May 20th --The Ford Museum and the Lake Michigan--


Today I visited the Henry Ford Museum. This is the place you must see in Detroit. There are so many kinds of displays, from automobiles to household appliances. I started from a corner of household appliances, where they display a history of vacuum cleaners, kitchen stoves, washing machines, etc, etc. It looked like that people had dumped all the used stuff here, but everything was kept clean and neat. I also saw the full scale display of kitchens in 1700s, 1840, 1890, and 1930, showing the evolution of technology. Then I moved on to the corner of agriculture. Yes, American history can't be told without the history of agriculture. They had many kinds of steam engines, tractors, and huge cropping machines. What drew my interest was a horse engine, using a horse power to run an agricultural machine. There are a belt conveyer on which a horse walks and the revolution of the conveyer is conducted to a wheel for running a machine. Yes, its output power is EXACTLY 1 horse power. It reminded me my old silly idea to use a rotation of hamster's running wheel for generating electricity.

I walked into the corner of the industrial revolution. They display many huge steam engines used for factories, water pumps, or electric generators. Especially a steam generator for the assembly line of the Ford model T was enormous and beautiful. When I saw the evolution of these engines, from the small agricultural one to the huge industrial one, I knew what technological evolution means. I also followed the history of the electrical engineering, starting from generators, lamps, telephones, to radios.

Then I proceeded to the corner of the Henry Ford's history. I was so much inspired by the introductory words. Here I refer the full text; "Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. He didn't even "invent" the assembly line. So what did he do? He learned well. He took risks. He saw failure as a lesson. He perfected the product, the process, and the policies that shaped the American auto industry. He became a celebrity, and he made some mistakes. He founded this remarkable museum to inspire others. This is a story of a great innovator, sharing the lessons he learned so well. Never Stop Learning." I am not sure that I can be like him but it is at least encouraging that I have the same policy, "Never Stop Learning." The story of Henry Ford reminded me that of Konosuke Matsushita, a founder of Matsushita/Panasonic company. There are many success stories like this all over the world but I think what is important is to learn something from these stories.

After learning his history, I saw the model T, the first automobile manufactured in an assembly line. There was an attendant beside the model T. She invited me to ride on it. I didn't dream of this wonderful experience. Then I saw the presidential cars, including the one on which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. They also display many locomotives. The Allegheny Locomotive was one of the largest and the most powerful locomotives ever built. It was really huge, having two sets of pistons connected to three wheels each. I had the same impression as what I had when I saw the Saturn V rocket in Kennedy Space Center. This is the American technology, only people living in a huge land can think of this kind of concept.

Inspired by the great museum, I went back to my car at 15:00. I took the I-94 west to Michigan City. On the way, I found a city named Battle Creek. I was so interested in this name that I got off the freeway. I drove around the downtown and found the Battle Creek River. Although I couldn't find the origin of this name, I found that this place is the mother place of Kellogg. They have a museum called Cereal City. It was already closed so I just took a picture of it. Driving 1 more hour, I got close to the Lake Michigan. I switched to the US-12 to get to a waterfront. The lake was shining in the evening sunshine. I had a Subway sub at the beach. Then I crossed the state line of Indiana and checked in a motel.

Lake Michigan

Henry Ford Museum

I am on model T!

The Kennedy Limousine

The Allegheny Locomotive

The Kellogg's Cereal City in Battle Creek

The state line of Indiana


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