Antique Auto Advertising:
Ford’s Village Industries


GM hired the Jam Handy Organization to make their promotional and training films. Ford, on the other hand, decided to go with an in-house film studio, the Ford Motion Picture Laboratories. This silent film, Story of a Little River, was made to promote Henry Ford’s Village Industries, one of Ford’s pet projects. The Village Industries were small factories, located in former mills or on the site of former mills. One of Henry’s obsessions was hydroelectric power, “white coal” is what he called it. Henry was not a city boy. He romanticized the farm life of his youth and he regretted that the success of his automobiles was changing rural life. The purpose of the village industries was to provide seasonal employment for farmers for when they weren’t busy with chores. The Michigan Public Service Commission essentially gave Ford the right of eminent domain to seize up to 25% of the land adjacent to any dam or former dam site and he eventually set up about 30 small factories.

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