Henry Ford Museum

6/26/13 Wednesday at St Clair, MI (St Clair-TT)

When our morning duties were completed, we went to the St. Clair Post Office, but found no mail for us yet. Back at the campground we got together with Pauline and Allan (from England). We took off in Allan’s car for Detroit and the Henry Ford Museum by 10 am.

Tickets are $15/senior (62 and over), but Allan paid for all 4 because he wanted to give us the senior discount, thinking we didn’t qualify. That was so sweet of him. Plus they charge $5 for parking when you pay for your ticket to any of their attractions. This museum is huge – 12 acres in a single building. You’d have to be younger and a speed reader to feel you saw everything. I’ll try to stick to the major items:


IMG_0137In 1929 he started this museum to “honor the common genius of the American people”.





IMG_0141(1961-1977) Kennedy’s Presidential car, in which he was assassinated in November of 1963. The Secret Service took steps to have it rebuilt to protect future presidents.




IMG_0161 (1939) FDR’s Presidential car, “Sunshine Special”, the first expressly designed and built for a president.





IMG_01811896 Riker electric tricycle






2008 Brompton folding bicycleIMG_0184






1980 Commuta-car, an electric runabout

1980 Commuta-car, an electric runabout



Volkswagon Westfalia

Volkswagon Westfalia








1958 Edsel Citation

1958 Edsel Citation







1965 Goldenrod

1965 Goldenrod

IMG_0196 Goldenrod land speed racing. In November 1965 it went 409.277 mpg. This record wasn’t broken for 25 years.  The lower photo is a close up showing where the driver was (dark horizontal line).





IMG_0208 1928 Blue Bird school bus-built on a Model T chassis, the body had a steel frame.





1909 Ford Model T touring car–Red!IMG_0221

I was hungry at this point, so we had lunch at the Michigan Cafe. Good food for pretty reasonable prices. We paid for everyone, but that still didn’t cover what Allan paid for tickets.

RAILROADS section (no photos for you). The 1941 Allegheny Locomotive, one of the largest steam locomotives ever built pulled coal for the Chesapeak & Ohio Railway.


IMG_0234 2003 exact replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer (605 lbs)





IMG_0248 Replica of Lindbergh’s plane, a Ryan B-1 Brougham, modified to fly in the 1957 movie “The Spirit of St. Louis”. Later purchased by Jimmy Stewart who played Lindbergh in the movie.

At this point we lost Allan and Pauline! After much searching, we asked for help at the ticket taker’s desk. Sorry, she said, they don’t have a paging system. Good luck. For the prior search I stayed stationed at the HEROES OF THE SKY exit while John ran all through there and the next section. This time John stayed at the entrance to the museum while I dashed about. Finally, I spotted Pauline. Whew!


IMG_0259 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man in December 1955 on this very bus. The Montgomery City law was that the last 10 seats were for black people and the front ones were for white people. Usually about 75% of the riders were black, but this particular day many more whites boarded the bus than usual, so the placement shifted. After this incident the Montgomery African Americans did everything they could to not ride the buses.

IMG_0273 Allan and Pauline Paling Allan and Pauline sitting in Rosa’s seat.

This museum has many only one of items, such as The Chair that Lincoln was sitting on at the Ford Theater when he was assassinated. There is one turn of century (19th) car of which only 13 were built and they have the only one known to still exist.


Allan and John in kitchen

Dymaxion House

IMG_0288 Dymaxion House – One of 2 prototypes designed by Buckminster Fuller (of geodesic dome fame). They were very energy and space efficient, but too different for most people to buy into. He sold 41, but that wasn’t enough capital for his investors, so none were built after the prototypes. Mr. Graham (an investor) ended up buying both (for $500 each-total steel) and living in this one for 20 years. He gave it to the Ford Museum which then took 2 years to renovate.


Allan and John in the kitchen.





IMG_0295Wienermobile, promotional brilliance. Allan and Pauline saw one as they were driving their RV once, a long time ago.

At this point, it was closing in on 4:30 pm, so we took our long walk back to the parked car. We took I-94 for our way home, getting a bit slowed up, but not badly, in commuter traffic. Home after 5:30 pm. Pooped. Glad supper was our crock-pot recipe for sauerkraut. Still very hot and muggy. I really didn’t want to give those mosquitoes another meal by going for a walk, so we just stayed inside. I read and John meandered through his computer.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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