|We arrived in the small town of Belleville about 25 miles west of Detroit tired, hungry & just plain worn out! We traveled 192 miles again today, we do not like moving at the pace we are. However, you can't have it both ways, so I will try to stop whining & comment that we are so blessed to be enjoying our lives the way that we are! It is certainly our choice to head East for the fall season. And we wouldn't change a thing...
We located an RV park in Trailer Life that is actually the Fairgrounds/RV Park Combo. It is not bad, not our best site ever, but nice green lawn & not at all crowded over this holiday weekend. There is no one on either side of us, so we have lots of room to spread out also. And, it is only about 15 miles back to Dearborn which is where we plan to spend the next 2 days, at the Ford Museum.
Auto manufacturer Henry Ford was a man ahead of his time. Although he didn't invent the automobile, Ford believed that a car that everyday people could afford would be a huge success. He was right and the company he started still exists today.
But Ford was also ahead of his time in another way. He could have collected the finest and most expensive art in the world. But instead he collected commonplace things, like toasters, farm machinery, kerosene lamps, and steam engines. Ford felt that these everyday objects told a truth not written about in history books. Today, educators call these items "primary sources."
In order to display his collections (which he began collecting as far back as 1906), Ford founded the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (originally called the Edison Institute, in honor of his friend, Thomas Edison), the world's largest indoor-outdoor history museum. Ford wanted his museum to be a place where people could see how their ancestors lived and worked. The 13-acre museum and village celebrates the accomplishments of American innovators, such as Ford himself, Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, George Washington Carver, Noah Webster, and others.
The Edison Institute was dedicated by President Herbert Hoover to Ford's longtime friend Thomas Edison on October 21, 1929 - the 50th anniversary of the invention of the incandescent light bulb. Of the 260 people in attendance, some of the more famous were Marie Curie, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, Will Rogers, and Orville Wright. The dedication was carried on radio with listeners encouraged to turn off their electric lights until the switch was flipped at the Museum.
The museum collection contains many rare exhibits including Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, and the Rosa Parks bus. There's even a Dymaxion House conceived & designed in the late 1920's, this was supposed to be a solution for the need for a mass-produced, affordable, easily transportable & environmentally efficient house.
Motor homes are represented, too, by Charles Kuralt's last "On the Road" vehicle and a trailer Henry Ford once loaned to Charles Lindbergh. There's also a classic "silver bullet" Airstream trailer parked next to a row of Burma Shave signs ("Within this vale - Of toil and sin - Your head grows bald - But not your chin - Burma Shave"), and a vintage Volkswagen Westphalia camper. The oldest RV on display was a 1929 model made by the Covered Wagon Co. of Mt. Clemens, Michigan, the first company to make motor homes. By the end of the 1930s, 300 such companies were making them. And you thought Winnebago's were something new!
Not surprisingly, the Henry Ford Museum does a smashing job displaying cars. There's the only existing 1896 Duryea Motor Wagon, which was the first production car in America, and five presidential limos, including the one in which John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. There's a 1952 Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and lots of other one-of-a-kind models.
We kept wandering, marveling at agricultural implements, airplanes, locomotives, robots, and an unending supply of remarkable inventions. There's a bicycle built for ten, and a mannequin displays a pair of motorized roller skates patented in 1958. They had a 1 horsepower, air-cooled, single cylinder motor, and the inventor had dreamed of outfitting messengers in Manhattan with personal wheels. Really, you will not get bored at the Henry Ford Museum. The second you think you've seen it all, you'll pick up an old- fashioned telephone receiver and hear Thomas Edison telling you to "Keep at it!"
I have hardly scratched the surface here. I haven't even mentioned some of the Museum's most famous mementos. On display are Thomas Edison's last breath, which is preserved in a test tube and the theater seat in which Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was shot. There's even a hand written letter to Mr. Ford from Clyde Barrow himself (of Bonnie & Clyde fame).
If you have never been to the Henry Ford Museum, go. The museum is a destination to an incredible journey. You'll need 2 days time, the 1st for the museum & Imax, and the 2nd to see the other half of Henry Ford's legacy, Greenfield Village. We plan to do it tomorrow. Can't wait!
P.S. I took over 325 pictures today! Obviously I can't post them all & I will try to be as selective as possible. So, I am going to put the automobiles in as a seperate picture post so that you may have a break in viewing. Sorry, but there is no other way to share this wonderful museum with you. I hope you enjoy your tour!