It’s the kind of name that sounds like it does what it says on the tin. And in as much as Henry Ford founded it and in as much as it is a museum that’s fair enough.
But – and it’s a big but – it leaves people with the impression that it’s all about Henry Ford.
Or indeed, any Ford.
Which means cars, right? I’m sure it does to most people. It certainly did to me.
Since Detroit is the home of Ford cars and Ford cars practically represent American motoring history, I went along anyway to have a rummage around beneath the hood.
And it’s a good job I did.
The first piece that opened my eyes came in the buttercup yellow of the bus in which Rosa Parks refused to stand up.
Around the corner, hung the withered cotton costume of the old Ku Klux Klan.
Original posters depicted the suffragette movement in the States, along with manuscripts from the Declaration of Independence and historical memorabilia from the American Civil War.
One was the car involved during the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, another where Kennedy took his final breath.
There’s Henry Ford’s first car (one he built himself – a kind of horse wagon on wheels,) an entire section on the history of aviation and even a collection of steam trains (yes, actual steam trains) lined up across the signposted floor.
This isn’t so much the Henry Ford Museum: it’s one of modern American History.
Disclosure: I travelled to Detroit as part of the celebration of the inaugural Virgin flight from London to Detroit. (I wasn’t actually on that one but I did join them there and hitch a ride home.)
I also travelled between London Heathrow Airport and London Paddington Station with a complimentary Heathrow Express Ticket. The Heathrow Express is the fastest way to reach Paddington, which connects on to Wales and the West Country as well as being within Zone One and on the District, Circle, Hammersmith and Bakerloo Underground Lines.
As ever, as always I kept the right to write what I like. Otherwise, there’s no point.