The experts at The Henry Ford have carefully created these sets. Explore a specific topic or use these as a foundation for building your own collection.
Bicycle races captivated Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Professional and amateur cyclists competed in speed and endurance events staged on indoor and outdoor tracks, public roads, and off-road courses. Some bicycle racers, notably Barney Oldfield, later moved into motorsports. The items in this set provide a glimpse into bicycle racing’s early years.
In 1927, Edwin Shoemaker and Edward Knabusch -- cousins with a shared interest in building things -- founded a furniture-making business. Their ambition to create new products (and to improve upon existing ones) became a defining characteristic of the company. This group of artifacts represents La-Z-Boy's history of innovation motivated by consumers' ever-changing tastes and demands.
La-Z-Boy co-founder Edward Knabusch concentrated his attention on marketing, through both traditional media and his unique approaches. Though the message evolved, advertising remained a central focus throughout the company’s history. These artifacts represent a range of La-Z-Boy's marketing strategies, including showroom displays, advertisements, and special promotions.
During 2018, the artifacts in our Digital Collections were viewed well over a half a million times. The artifacts shown here--representing cars and buildings, photographs and documents, and more--are the most-viewed artifacts of the year. Are your favorites on the list?
In 2018, our curators looked at The Henry Ford’s rich collections from a Jewish lens and unveiled fascinating stories of innovation, design, entrepreneurship, and cultural traditions.
The archives at The Henry Ford contain documents and photographs, audio and video recordings, and all manner of two-dimensional items. During American Archives Month 2018, staff and volunteers from our library and archives selected favorite items from our archives and explained why.
In October 2018, The Henry Ford reached 75,000 artifacts digitized. While this represents just a small fraction of our total collection, the vast majority of the material that has been digitized is not currently on exhibit--which gives you access to materials that might otherwise be hard or impossible to view. In honor of this milestone, members of the digitization team each selected a favorite artifact they have been involved with digitizing.
Henry Ford bought the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad in 1920. He used its 378-mile mainline -- between Detroit and Ironton, Ohio -- as a giant conveyor belt, hauling coal from Ford-owned mines to the Rouge in Dearborn. Ford spent $15 million improving DT&I's track and equipment but grew tired of burdensome railroad regulations. He sold the line in 1929.