Saturday, November 18, 2017

Greenfield Village, 1954

Today we are returning to wonderful Greenfield Village (circa 1954) - Henry Ford's wonderful collection of historical buildings and artifacts, as well as a recreation of a town from days gone by - all located in Dearborn, Michigan. I've always wanted to go there, but... well, you know how it goes. 

If you so desire, check out two previous posts about the Village HERE and HERE.

Henry Ford was an admirer and friend of Thomas Edison, and several buildings that were important parts of Edison's history made their way to Greenfield Village. This particular structure is Edison's 1878 Menlo Park machine shop - or rather, a faithful 1929 recreation of it, since the original had been torn down. 

I am pretty sure this is where Edison invented Shake-A-Pudding.

Next we have the sturdy little Smith's Creek depot, built around 1858/59. While I am very glad that it has been preserved here, it is not the most beautiful railroad depot ever. So why is it here? The (probably apocryphal) story goes that a young Tom Edison, working as a "news butcher" on the Grand Trunk Railroad (who else do we know who worked as a news butcher?) was tossed off of a train at this very station after setting a baggage compartment on fire. He was fooling around with phosphorous, as one does. 

Because Henry Ford was such a fan of Edison's, he negotiated for its purchase, and transported it brick by brick.

If Henry Ford was going to have a museum, it was going to have some cars. And this one is a 1939 Lincoln "Sunshine Special". This convertible was a favorite of Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II, and he apparently brought it with him to places such as Yalta, Teheran, and Casablanca. 

It originally had a siren, running lights, a 2-way radio, and extra wide running boards for Secret Service agents to stand on. Armor plating was added at some point, along with bullet-proof tires, and storage compartments for machine guns and the like. Just like my Honda!  

The car was retired in 1950.

Check out this huge 1891 Edison electric generator and steam engine! It is 12 feet long, 20 feet high, and generated 625 horsepower.

I can only assume that this is the same generator, since moved indoors (I'm glad to see), to protect it from the elements. It received a nice coat of paint and would make a wonderful conversation piece for any home. Order yours today!

I hope you have enjoyed this visit to Greenfield Village.


Nanook said...


It does look like a swell place to visit. Maybe some day.

As winter is approaching, I was debating whether to purchase studded snow tires or bullet-proof tires. Bullet-proof it is-! That big generator must be DC. (No nasty "westinghousing" for The Wizard of Menlo Park, no-siree-!)

And I'm certain that recreation of Edison's machine shop was where he famously developed edible windshield wipers-! Shake-A-Pudding-? Not hardly-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I like the brick buildings a lot. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Attend the tale of Sweeney Tom.
His skin was pale and his eye uncalm.
He tended baggage on railway cars,
Which shortly thereafter were blown up to Mars.
He went a place where few have gone,
Did Sweeney Tom,
The Newsie Butcher of Smith's Creek.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Undoubtedly, somewhere Stephen Sondheim is grinning. Touché.

TokyoMagic! said...

Hmmm, I wonder how you go about making tires bullet proof? Solid rubber? Maybe they are made of bullet proof glass? I hope those windows were also bullet proof. Something tells me that today, I would enjoy a visit to Greenfield Village more than I would a visit to Disneyland.

Melissa said...

Smiling or no, I'll probably get a stern warning from Sondheim's ghost's lawyer.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I know, I wonder when I’ll ever find myself in that part of the country nowadays, since my relatives in Wisconsin and Illinois are no longer around. And even then I wasn’t exactly close. But ya never know! Come on, everyone knows Edison invented Shake-A-Pudding after many sleepless nights. It’s a classic story. Harvey Firestone invented the edible windshield wipers (not to be confused with Harvey Fierstein!).

K. Martinez, noted - Ken likes telephone poles and brick buildings! He is a man of simple tastes. ;-)

Melissa, that was pretty awesome!

Nanook, did Sondheim die? I thought he was still around. I’m sure I saw him at the 7-11 just a few days ago. He was buying Hostess Snowballs.

TokyoMagic!, I was wondering the very same thing. I’ll bet they can’t deflate, although I don’t know what they would be filled with. Feathers? Yeah, probably feathers. Or old rags. And I agree with you, if I was given a choice between the two, I would probably choose The Henry Ford/Greenfield Village.

Melissa, Sondheim must have ex-Disney lawyers, if they are that persnickety.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Major. Never heard of this place before.

I don't think bulletproof tires are made of bulletproof glass since you can't see through the tires.