Sunday, July 26, 2015

FATHER OF INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION…HENRY FORD

Monday, July 20 – Our last day in Dearborn, Michigan, was spent at the Ford Rouge Factory – part of the Henry Ford. The Rouge initially produced submarine chasers, or Eagle Boats, then tractors. The Model A was the first car produced there, beginning in 1927. At its peak in the 1930s, more than 100,000 people worked at the Rouge. To accommodate them required a multi-station fire department, a modern police force, a fully staffed hospital and a maintenance crew 5,000 strong. One new car rolled off the line every 49 seconds. Each day, workers smelted more than 1,500 tons of iron and made 500 tons of glass, and every month 3,500 mop heads had to be replaced to keep the complex clean.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour

This is the factory where the new aluminum body Ford F150 is assembled.

Ford F150

After taking a short bus ride from the Henry Ford Museum to the Rouge Factory, we began the tour with a historical film in the Legacy Theater. An interesting historical fact we learned from the film is Henry Ford tried auto production three times before he was successful. Twice he lost everything and had to rethink his dream.

Henry Ford

After the film, we moved to the Manufacturing Innovation Theater where everything from robots to laser beams are use to light up your senses illustrating the production of the new F-150 from concept to highway. It really is a pretty amazing production. No photos permitted in this theater.

We exited the second theater into the Legacy Gallery. Here we walked past the historic vehicles made at the Rouge factory. Included are the Ford Model T, the Mustang, the Thunderbird, and of course the F-150. Quite a history for this factory that in its heyday employed nearly 100,000 workers. They currently have 2000 hourly workers that work two 12-hour shifts.

1929 Ford Model M

1929 Ford Model M

1932 Ford V-8

1932 Ford V-8

What a hoot!
1932 Ford V-8

1956 Thunderbird

1956 Thunderbird

1965 Mustang

1965 Mustang

The last, and perhaps the most interesting aspect is the walking tour. Absolutely no photos permitted in this area. We were free to roam at our own pace along an elevated walkway over the entire production floor. In order to mass produce the new aluminum body Ford 150, the entire factory was gutted and rebuilt in three months. During that time, the workers were being trained to learn how to use the new technology.

During our walking tour, we saw the cabs being assembled and then attached to the box. Also, the glass being set in the cab and all the doors, the interiors put in place and the bumpers and lights. Last was the final F-150 rolling off the assembly line and being tested. They test every truck before it is called complete. I think we saw everything but the painting department and the placing of the body on the chassis. Those departments were not able to be seen from the viewing platform. The installation of the windshield and back window was the only place we saw only robots doing the work. Men and women do all the assembling.

It was a wonderful tour and one we are glad we took. We were not as exhausted after this portion of the Henry Ford. Today we only walked 6,027 steps and 2.92 miles on the tour. Guess you could partner this tour with one of the other shorter excursions at the Henry Ford if you selected carefully.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A STEP WAY BACK IN TIME…GREENFIELD VILLAGE

Sunday, July 19 – On tap for today in Dearborn, Michigan, is the Henry Ford – Greenfield Village Museum. What can we say about this well-known historical park. Marsha says awesome.......Paul says exhausting! We spent six hours on our tour, walked 5.67 miles, took 10,907 steps and 324 pictures. All in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees and high humidity. YIKES!

The Henry Ford has four attraction areas that will fill four solid days of adventure. There is the Henry Ford Museum with the Rosa Parks Bus, Kennedy Limousine, Lincoln Chair and the Driving America Exhibit. The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre with Michigan's largest 2D/3D movie screen showing one of a kind documentaries covering the drama of American People, places and historical moments. There's Greenfield Village allowing one to stroll a historical village with Model T rides, Edison's Menlo Park Lab, Firestone Farm, Henry Ford Home, Noah Webster Home, and more. And the Ford Rouge Factory Tour with the awe-inspiring sweep and action of the factory floor and the manufacture of the Ford F-150.

Each of these attractions average about $20 person with extras like the steam locomotive or rides in the Ford Model T at extra costs. We choose to visit Greenfield Village and The Ford Rouge Factory Tour.

