TBT: Ford and Lincoln Memories We’re Thankful For

Nov 23, 2023

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us in the U.S., so this week we’re revisiting some of our favorite heritage moments of the past year. We’ll return after the holiday with another look back at company history. In the meantime, visit fordarchivesonline.com and use your CDSID to search for your favorite company history topics. You can also visit fordheritagevault.com to browse and download product history, including concept vehicles, all without needing a login.

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How Henry Ford Helped Establish a Town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Henry Ford’s quest for vertical integration combined with his disdain for waste helped to establish an entire town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and created a staple of summertime in the process. In the 1920s, Henry Ford was looking to use the vast forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as a source for automotive wood products for the Model T. His cousin’s husband, Edward G. Kingsford, an early Ford dealer, helped facilitate the purchase of some 300,000 acres of land for a new sawmill and manufacturing plant. Click here to read more.

Ford Helps Get Aviation off the Ground in the 1920s

Ford is well known for putting the world on wheels with the Model T, but in the 1920s Henry and Edsel Ford also helped further the nascent aviation industry with production of the company’s own commercial aircraft, but those ambitions were grounded 90 years ago. Both Ford Motor Company and its airport in Dearborn were instrumental in the early years of the American aviation industry which, at the time, was reserved for stunt flying. Click here to read more. 

Edsel Ford Leaves Lasting Impact on Ford, Lincoln

Though he was just 49 at the time of his death in 1943, former company president and only son of founder Henry Ford, Edsel Ford left a lasting legacy on Ford Motor Company and on the public. Edsel Ford died 80 years ago after a six-week battle with stomach cancer. All of Ford Motor Company was shut down, and a moment of silence was observed in conjunction with his funeral. Civic and industrial leaders, including President Franklin Roosevelt, wired their condolences to Henry and Clara Ford. Click here to read more. 

Sweet Music of Ford’s 427 ‘Calliope’ Engine Muted by Le Mans Regulations

After consecutive victories at the famed Le Mans 24 Hours, Ford had a plan to go even faster in 1968. An experimental version of Ford’s famous 427 cubic-inch engine created for the 1968 running of the endurance race – though it never saw the light of day due to rule changes. Named “Calliope” for its resemblance of the whistles of a musical organ, the engine featured three valves per cylinder connected to pushrods driven by twin camshafts – which themselves were arranged in a unique over-under manner – inside the engine block, according to The Henry Ford Museum of American History. Click here to read more. 

Ford launches quality-minded advertising campaigns: ‘Have You Driven a Ford Lately?’ and ‘Quality is Job 1’

Over the past 120 years, Ford has been known for some memorable advertising slogans, but none may be as memorable as the long-running “Have You Driven a Ford Lately?” — from the 1980s and 1990s — which became a ubiquitous phrase heard an estimated 20 billion times in just its first eight years. The slogan came in the form of a commercial tagline and was featured in print ads for vehicles like Mustang, Tempo and Escort. It was also mentioned by executives in various speaking engagements. Click here to read more.