On Friday we traveled to Dearborn, MI to the Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum.
WOW, this is a very large museum complex - 200 Acres, 300 years of History, and 26 million artifacts. A tour of the Ford factory is also included.
Our first stop was the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. This facility currently produces the F-150 pickup truck. Other Ford automobiles previously manufactured here include; the Model A, the V-8 powered cars starting in 1932, the new body design starting in 1949, the Thunderbird, and the Mustang. We walked an elevated walkway above the moving assembly lines and saw every phase of the trucks final assembly. Of special note was the assembly plants roof. The roof is called a 'green roof' because it is covered with a real living garden. It is 10.4 acres, covered with a perennial ground cover called sedum. The roof is beneficial in multiple ways. It: lowers the temperature in the plant by up to 10 degrees; it absorbs over 4 million gallons of rain water; and it converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, improving air quality.
Next we toured the Henry Ford Museum. This museum consist of 10 separate exhibits exploring American Ideas and Innovations. Lynd's favorite, of course, was "Driving America". This exhibit included a huge collection of vehicles, showing how our culture has been influenced by the automobile over the past 100-plus years. One of the vehicles was Henry Ford's first - the 1896 Quadricycle. We saw pictures of Ford driving this around Dearborn long before he started the Ford Motor Company. Clara, enjoyed "Fully Furnished". This exhibit examined an amazing collection of American furniture dating from 1670 to the present.
Finally, we made it into Greenfield Village. This outdoor museum area consist of 7 different areas covering 80 acres. Again, these were displays of American traditions, ingenuity and resourcefulness. Edison's laboratory was there. Yes, Edison's actual, real laboratory. Henry Ford had it disassembled and moved to Dearborn. We learned that he and Edison were actually friends. The village also included Henry Ford's boy-hood home that he grew up in, 4 working farms, a steam-engine locomotive maintenance facility, the Wright brother's cycle shop, Motel-T Ford rides, and many, many more displays of American innovation.
There was no way we could see and do it all in one day. Not even close. We really enjoyed our visit but left hot and tired.
Tomorrow we do it again at Flint, MI.