The Henry Ford, a National Historic Landmark, (also known as the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, and more formally as the Edison Institute), in the Metro Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan, USA, is a large indoor and outdoor history museum complex. Named for its founder, the noted automobile industrialist Henry Ford, and based on his desire to preserve items of historical significance and portray the Industrial Revolution, the property houses a vast array of famous homes, machinery, exhibits, and Americana. The collection contains many rare exhibits including John F. Kennedy's presidential limousine, Abraham Lincoln's chair from Ford's Theatre, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, and the Rosa Parks bus.
Henry Ford Museum:
Henry Ford Museum began as Henry Ford's personal collection of historic objects, which he began collecting as far back as 1906. Today, the 12 acre (49,000 m²) site is primarily a collection of antique machinery, pop culture items, automobiles, locomotives, aircraft, and other items:
- The museum features an IMAX Theater, which shows scientific, natural, or historical documentaries; as well as major feature films.
- A collection of several fine 17th and 18th century violins including a Stradivarius.
The Henry Ford is the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in America. Patrons enter at the gate, passing by the Josephine Ford Memorial Fountain and Benson Ford Research Center. Nearly one hundred historical buildings were moved to the property from their original locations and arranged in a "village" setting. The museum's intent is to show how Americans lived and worked since the founding of the country. The Village includes buildings from the 17th century to the present, many of which are staffed by costumed interpreters who conduct period tasks like farming, sewing and cooking. A collection of craft buildings such as pottery, glass-blowing, and tin shops provide demonstrations while producing materials used in the Village and for sale. Greenfield Village has 240 acres (970,000 m²) of land of which only 90 acres (360,000 m²) are used for the attraction, the rest being forest, river and extra pasture for the sheep and horses.
The transportation system provides rides by horse-drawn omnibus, steam locomotive, a 1931 Model AA bus (one of about 15 known to exist), and authentic Ford Model Ts. The Weiser Railroad is a standard gauge passenger train that travels around Greenfield Village and has four stations. Steam locomotives in operation include the Torch Lake
, an 1873 0-6-4 Mason Bogie which is one of the oldest operating steam locomotives in the U.S., and the Edison, a Davenport 0-4-0 rebuilt into a 4-4-0 by Ford. The railroad, unusually for a heritage railway, has a direct connection to Amtrak.