House Industries: A Type of Learning REVIEW

Once again The Henry Ford Museum has delivered a fun and entertaining exhibit, this time presented by House Industries. And who is House Industries, and what is the purpose of this exhibit?

Well, Inspiration is everywhere, especially when you are obsessively curious. The artists of House Industries have followed their curiosity to earn international acclaim for a diverse body of work that ranges from fonts and fashion to ceramics and space travel. What has been created here is a multisensory exhibition that will inform, teach and, most important, empower people of all ages to follow their interests and never stop learning from what they like.

House Industries Logo

House Industries is known throughout the world for its eclectic fonts and far-reaching creative exploits.

A Type of Learning beautifully celebrates House’s method of design-thinking and encourages guests to think about their own curiosity, leaving them with an intoxicating sense of endless possibility. Such as:

House Industries Robot 2House Industries Robot 1

Crow T. Robot & Tom Servo (MST3K)

House Industries Evel Jumpsuit

Snake River Canyon Jumpsuit

I thoroughly enjoyed this eclectic exhibit! I hope to revisit it often during its run from May 27th to September 4th, 2017.

COOL RATING: 5/5 STARS

Few of the cool nouns I review on this site get a full 5 stars but this is deserved exception for sure. Truly something for everyone!

House Industries Bicycles

Velo (French for ‘Bicycle’) is a House Industries font

Inspiration really can come from anywhere!

Review: American Time and Timepieces at The Henry Ford

We always find something new to see and experience at The Henry Ford Museum (of American Innovation, if we use the new, fuller name). On our last trip, we found this permanent timepieces exhibit:

Timepieces Sign

Personally, I feel we have become slaves of time. I hope for a day when we can enjoy a slower pace without the heightened sense of urgency that almost everything has these days.

But I digress. On to the timepieces in this exhibit:

Timepieces Wall Clocks

No. They don’t play Dixieland music.

One of the first truly American clock designs coming from the early 1800’s.

Timepieces Eagle

Gallery Clock: 1800-1805

This brass clock would have been displayed in a church or public building, as most common people of the day would not have had personal timepieces. It features 8-day weight-powered movement. And… it has an eagle!

Timepieces History 1

The railroad was one of the major reasons people needed a more exact way to tell time. If you were late, the train would leave without you! We got the time zone system because of the need for standardizing time between cities, and to avoid disastrous collisions due to time discrepancies.

Timepieces History 2

Enlarge and read the many reasons why New England became a major clockmaking center.

Timepieces Pendulum

Pendulum swing like a pendulum do!

Someone should put that line to music. Did you know that Galileo helped to develop the pendulum? The test above is designed to show that no matter where you start the swing of the pendulum, it will take about the same time to swing back and forth. I tried it and it’s true!

COOL FACT: Christian Huygens was the first to use pendulums to regulate clocks in 1657.

Timepieces Mechanism

Inside that Grandfather Clock

This featured an 8-day weight-powered movement and was used in a variety of tall clocks. It also had an hour strike and a quarter chime. The example pictured was manufactured between 1682 and 1709.

Timepieces Hourglass

Telling time old-school

This one only lasted 5 seconds (I guessed 6 seconds).

COOL FACT: Signage for this item also mentioned that our inner sense of time is not as accurate as many animals.

Timepieces Info 2Timepieces Info 1

More Cool Facts

This exhibit also covered sundials and many other traditional forms of timepieces. Even one digital alarm clock that many of us may still punch every morning. Love that snooze feature!

I hope you enjoyed this brief visit to The Henry Ford Museum. It can be found at 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, Michigan.

Memorabilia from the 1964/65 World’s Fair

I have always wished that I could have attended the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair. This was a special fair for Disney fans as Walt Disney, along with his Imagineers, created many of the most memorable attractions! Today, I share some memorabilia I found from this fair.

Memorabilia World's Fair

From the Collection of The Henry Ford Museum

While visiting The Henry Ford recently I noticed these great souvenirs from the 64/65 New York World’s Fair.

Memorabilia Attraction Book

Magic Skyway for FORD

So it’s not surprising to find a booklet remembering the Magic Skyway in The Henry Ford Museum due to the obvious Ford car tie-in!

