Henry Ford Museum

Location Name:  Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn, Michigan)

Location Type:  Museum (History)

Year Completed:  1933

Architect(s):  Robert O. Derrick


The Henry Ford Museum began as the Edison Institute when ground was broken in 1929. A longtime vision of automotive pioneer Henry Ford, the museum was founded to emphasize industrial history as well as the pioneering spirit that drove the many famous American inventors that left a mark on our history and lifestyles. Originally named for Thomas Edison, who had inspired Henry Ford and other like-minded men, the Edison Institute first opened to visitors in 1933. Architect Robert O. Derrick designed the building, whose Village Road facade is a replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

The nine acre museum originally held Henry Ford’s personal collection of historic objects, which he began collecting as far back as 1906. Throughout the years, the museum has amassed a collection focusing on but not limited to civil rights, early aviation, early American innovation, transportation, agriculture, pop culture and home arts. Today the museum has its own IMAX Theater and is combined with nearly Greenfield Village and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. The museum and its partners attract millions of visitors a year who come to see some of the famous highlights including:

  • Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
  • 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine in which President Kennedy was assassinated
  • Rocking chair from Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC in which President Lincoln was shot
  • George Washington’s camp bed during the American Revolution
  • Thomas Edison’s alleged last breath in a sealed tube
  • Buckminster Fuller’s prototype Dymaxion House
  • Bus on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat; leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Igor Sikorsky’s prototype helicopter
  • Fokker Trimotor airplane that flew the first flight over the North Pole
  • Allegheny Steam Locomotive

The Henry Ford Museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

Click here to visit The Henry Ford’s webpage for the Henry Ford Museum.