The Henry Ford

20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn
MI 48124-5029

The Henry Ford

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The Henry Ford provides unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories, and lives from America's traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation. Our purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future.

The Henry Ford Museum:

It began as a simple yet bold idea to document the genius of ordinary people by recognizing and preserving the objects they used in the course of their everyday lives. It grew into the ultimate place to explore what Americans past and present have imagined and invented — a remarkable destination that brings American ideas and innovations to life. The sheer scope and design of Henry Ford Museum is as grand as the vision that inspired it. It’s impossible not to feel a sense of awe as your mind adjusts to a different sense of scale — more vast, more expansive and more diverse— by far— than anything you'll encounter in everyday life. The sweeping, single-floor space with its soaring 40-foot ceilings covers nine acres dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind ever assembled.

Greenfield Village:

Entering Greenfield Village is like stepping into an 80-acre time machine. It takes you back to the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s past. There are 83 authentic, historic structures, from Noah Webster’s home, where he wrote the first American dictionary, to Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, to the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. The buildings and the things to see are only the beginning. There’s the fun stuff, too. In Greenfield Village, you can ride in a genuine Model T or “pull” glass with world-class artisans; you can watch 1867 baseball or ride a train with a 19th-century steam engine. It’s a place where you can choose your lunch from an 1850s menu or spend a quiet moment pondering the home and workshop where the Wright brothers invented the airplane. Greenfield Village is a celebration of people — people whose unbridled optimism came to define modern-day America.

The Benson Ford Research Center:

Henry Ford’s book collecting began in 1913 with McGuffey Readers that he remembered from his childhood. Later in the 1920s he focused on other early textbooks, trade catalogs and books associated with the buildings he acquired for Greenfield Village. In addition, the museum staff maintained files that documented many of the museum’s industrial and household acquisitions. These and other holdings became the museum’s library.

In 1964, the Ford Motor Company donated most of its corporate archives to The Henry Ford. The Library outgrew its quarters in the museum and moved to Lovett Hall in 1974. In the late 1970s, the two departments—archives and library—merged to become the Archives & Library, and the Archives relocated to renovated facilities in Lovett Hall near the Library in 1980.

After more than ten years of planning, in 2002, the renamed Benson Ford Research Center moved to a new 66,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility located on the Josephine F. Ford Plaza at the entrance to Greenfield Village. The Benson Ford Research Center is dedicated to the memory of Benson Ford, father of Benson Ford, Jr., and Lynn Ford Alandt, major donors to the building’s construction.

The Benson Ford Research Center holdings include the historical records and photographs of Ford Motor Company and The Henry Ford, the Henry Austin Clark, Jr., Automotive History Collection, and other major holdings in automotive, industrial, social and cultural American history. Its collections form an unparalleled resource documenting the American experience.

The Benson Ford Research Center is free and open to the public. For information on gallery exhibits, travel-to-collection grants, and other programs, explore the research center web pages.

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