Memorabilia Glass

Drinking Glass

This is the first time I’ve seen one of these! Obviously there must have been countless of them sold during the fair, but one wonders how many would have survived to today unbroken.

Memorabilia Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. with Children

This was fun to see. Many famous people visited the fair and rode the various Disney attractions.

Memorabilia Brochure

GM Promotional Pamphlet – Futurama II

This pavilion depicted life 60 years into the future. It was one of the fair’s most popular exhibits and attracted some 26 million people. So Disney wasn’t the only designer who could put on a good show!

Memorabilia Tires

Ferris Wheel Ticket

This huge attraction was installed by the U.S. Rubber Company. Now I’m not normally a big Ferris Wheel fan but I would have loved a spin on this one! Interestingly, it was installed along the I-94 near The Henry Ford Museum in 1966. How cool is that?

These items are why I love memorabilia so much and do all I can to add new pieces to my own collection. But in this case, it seems The Henry Ford has beaten me to some really special pieces of history!

Fashion at The Henry Ford: American Style and Spirit

We enjoy the revolving exhibits at The Henry Ford Museum in Deerborn, MI. Every few months or so a new temporary exhibit arrives. The latest has to do with fashion and is called American Style and Spirit and focuses on one family’s journey through the generations as told by their clothing and fashion.

Interesting, eh? I won’t add a lot of commentary but suffice it to say that these are definitely beautiful things to behold and each show a great deal of creativity in their design!

Note the differences in design cues for the garments as we travel through the years (some dates are approximate). Let’s have a look:

Worn by Jane Prindle Colton Gammon – 1856

This was her wedding dress that was made in the United States out of silk gauze.

Worn by Catherine Prindle Roddis – 1929

This afternoon dress was also made in the United States and is fabricated with pina fiber and silk taffeta. The main fabric used is actually woven out of pineapple leaves!

Worn by Catherine Sarah Prindle – 1908

This is her wedding dress which was again made in the United States. Made of cotton net organza, silk satin ribbon, chemical lace, and silk embroidery. The original lining was silk taffeta.

A point of interest in the design is the princess style, shaped by seams from the shoulder to hem, rather than a seam at the waistline.

Worn by Agusta Denton Roddis – 1932

Made again in the good old U.S. or A. using silk taffeta and milliner’s velvet. I thought this evening gown was particularly striking!

Worn by Agusta Denton Roddis – 1934

This day dress was likely made by a family member and is Rayon and sheared beaver with a metal accent belt. It was likely inspired by French designer, Jean Patou, as it resembles a Patou coat found in a catelogue in the ladies home.

Worn by Sarah Denton Roddis – 1914

This day dress was sold by Marshall Field & Company, Chicago, IL. It is made from silk, silk corded applique, embroidery, soutache braid, and net with cotton lace.

So far I think we can see that the earlier the dress the more detailed and ornate it is. In later years dresses came to have plainer designs but with bolder cuts and colors.

Worn by Agusta Denton Roddis – 1968

This dress was designed by Averardo Bessi and sold by Bonwit Teller. It is a silk jersey.

Worn by Catherine Prindle Roddis – 1928

This evening dress was made by Adele & Cie of Paris, France, and is made of silk chiffon and silk crepe with rhinestones.

Worn by Agusta Denton Roddis – 1945

Designed by Samuel Kass and sold by the Weathered Misses Shop of Chicago, IL. It consists of Rayon and cotton. The fabric for this day dress was made by Onondaga Silk Company to promote a Spanish perfume called Tuya (‘for you alone’).

Worn by Sarah Denton Roddis – 1895

This dress was made in the United States with silk chiffon and cotton lace. It was updated in 1910 to have leg-of-mutton sleeves changed into long fitted ones, more in fashion at the time. In this way one could save a favorite dress by bringing it into style while saving money!

fashion

Worn by Catherine Prindle Roddis – 1933

Made in the United States using cotton lace, silk velvet, and silk crepe back satin, this evening dress was worn for her 25th wedding anniversary.


And there you have a look at women’s fashion through dress styles over the years with the added treat of having every garment on display coming from the same family! I hope you enjoyed exploring creativity as it is found in dress design and the world of fashion.