Our first day was in the Greenfield Village. We ventured back to a mid-nineteenth century village. The people are dressed in period attire and are involved in everyday tasks as they would have at that time. This is a HUGE village with block after block of places to visit and sights to see. All these 100's of building were collected by Henry Ford and brought to this sight as a historical reminder to the people of his day. We won’t post all 324 pictures, but the following gives you just a glimpse into the Village.

Firestone and Edison were two of Ford’s best friends. Henry moved many of their historic structures to this Village.

Firestone Farm

Firestone Farm

Paul remembers rungs put together like this one in his boyhood home.
Firestone Farm

That isn’t working any more, Paul.
Firestone Farm

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison's lab

Did you know that Henry Ford was called, “America’s Number One Soybean Man”?

Henry Ford

soybean

In the Village, there is a glass blowing shop, pottery shop, cider mill, saw mill, weaving shop, gristmill, tin shop, and the list goes on and on and on.

weaving

Greenfield Village

The Roundhouse
Roundhouse

Wright Cycle Co.

There were two school buildings on the grounds.

McGuffey Schoolhouse

Look at the unruly child in the corner tuning the teacher out. Bad boy!
McGuffey Schoolhouse

Sarah Jordan Boarding house

Sarah Jordan Boarding house

Jordan borading house

If you are willing to pay the extra $16.00, you can get around this 80 acre museum by Model T, train, Model AA bus, or by carriage. We chose the old-fashion way…walking.

carriage

There are several places to stop and enjoy an authentic 1800’s lunch or drink. We decided to stop in at the Eagle’s Tavern to quench our thirst.

Eagle Tavern

Marsha had the original Primms Cup Cocktail, and Paul chose the Mint Julep. As we enjoyed our drink, the two bartenders told us stories of different drinks that were served back in the late 1800’s. Nice relaxing time.

Eagle Tavern

A fabulous visit and one not to be missed. As stated above, plan on spending the ENTIRE day at the Village and plan on returning home EXHAUSTED.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

MOVING ON DOWN TO LOWER MICHIGAN

Saturday, July 18 – We finished our tour of the Michigan UP this morning and headed south across the Mackinac Bridge. We really enjoyed everything the last two weeks in the UP except the mosquitoes the past several days. They were ferocious!

Darn if Paul didn't leave our water pressure regulator at the Newberry HighCountry Campground. Those things ain't cheap!  We use to use a checklist before leaving, but after six years we think we know it all.....ha ha! Guess a big note on the hose storage box may be the answer.

We don't usually stop to tour anything “in-route” but we wanted to stop at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, MI. We pulled in about noon (there is plenty of RV parking) and spent 90 minutes exploring this Christmas Wonderland. Amazing all the ornaments and Christmas decorations they sell. Actually they have over 50,000 trims and gifts for sale in the store which is 1 ½ football fields in size. Of course, Marsha found a couple small ornaments she plans as giving as gifts.

Bronner' Christmas Wonderland

Bronner' Christmas Wonderland

Bronner' Christmas Wonderland

We did drive through Frankenmuth. It looks like a nice town for strolling among the shop and possibly enjoying some German food. The parking lots were packed. It would have been difficult to find an RV parking space.

We ended the day at the Wayne County Fairgrounds, in Belleville, MI right outside Dearborn. We are in RV site #90. Even though they have FHUs, we chose just electric (30 amp) and water. The roads are paved but the sites are grass. Plenty long, but you share a pedestal with the neighbor. That would make it pretty close for comfort if things got crowded. We are not really concerned. We are only here for three nights and most of the time we will be out touring. The people working in the office are very nice and work to make your stay enjoyable. The fairground is very accessible from the freeway. The campground is tucked back in a corner away from all the activity. They are a Good Sam’s campground.

Wayne County Fairgrounds

Wayne County Fairgrounds

Looking right.
Wayne County Fairgrounds

Looking left.
Wayne County Fairgrounds

We are now back in Canton, Ohio. We will finish up our Michigan tour blogging in the next two posts.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!