Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Soybean Experimental Laboratory (formerly known as Soybean Laboratory and Experimental Laboratory)

(This post is about a building located inside the open-air museum of Greenfield Village. If you are looking for a posting on old farm tools and equipment, please click HERE)

Built in 1930 in the Village, the original intention of this building was for the students who went to school in the Village to experiment in agricultural chemistry.
Henry Ford also believed that his workers could find a way for farmers to use their crops in the industrial world. For instance, Ford designed Model A parts, made an experimental car body, and even a suit of clothes using soybeans!

It now houses many various old-time farming implements and tools such as scythes, hayloaders, spiketooth harrows, handcorn planters, sulky cultivators, and so much more. Besides displaying the actual antique instruments, this building also holds a wealth of information about 19th century farming and the tools used according to the season of the year.



Earle said...

Maybe you can help. As you may already know, there was a school on the grounds of Greenfield Village from 1929 - 1968. It was called the Edison Institute and began as a K-12 school. It was a K-6 when I was a student there from 1963 to when it closed in 1968.

Considering the age of information/internet and also that Greenfield Village is such a significant historical institution, I'm mystified as to why there are no records (online) of this amazing, yet short lived, little school that shares 39 years of the history of the Village.

I have yearbooks from the 1930s -40s, when my father and his brother attended and my report cards.

Earle said...

By the way, I think it's great what you, your wife and your sons do! I enjoyed your photos and historical narratives.

Historical Ken said...

Thank you for your kind comments Earle.
I'm not sure if you are aware of it or not, but they still hold classes inside Greenfield Village. The only tour guides that speak of it, however, is during the train ride when passing the old train cars now being used as classrooms.
You can visit the Benson Ford Research Center, which houses all of their historic information on everything about the museum and village, and get whatever information about the school you need from the time in which you speak. The info is readily available going back to the 1920's.
And it doesn't cost anything to go to Benson Ford, which is located right on the same grounds as the Village.
Good luck!