An Exhibit at The Henry Ford: Modern Glass Gallery

The Henry Ford Museum has a varied collection of artifacts. Truly something for every taste. In one small corridor just off to the side you can find The Modern Glass Gallery exhibit.

Therein one can find examples of glass artistry. Here are a few of the things on display there:

Wrapped Target: Robert Willson – 1992 to 1994

This expressionist-like sculpture caught my eye because of the striking colors.

         

Settling In: Richard Jolley – 1998

This artist works with figures and loves larger works but also does smaller, more whimsical pieces like the one above. It is fabricated like a totem pole with three golden dogs climbing to the top, where presumably, they will find their master waiting.

Scarlet Macaw, from Parrot Series: Noel Hart – 2002

The colors are spot on but one has to look a little harder to see the bird within the colors.

Skeptical: Dan Dailey – 1994

Here we have an abstract offering the seeks to depict an emotion with minimal cues.

Sunset, from Between World Series: Binh Pho – 2010

The color is glorious and beautiful but this piece really came alive for me due to the details. And that it has an very oriental structure.

All-Night-Take-Out: Emily Brock – 1999

Who doesn’t like old-time diners? The level of detail in this piece is amazing, even down to the trash in the garbage can outside.

         

The first piece above is titled Floating Golden Botanical (2001, artist unknown) and the second piece was on display outside the exhibit. It had no title but was listed from the Relationship Series of 1997. The Artist is Richard Royal.

I hoped you enjoyed a sneak peek at just a few of the beautiful pieces to be found in this exhibit!


Historic Baseball in Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford

One of the truly original offerings in Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford is the playing of Historic Base Ball games on summer weekends. The game is played by 1867 rules as set down in Henry Chadwick’s Haney’s Base Ball Book of Reference.

It was mentioned in this informative booklet that I was given while watching a game recently:

Historic Baseball 001

There are two teams based out of Greenfield Village that play towards the World Tournament of Historic Base Ball. The first is the Lah-De-Dahs and the second is the Nationals Base Ball Club. I root for the Lah-De-Dahs!

But this particular day my team (the Lah-De-Dahs) were playing against the Regulars Base Ball Club of Mt. Clemens. Let’s start with the pitch from the Regulars:

Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 1

And a mighty swing from the Lah-De-Dahs batter with some hustle from the field:

Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 2      Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 3

And the play is in full motion:

Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 4

And now a brief break from the game: In the background of the picture above you can see a railway track. Every now and then an authentic steam locomotive will chug by. The game must stop when this occurs so as not to hit any passengers with a home run ball, or as the commentator of the game remarked, so as not to have the outfielder knock the train off the tracks as he goes long to catch the ball. Apparently, outfielders in Historic Base Ball stop for nothing! And here she comes now:

Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 5

“Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!”

The commentator urges the players and spectators alike to yell the above ‘greeting’ to the passengers of the train to scare them so as to help them realize just how dangerous this new-fangled mode of transportation, steam trains, can be!

Now back to the game. One of our fine Lah-De-Dah gentlemen has just made third base:

Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 6

Lah-De-Dahs wear red with a tie

Let’s have a closer look at this uniform:

Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 8     Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 9

Notice there are no helmets, gloves, or cleats (in fact, some players play barefooted). Although Base Ball was an amateur sport in 1867 and played by gentlemen only, it certainly took a tougher breed than today’s professional games call for!

The games almost over so now seems like a good time to introduce you to the games excellent commentator:

Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 7

This man got quite a workout as he walked back and forth among the spectators answering questions while commenting on the game.

The final score was in favor of the Lah-De-Dahs as they narrowly beat out the Regulars 15-13 in nine innings. What I enjoyed about the game was the open sportsmanship displayed by both teams! In the end, the losing Captain led his team in a cheer of appreciation for the respect of the winning team:

Vacation 2016 Greenfield Village 10

Class never goes out of style!

