When Michigan rode the rails

In 1936 a streamlined Grand Trunk steam engine sits alongside a tiny steam locomotive from 100 years earlier. Michiganians embraced railroads from the first horse-drawn car on the tracks of the Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad in 1836 through the train’s turn of the century heyday. It was not until the introduction of the automobile that … Continue Reading →

Up in smoke: Cigar making in Detroit

Ms. Midie Wright shows off the finished product from a Detroit cigar company Long before Detroit became renowned for the production of automobiles, the city had earned a solid national reputation for the manufacturing of cigars and chewing tobacco. Tobacco companies, in fact, were among the city’s leading employers at the turn of the 20th … Continue Reading →

Mr. Ford, blacks and the UAW

Labor economist Herbert Northrup said that in the ’20s and ’30s blacks came closer to job equality at Ford than at any other comparable company. In the 1920s and ’30s, only Ford Motor Co. offered blacks a wide range of employment opportunities. No other auto companies considered blacks as capable as other workers. At Ford, … Continue Reading →