My father is an automotive worker at Ford Motor Company, and when a fellow employee offered him free tickets to The Henry Ford, we jumped at the chance. The last time I had gone was with my ex-boyfriend in high school for a temporary Civil War exhibit, so I was excited to go back after such a long time.
For people who have never been here before, I’ll give a brief rundown on the cool highlights of the museum. Due to the nature of Detroit, the museum’s main focus is on innovation, technology, and race. “The Motor City” has a long relationship with the automotive industry, and the race riots of the 1960’s gave the museum a huge reason to focus on The Civil Rights Movement.
For big car people, this place has a lot to offer. It has an extensive collection of cars from the 20th century, with a special section dedicated to presidential cars. The famous John F. Kennedy car in which he was assassinated is kept here.
There are also exhibits dedicated to air travel, trains, and domestic technology (stoves, sewing machines, etc) as well as the official Oscar Meyer Wienermobile for any of you weirdos out there who are into that (this was honestly a highlight for elementary school me).
Meanwhile, the Civil Rights section begins with The Civil War, prominently featuring the chair Abraham Lincoln was seated in when he was shot.
Later on, there’s a section dedicated to Women’s Suffrage and the continuing struggle for equal rights between men and women in America.
The last section focuses completely on the Civil Rights Movement, with the exact bus Rosa Parks sat in as the last stop of the exhibit.
The only new part of this museum visit for myself was the House temporary exhibit. This was an eclectic exhibit featuring different fonts used by the text company House Industries throughout the 20th century, including examples of pop culture that influenced their creative style along the way. A personal highlight for me were the original Tom Servo and Crow puppets from Mystery Science Theater 3000, but other cool stuff on display was Evil Knievel’s famous America outfit and an original Apple 1 computer.
In conclusion, this place is great. I’ve been here like five times, and it never gets old. It’s definitely one of the best museums in Michigan, and a great stop for people looking to vacation in Detroit for whatever weird reason.