Henry Ford Museum

December 23, 2011

I’m back on the exercise wagon! A few days ago, I wrote about how unmotivated I was feeling to exercise, but I’ve been to the gym three days in a row, and I feel great. All three days I’ve done variations of the same formula: 5 minutes of cardio warm-up, then 30-40 minutes of weightlifting, then 15-25 minutes of cardio. One of my sisters has joined me at the gym for the past 2 days, and today, I was joined by both sisters. Three cheers for family workouts!

Yesterday I got a bonus workout: a couple hours walking around the Henry Ford Museum with my sister, nephew, and niece. Located in Dearborn, Michigan (adjacent to Ford world headquarters, and about 40 minutes from my parents’ house), the Henry Ford Museum is an enormous history museum (the size of 10 football fields, literally – that’s not an exaggeration) with a focus on technology, inventions, and transportation. The museum’s collection is vast and amazingly impressive: they have the chair from Ford’s Theatre that President Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot, the bus that Rosa Parks was riding when she refused to give up her seat, and, in the adjacent Greenfield Village, Thomas Edison’s laboratory and the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop (which were both moved, brick by brick, from New Jersey and Ohio, respectively). And those were all things that we didn’t see!

I brought a camera and got a few shots of some of the stuff we did see. Here I am, with my nephew Sam, in front of one of the original 1952 Weinermobiles:

They have an exhibit on early aviation, with about 12 or 14 actual airplanes on display, including this 1939 Douglas DC-3:

They have 5 Presidential limousines on display, dating back to the very first official Presidential vehicle,  which was used by Teddy Roosevelt. The highlight of this exhibit, for me, was the Lincoln Continental that John F. Kennedy was riding in when he was shot. It was humbling to be standing so close to a defining moment in U.S. history:

They also have one of the rarest and most expensive cars of all time: a 1932 Bugatti Royale. Only 6 of these were ever made, and its sticker price, in 1932 dollars, was $43,000. The last time one of these cars was sold, in 1999, it went for $20 million! Here it is:

The planes and trains and automobiles are all very cool, but I also love that the Henry Ford Museum has a huge display honoring domestic life. They have a big furniture collection, and tons of vintage appliances and electronics. They currently have displays recreating kitchens throughout time, and being a kitchen-loving dude, I couldn’t help but take pictures. Here’s a kitchen from the 1860s:

From the 1900s:

From the 1930s:

It will be fun, when I’m an old old man, to go back to the Henry Ford Museum and see a bunch of kids gawking at a kitchen from the 1980s!

I’d say the stroll around the museum equaled a couple miles, but with so much to look at, I never once thought about the exercise.

Keep it up, David!