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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Model T Plant: c. 1920s

Model T Plant: c. 1920s

This photo is of the craneway at the Highland Park Model T Plant, Highland Park, Michigan. Experts tell me that the photo most likely dates from the mid-twenties, just before the plant closed. They note that in the full size image they were quite sure the stack of rims, bottom right, are steel, not wood. But that puzzles me as my grandfather worked there from 1910 to 1919. There are not many photos from that era (at least that I've seen) to give me any comparisons. Note that on the third floor, left, completed cars are ready to drop out the ramp. Second floor, far right, are stacks of brooms. Ford kept the plant very clean. And no, I don't know who the "boss man" is top right.

My grandfather worked under Edward Gray, who along with Albert Kahn designed the plant. After leaving Detroit in 1919 he came back in 1936 and worked for Ed Gray again before moving on to work for Gar Wood. His last job for Wood was designing engines and transmissions for landing craft for WWII, and the invasion of Japan. Of course they were never needed and grandpa died in 1945 so I never knew him personally. View full size.

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Update on Date

Having seen some more photos of the area, I'd say this was just after completion as the platforms were inclosed by 1918 or so, too many parts falling on heads? So more like 1914-15 I'd say.
This image is from the 1920 "Ford Factory Facts" and they're inclosed.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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