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I've mentioned, elsewhere, that I grew up in a 'Ford' home, in Henry Ford's town - not far from The Henry Ford Museum and the Greenfield Historical Village.
I never had a clue that Henry Ford was so instrumental in reviving Old Time Fiddling and dancing in the 1920's, after Jazz had taken the post-WWI spotlight - sponsoring Violinists and dance events, reviving his childhood memories.
Fun note - think it's marvelous that in 1932 an Alabama farmer gave Henry a fiddle he made from a 1923 Model T Touring Car!
Ford did own some very impressive Italian violins, but there's no indication of how well he played.
- 1647 violin, by Nicolo Amati
- 1740 violin, by Carlo Bergonzi
- 1780 violin, by Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi
- 1735 violin, by Nicola Gagliano
- 1744 violin, "The Doyen", by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu
- 1703 violin, "The Rougemont", by Antonio Stradivari
- 1709 violin, "The Siberian", by Antonio Stradivari
Even Henry Ford's employees couldn't escape all of his enthusiasm - he created a Dance Room at the Ford Motor Company's Engineering Lab - where, many years later, my Father would work as an Engineer! Dance Parties for the adults and lessons for children - all gone by the time my Father arrived.
Many great little snippets of history, more about Henry Ford's Violins and/or related music events, here.
Here's a photo of my Great-Grandfather (in front), Henry Ford (behind) and Jim Bishop (to the right) - Greenfield Historical Village (Dearborn, Michigan), 11/08/1944, dedication of the Edison Illuminating Company Building.
I've heard some of Ford's obsessive nature is why my Great-Grandfather, George W. Cato, considered him a friend and worked beside him at the Edison Illuminating Company, but would not work for him - when Ford started up his own business. (lol)