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Spring 2016 12


At one time the Henry Ford Mu-

seum was the focal point of what used

to be called “Greenfield Village” in

Dearborn. Michigan. Henry Ford had

a sense of history and the industrialist

realized the importance of maintain-

ing and preserving items of historical

interest, especially as they related to

the Industrial Revolution. He began

collecting personal historical objects in

1906. Today the twelve-acre site con-

tains huge collections of automobiles,

locomotives (including an Allegheny-

class 2-6-6-6 locomotive, the most pow-

erful steam locomotive ever built),

airplanes, antique machinery and pop

culture items. He had Thomas Edi-

son’s laboratory in New Jersey dis-

mantled and rebuilt on the museum’s

property. Ford also had the Wright

Brothers’ bicycle shop, where they

built their first airplane, moved on to

his grounds. Also included in the dis-

plays is Lincoln’s chair from Ford’s

Theater and JFK’s presidential lim-

ousine. The Henry Ford Museum/

Greenfield Village was opened in 1933.

The Benson Ford Research Center

uses the resources of the Henry Ford,

especially photographic, manuscript

and archival material which is rarely

displayed to allow visitors to gain a

deeper understanding of the American

people, places, events and things.

Shelby American photographer Dave

Friedman’s complete photographic col-

lection is now part of the Benson Ford


More recently the facility was re-

organized and the whole complex is

now called “The Henry Ford.” A couple

of years ago they started a tradition of

raising the hoods of about 40 of the

most iconic cars on display at the mu-

seum. The “hoods up” display only

lasts for the months of January and

February. SAAC Motor City Region

member Rodney Beckwith IV was

there and he photographed what is ar-

guably the most valuable car in their

collection, the LeMans-winning red

GT40 MK IV, #J-5. Most of it’s body

panels were removed, exposing the

car’s internals. The hoods went down

again at the end of February.