Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer of History Part 2

Though we'd been following Sean around, he hadn't had the chance to just relax and play with us this summer. We planned to make his last trip a vacation for the family. We got away for five nights to (of all places) Detroit. His meeting was at the end of the week so we took the first few days to explore the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

All I can say is that we were blown away. We spent about 16 hours there and only experienced a fraction of what was offered.

Henry Ford was not only a great inventor, but also a lover of history. He saw the value of not only appreciating, but understanding those who had gone before for him in order to learn and grow personally. His dream was to make the great men and women of America accessible for others to learn as well. Therefore, he physically moved buildings, vehicles, artifacts and exhibits to Dearborn, Michigan and built a living history village, as well as a museum to house these incredible items. Everything to be seen had a unique impact of Ford or his wife. He went to any length to see it preserved.

Like I said, we only skimmed the surface during our visit there. This was due in part to the children's attention spans, but more due to sheer lack of time. Since we purchased a membership, we are headed back there for Fall Break.

The Ford Museum, as expected, was host to about every make of Ford vehicle. Also displayed were many models of airplanes with histories of famous flights, the limos that JFK and Reagan were shot in, the chair that Lincoln sat in when he was assassinated, makes/models of household appliances throughout history, a one-of-a kind home of the future from 1945 (for mass production after WWII, but never produced).

Working on the assembly line

Taking flight

We designed our own airplanes and made them fly (or not)

There was an endless amount of Kinex to build cars and them test them on different surfaces

In Greenfield Village we attended several mini plays where we met some true to life characters (Slave stories and songs, Huckleberry Fin, Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Teacher in Ford's one room schoolhouse). We watched a well done musical production featuring the songs of George Gershwin. We ate at and authentic meal from the mid 1800s. We rode on a steam engine, model T, carousel and horse drawn cart. We walked through a plantation house, 1700s English cottage, George Washington Carver's log cabin, the Wright Brothers' Bicycle Shop, Edison's labs.... Possibly the highlight for me was hearing the only working phonograph left made by Edison.

I think he looks a bit like Thomas Edison, don't you?

Bike Shop

Escaping with the slaves. "Come along Pinky. John's got a map."

Heirloom tomatoes and possibly the best blueberry muffin on the planet

More 1800s food. Some even liked the pickled eggs. "They only taste pink on the outside."

There are many more pictures, but that is for another day.


Tisha said...

Wow Monica. That is amazing. You guys had a wonderful summer and I am sure you all learned so much. What a great way to experience history. :)

mindi said...

That is awesome!
You guys have such a great family. I'm glad you enjoyed your mini-vacation.

Sniz said...

Oh Monica, we studied the Wright brothers in detail last year, as well as Ben Franklin. After reading your last entry about Abraham Lincoln and then this one about Henry Ford, I am more inspired than ever. I love history now. I never much thought of it when I was in school. But learning what I've learned, and knowing what I know about the men, leaders and inventors, especially around the turn of the century strikes me hard. What an exciting time to be alive. Could our world today produce the kind of men from then? I kinda doubt it.