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October 5, 2009

Today we visited the Henry Ford Greenfield Village and factory tour. The photo above shows Logan in front of the frame and engine of an F-150 truck currently produced at the Rouge Factory, and in the background are Model-T cars that were once built in the same plant.  After watching the introductory films, we toured the factory production line, which reminded me of a giant Lego project. All the workers had plastic bins full of parts, which they clipped on according to that truck’s order ticket.  Also, it seemed strange to me that they painted the cars first (before installing doors, seats, etc.) rather than last.

In the afternoon, we walked around the Greenfield Village, which is an incredible place.  We toured the home and bicycle shop of the Wright brothers, Edison’s workshops from Menlo Park, and the county courthouse where a young Abe Lincoln worked.  All of these buildings (and many more) were transported to Dearborn, Michigan, from their original locations!   We also rode in an actual Model-T, and spent a lot of time watching the glass blowers in the crafts neighborhood of the 90 acre village.

The whole enterprise is more theme park than museum ($5 to park, etc.), dedicated to Henry Ford and his continuing legacy.  I was surprised to learn about the Henry Ford Academy, which advocates Ford’s educational philosophy of “Learning by doing.”  Right on.

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