Ford F-150 Plant and Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

Ford Rouge F-150 Plant, Dearborn, MI. Click to enlarge.

Ford Rouge F-150 Plant, Dearborn, MI. Click to enlarge.

Just outside Detroit’s southwestern boundary sits a series of beautiful and sprawling Ford facilities: the Rouge F-150 plant, corporate campuses, and The Henry Ford Museum.  Touring the F-150 plant was interesting, but it did not inspire me to buy a Ford.  The employees (“operators”) dressed ultra-casually in sweat pant cut-offs, t-shirts, and similar outfits.  The plant shuts down entirely for the 30-minute lunch period, and I arrived a few minutes before the ramp up.  I saw some operators sleeping on the floors of partially built trucks.  A manager explained that this is against company policy.  “I wish they wouldn’t do it, but a few of them do,” he said.

Ford Rouge F-150 Factory, Living Roof, Dearborn, MI.  Click to enlarge.

Ford Rouge F-150 Factory, Living Roof, Dearborn, MI. Click to enlarge.

I don’t typically visit museums, but The Henry Ford was well worth it.  I sat in the actual bus and seat that Rosa Parks refused to yield to a white person in the segregation days.  The museum also features every past presidential limousine, including the ones in which Presidents Kennedy and Reagan were shot.  You can see the dent in Reagan’s limousine where the bullet ricocheted before hitting him.

The museum’s theme is to document the evolution of American society, and it is intelligently executed.  Rosa Parks’ bus, for example, is one artifact within the context of a larger exhibit discussing segregation and the civil rights movement.  There is an actual segregated train station waiting room, and visitors can go into the white and black sections to see the difference.

Ford Rouge F-150 Plant, Dearborn, MI.  Click to enlarge.

Ford Rouge F-150 Plant, Dearborn, MI. Click to enlarge.

Much of the country’s story is told through its vehicles, as one might expect given the source.  There are brands other than Ford on display.  In an exhibit discussing the 1970’s energy crisis an early Honda Civic sits near a Dodge Omni.  Upon seeing the Omni I impulsively said, “That looks like a piece of crap.”  A friendly museum official said to me, “When you go to Disneyland everything is fake.  Here, everything is real.”

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About Jerry
Working in Corporate America for many years, I wanted to break free of the office walls for a bit and explore the world. Having put the pieces in place, I am first exploring the USA by road. Colleagues and friends expressed interest in my travels, giving rise to Office Escape. It is my honor to share my adventures.

One Response to Ford F-150 Plant and Henry Ford Museum, Detroit

  1. Pingback: Day Tripping | PeoplePlacesThings

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