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HENRY FORD'S MIRROR OF AMERICA LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES 1914-1945 FORD AUTOMOBILES MD62470z

Johnny Exodice
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Published on 29 Jun 2020 / In Film and Animation

Automaker Henry Ford left behind a massive gift to the United States in the form of a vast non-fiction film collection, recorded from 1914-1945. Henry Ford’s Mirror Of America showcases the films from the Ford Historical Film collection that capture America during that era. It gives a glimpse into the life of America during that period, featuring much more than just the happenings of the Ford Motor Company. The film opens with Henry Ford sitting next to a river, camping with Thomas Edison, shooting with John Burroughs, and doing things with his grandkids. He arrives at his house with wife Clara on his quadracycle (00:50). Ford drives a horse-drawn plow on the farm (01:15). There are various shots of the buildings he owns (02:00), including the Highland Park plant (02:33). The film shows farmers using horse-drawn equipment (03:58), women performing their chores on the farm, and kids walking to school on a muddy road (05:01). Students climb up an elm tree and lower themselves off using the branches as an elevator (05:16). Next, the film shows Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington (05:55), a shot of the White House and one of its rooms. There are shots of the streets of Boston and New York City, as well as the latter’s Hippodrome Theatre. Passengers board a boat to take a tour of New York City (07:00), seeing the city’s waterfront, a Navy cruiser, and an ocean liner. The film shows the Woolworth Building (07:41), 5th Avenue and Riverside Drive, and Central Park (08:06). Kids ride a merry-go-round at Coney Island (08:39); they also go down slides and ride on the Human Pool Table. People dance along the water’s edge. People enter a hotel shaped as an elephant in Atlantic City (09:40). At Bell Isle (10:10), near Detroit, people pack the banks of the lagoon while others go out in boats. During winter, ice boats zip along a frozen lake (10:49). There is also footage of an automobile race (11:10), Buffalo Bill on tour with his circus (11:21), and Woodrow Wilson throwing out the first ball at a baseball game (11:43). Other shots of famous people include Luther Burbank, Thomas Edison in 1915, Joseph G. Cannon of Illinois, and Will Rogers. Next, the film takes viewers to Glacier National Park (12:54), where a man falls through the snow field. Women in a factory make footballs (14:00); others press shirts using large machines. Workers assemble the wheels and spokes of the Model T Ford in Michigan (15:03). Men get together in Vicksburg, Mississippi during 1917 to commemorate the battle during Civil War. Theodore Roosevelt is greeted by fans (17:32). Footage shows a parade marching down a city street (17:54). Soldiers train prior to leaving for WWI (18:18). Ford is shown with the U.S. Secretary of Navy (18:47) as the former receives a contract to build boats; the film then cuts to Ford’s new plant where Eagle boats are made. At Highland Park, an experimental tank with two Model T engines crosses a field (19:33). Soldiers leave for WWI amid great fanfare (20:08). The film shows more testing of small tanks at Highland Park, as well as a larger tank (20:55) that punches through a building wall. At Highland Park, there is a parade and rally supporting the war effort. A heavy bomber taxis on a runway (21:50); a U.S. battleship sails out to sea (23:33). Britain’s Lord Northcliffe drives a new Fordson tractor at Henry Ford’s farm (23:55). People flood a street to celebrate the end of the war (24:36). The films shows the parade in Washington (25:01) with President Hardy and General Pershing on their way to Arlington to bury the unknown soldier. Men and machines work to build new roads (26:20). There are shots of Model Ts driving on paved roads, dirt roads, across a river, and along a train bridge. That is followed by a montage of Model Ts being put together at the Highland Park plant (27:15). A Model T drives through a giant redwood tree in California. Ford camps in the Smoky Mountains with Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone (30:21); President Harding pays a visit to the camp. There are a variety of shots showing American life, including a tractor dealership, electricity in cities, traffic in a city intersection, and a policeman directing traffic (33:00). The film closes with shots of cities and rural areas, cars driving, Charles Lindbergh landing the Spirit of St Louis at Ford Airport, and a St. Louis Airlines plane taking off.

This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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