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Henry Ford's Violins
A passion for fiddle music and dancing.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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ELCBK
USA
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November 8, 2021 - 9:29 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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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.  

Henry Ford & His Violins - The Henry Ford

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. 

https://thfemu.s3.amazonaws.com/CollectionImages/_social/photos/thf244455.jpgImage Enlarger

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) 

- Emily

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
November 16, 2021 - 3:17 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15722

I did not know this. Very cool!

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