fan of The Henry Ford – America’s Greatest History Attraction’s Facebook page throughout the duration of the content to be eligible for the every weekly drawing. Full-time employees of The Henry Ford and members of their immediate families are not eligible for this contest. The Henry Ford may reject any submitted entries that it determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, fail to meet any of these eligibility requirements. To be eligible, you must agree to abide by these terms and conditions and be bound by all of The Henry Ford’s decisions relating to this contest, which are final and binding in all respects, including, but not limited to, The Henry Ford’s determination of the winner.

All information submitted through the submission process must be complete, accurate and truthful. The winner hereby releases and grants The Henry Ford the right to his/her name in connection with any The Henry Ford promotion of the contest results or related publicity, including but not limited to a press release. In addition, The Henry Ford shall have the irrevocable right to use each User Submission for any purposes (e.g. posting on THF’s website, blog and social profiles). Our privacy policy can be found here.

Announcement and Winner Selection: 

Winners will be randomly selected. Names of the winners will be posted on The Henry Ford’s Facebook page and Twitter stream. Emails will be sent to the email address submitted with the entry.

Limitations of Liability:

The Henry Ford is not responsible for technical, hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions, whether caused by The Henry Ford, or the winner or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in association with this contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of submissions that may limit an entrants ability to participate in this contest. BY ACCEPTING DELIVERY OF THE PRIZE, THE WINNER AGREES THAT THE PRIZE IS AWARDED ON THE CONDITION THAT THE HENRY FORD, ITS SUPPLIERS, AND ITS AND THEIR AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES AND EMPLOYEES, WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER FOR ANY INJURIES, LOSSES, OR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND RESULTING FROM ACCEPTANCE, POSSESSION OR USE OF THE PRIZE. The winner further acknowledges that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guarantee (express or implied, in fact or in law) in connection with the prize or the use or enjoyment of the prize. THE PRIZE IS AWARDED “AS IS” AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OF ANY SORT, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED.



A grand remembrance – the Titanic anniversary event

Saturday’s Titanic 100th Anniversary Event at Henry Ford Museum was a fitting honor to the innovation and tragedy that is so profoundly the story of the Titanic.

Photos with the captain

Guests had many opportunities for photographs with the captain.

At 7 p.m., a string quartet played classical music as guests were greeted by the captain with a champagne toast and an elegant first-class inspired selection of hors d’oeuvres. Photo opportunities were abundant.

Titanic Anniversary Event - Henry Ford Museum

Many guests arrived at the event in attire inspired by the era.

Many of the 425 people attending were costumed in attire of the era. Some donned authentic vintage apparel and accessories or replicas of clothing of the time. Many wore elegant gowns and suiting inspired by Elizabethan styling, while others dressed in contemporary cocktail and evening wear. It was a handsome crowd.

Titanic Anniversary Event - Henry Ford Museum

Passengers examine their boarding passes and receive instructions from a presenter before entering the exhibition area.

During the event, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition was open to guests, who visited with each other as they prepared to receive their boarding passes.

Titanic Anniversary Event - Henry Ford Museum

Guests dine on a meal inspired by the White Star Line’s second-class menu.

Guests were called for a late-night dinner inspired by menu items similar to what would have been served to second-class passengers aboard the Titanic.

Titanic Anniversary Event - Henry Ford Museum

There was dancing to live music under the DC -3 in the center of Henry Ford Museum.

Dessert and dancing with live music followed.

Titanic Anniversary Event -- Henry Ford Museum

Gentlemen stroll down the first-class corridor in Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.

Saturday night’s event graciously celebrated the innovation of the ship, while it thoughtfully memorialized those many lives lost to tragedy on that fateful voyage.

Titanic Anniversary Event - Presenters on the Grand Staircase at Henry Ford Museum

Authentically costumed presenters from The Henry Ford visited with guests. Here they pose on the replica of the ship’s grand staircase

Guests were Titanic history enthusiasts, Titanic movie lovers, those touched personally by the story, and those interested in experiencing the ship’s history in a unique way.

Titanic Anniversary Event - Henry Ford Museum

A visitor takes a tour of the exhibition during the anniversary event.

One guest, Janet Rheume, shared that both her paternal and maternal families (unrelated at the time) were affected by the tragedy. Her father’s mother had passage booked along with her family to travel on the Titanic. A late change in plans and a need to accommodate more family members resulted in the need to cancel and make the journey to the United States on another ship – avoiding the tragedy. Her maternal grandmother was related to the ship’s captain – Edward Smith.

Titanic Anniversary Event - Henry Ford Museum

Guest Lynn Anderson arrived dressed in an expertly tailored replica of the boarding ensemble worn by the character Rose from James Cameron’s box office hit Titanic. The movie in 3D is now showing at The Henry Ford IMAX.

People eagerly shared stories of collecting replica artifacts, their quest for costumes and dressing for the event, their love of James Cameron’s movie, their interest in the deep-sea expeditions to the site of the wreckage, and – mostly – how they are touched by the stories of the many people whose lives were forever changed. The evening ended with a moving tribute.

The story of the Titanic continues to fascinate because of its grand style, innovative design and complex construction. Before its voyage, the Titanic was celebrated for its potential and all that it could be. After its tragic demise and the unthinkable happened to the “unsinkable,” that modern marvel’s place in history took a fortuitous turn. A multitude of lessons were (and continue to be) learned from what the Titanic became. Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” The Titanic disaster has proved that – from it came profound reforms in safety for the shipping industry.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is at Henry Ford Museum through Sept. 30, 2012. James Cameron’s Titanic: An IMAX 3D Experience is now showing as is the fascinating documentary Titanica  – an IMAX adventure that takes the audiences to the ocean floor to the Titanic wreckage prior to artifact recovery.

For more photos from the event, be sure to visit The Henry Ford’s Facebook album.