Video: A Film Tour of The River Rouge Ford Plant In 1939

Have you ever wanted to explore the past and gain insight into auto manufacturing during the 1930’s? Despite being in the midst of the Great Depression, auto manufacturers were striving to to keep their doors open along with sustaining many other industries. We found a copy of Ford Motor Company’s “Harvest of Years,” a film from 1939 that allows viewers to explore the Ford River Rouge Plant.

For those unable to make the journey to Dearborn, Michigan back in that era, this film served as vehicle to transport them from the Ford Motor Company headquarters to the assembly line. For those who were fortunate enough to tour the facilities, the trip was likely to begin with a stop at the Ford Rotunda, where they were able to view the latest and greatest equipment that both Ford and Lincoln had to offer.

The Ford River Rouge Complex was completed in 1928 and spanned over 1,000 acres. Complete with its own electric plant and shipping facilities, this facility served as the foundation for other auto manufacturers. From tourists to scientists, this plant was an example of the how the modern assembly line should function.

With behind the scenes footage, viewers were able to gain an understanding of the research and development that went into building cars. Along with the behind the scenes information, viewers were able to learn about the connections to other industries, such as farming and ranching. By developing a deeper understanding if the connected nature of industry this film served as a tool to help earn brand loyalty, and sell some cars.

About the author

Lauren Camille

Lauren is a graduate of California State University Fullerton, and has experience working for several enthusiast publications. She enjoys drag racing, classic Fords, and vintage Lincolns. She currently races a 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback, and has a soft spot for 1960’s Lincolns. Currently, her collection includes: ’04 Cobra Convertible, ’65 Mustang Fastback, ’04 F350 6.0 diesel, ’96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a ’87 Jeep Wrangler. She provides insightful content as a freelance writer for Power Automedia.
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