The game of baseball is much different today as it has become a professional business instead of a gentlemanly pastime. Could this be due in part to the kind of players we have today? Notice how the model Base Ball Player is described in 1867:

The principal rule of action of our model base ball player is to comport himself like a gentleman on all occasions, but especially on match days, and in so doing he abstains from profanity and its twin and vile brother, obscenity… He never censures errors of play made by a brother member or an opponent, as he is well aware that fault-finding not only leads to no improvement in the play of the one who blunders, but on the contrary is calculated to have the very reverse effect.”

Does that describe your favorite baseball player of today?

Of course, there was some hypocrisy back then, as the commentator frequently made reference to a ‘muffed ball’, which is a ball that the fielder touches but fails to hold or stop. The commentator delighted in gently ribbing players on both teams for doing this. Of course he also enjoyed picking on them for their facial hair and ages, but I guess the rules of 1867 Base Ball say nothing about how a commentator should act!

The commentator also gave free advice to the players of both teams, telling the batters to hit the ball to where no one was standing (Really? Who knew?) and that if the fielders paid attention and caught the ball, they would get more batters out. Well, I can’t imagine any better advice, can you?

So if you’re in the Detroit area and like sports, Greenfield Village has Historic Base Ball games every weekend, Saturdays and Sundays, all summer long. They would love to see you there cheering for all the good plays, no matter which team makes them!

Magical Blogorail: Family Adventure – Museums

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are discussing museums that your family needs to visit.

THE   HENRY   FORD

HF Museum

My wife and I first visited this museum in 2007. At the time, we were living just outside of Windsor, ON. Being as this was just across the Detroit River from Dearborn, MI. it made for a short drive, and we had season passes for a few years.

Partnered with The Henry Ford is Greenfield Village, a re-creation of turn-of-the-century living featuring actual historic houses and industrial buildings from around the United States. But more on that later.

Henry Ford was an avid collector. Of course, his collection of cars is front and center in this museum:

HF Car

But he also collected planes, trains, farm equipment, antiques, furniture, silver artifacts, chandeliers, and so much more. So this museum is a well-rounded peek into the past! And also a peek into the humorous side of this famous man:

HF WeinerMobile

Don’t you wish you were an Oscar Mayer wiener… mobile?

Did I mention Henry Ford collected everything? I purchased a book called Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile by Dave Ihlenfeld and it was a real hoot! The cover features a Wienermobile parked in someone’s driveway. Too much!

The museum even has some unique things you can’t find anywhere else, like these concept models:

HF Concept 1 HF Concept 2

The one on the upper left became the 1960’s Batmobile!

HF Concept 3 HF Concept 4

Now onto Greenfield Village:

GV Signage     GV Characters 1

GV Fountain

This working village is made up of a farming community, an industrial section, a Main Street area, and a residential district. Model T Fords whisk you along paved roads past Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park factory, the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop and homestead, and even Mr. Webster’s house, where you can see a display of his works, including his most famous dictionary.

These buildings aren’t replicas! They are the actual houses, bought and saved and moved, brick by brick or board by board to Greenfield Village. Yes, you will be walking on the same floors as the famous people listed above!

Oh, and Henry Ford even moved the farmhouse of his friend Mr. Firestone to the farming district. You may have his tires on your car.

But the Village isn’t just about historic houses. Each year they have two car shows: The Motor Muster and Old Car Festival.

MM Car OCF Bus

Muscle Cars and Vintage Automobiles

And they have Jazz Festivals, Food Festivals, Holiday Events, and so much more. Even celebrity trains drop by:

GV Thomas

There are similarities between Disneyland and Greenfield Village. Both have vintage carousels, steam trains that circle the property, period-costumed characters roaming around, and vintage vehicle rides.

GV Train

All Aboard!

And just one more thing before I wrap this up: Walt Disney visited Greenfield Village twice before he opened his first theme park, Disneyland, in 1955. He posed for a tintype picture while visiting the Village on April 12, 1940.

GV WD Plaque

Walt Disney

Karen and I consider The Henry Ford/Greenfield Village our second home-away-from-Disney! The sheer number of things to see and do, the level of quality and cleanliness, and the friendly staff, make this museum every bit as exciting and memorable as a visit to Disneyland or Walt Disney World!

And I don’t say that lightly!

For more information on museums to visit with your family, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Family Adventure : Museums