Did you Know Michigan’s Most Famous Museum Started With a Different Name?
You find out something new every day. Just like the Detroit Lions were once known as the Portsmouth Spartans, and the Detroit Red Wings started out as the Detroit Cougars and Detroit Falcons, some people may not know that The Henry Ford Museum was at one time the "Edison Institute Museum and Village".
This is because Henry Ford named his museum after his idol and friend, Thomas Edison.
The National Historic Landmarks Program said this in 1981:
"The Edison Institute expresses Henry Ford's conception of history as the record of progress in transportation, agriculture, and industry. The Museum, opened in 1929, houses important collections of Americana and transportation artifacts. It had a decisive impact on the development of the open-air outdoor village museum and it played an important role in the history of museums and in the history of historic preservation."
The original concept was Henry Ford collected important "stuff". And the Edison Institute was a place for scholars to have access to these historic artifacts. But the interest was so high, that it was decided to open the doors and to make it a museum, which is what it is. It appears that the Edison Institute name still exists as an entity, but the whole complex is now known as The Henry Ford.
What makes it even more special is what is on display. For people in Southwest Michigan, the Drive-In sign from the Douglas Drive-In in Kalamazoo is saved for future generations. For people of a certain age, what's known as the Kennedy limousine in display. While it was modified after the President's assassination, it was in service well into the next decade.
The Henry Ford is certainly a fascinating visit, but especially for adults. Here's a look inside.