Rouge Pictured in its Prime

Rouge Pictured in its Prime by Ford Bryan is a large, hard cover, 285-page book is probably the most well researched document of the Rouge Plant. This seminal book was out of stock for a short while, now back on the shelf…and it should be on your shelf too!

Conceived as a massive group of buildings where raw matter entered on one end and finished products came out the other, the Rouge was, in its day, cutting edge industrial design and implementation.

Bryan, who in 1935, worked briefly at the Rouge steel mill and was later employed by Ford Motor Company from 1941 to 1974 in several different capacities, has a unique inside perspective of the facility.

With hundreds of black and white photographs of everything from the glass plant, to the coke oven and the commissaries to the hospital, Bryan spent countless hours at the Benson Ford Research Center combing through thousands of images.

No doubt you need to add this book to your library of Ford history. From the N-News, $29.95 plus $4 shipping & handling.

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcom Gladwell asks, How do many little things add up to change the course of a business (the makers of Hush Puppies shoes) or a health epidemic (syphilis in Baltimore during the 1990s), crime in NYC, or literacy among the underprivileged (Sesame Street)?

Gladwell says if we think of a major change in the direction of some given subject in terms of the way the flu spreads, we find the building blocks for how to rethink waves of cultural change.

What makes Gladwell so entertaining to read is his revisionist tendency to take something we think we know and reframe it.

In April of 1775 there was news on the street in Boston, word of mouth really, that the British were about to do something big. When word got to Paul Revere and his close friend, Joseph Warren, they both felt this was information that needed to be heeded. At 10 p.m. on April 18, Revere began his “midnight ride” to alert as many militia men as possible. At about the same time, another revolutionary named William Dawes also set out on horseback to alert as many people as possible. Why is it we all know about Paul Revere’s ride, but no one knows about Dawes? Herein lies the magic of rethinking what we think we know.

Another entertaining book about the idea of reaching a critical point and re-envisioning it through a handful of very different stories. Soft cover, was $19, now as a remainder, only $9.95

The Bomber Mafia

Bomber Mafia

The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, A Temptation and The Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcom Gladwell begins just before WWII. Back then, the US Airforce was actually part of the Army…but the Army brass didn’t really know how to think about airplanes. Their ideas were still locked in the WWI model of dogfights: pilots trying to shoot down other pilots. But in the mid-to-late 1930s, as the USA was observing Hitler’s move to power, there was a small band of pilots who were thinking very differently. What if airpower could change the course of how war was fought? What if we stopped thinking about leveling cities with bombs and instead trying to only bomb infrastructure, bridges, power … Continue reading

Images from the Arsenal of Democracy

Arsenal of Democracy

Before Pearl Harbor, the USA was still in denial that WWII was going to truly affect us. We have the Pacific and Atlantic oceans as massive buffers. But the government was already working toward the idea of rearming the USA in preparation. In 2013 the author Charles Hyde wrote a wonderful book, The Arsenal of Democracy, about the American auto industry moving from car and truck production to tanks, planes, and other necessities of war. (I am considering carrying that book at a future time.) But while he was researching that book, he came across a treasure trove of images from the late 1930s and especially the 1940s of the automotive industry changing direction to help with the war effort. … Continue reading

A Museum of Early American Tools

Museum of Early American Tools

Eric Sloane’s pen and ink style is unforgettable and his knowledge of early American know-how (that includes, all tools, wood, milling, road construction, the list goes on) is hard to believe. Growing up with a number of his books on the shelf, I reached for them often and in these times particularly, there is something so comforting in reading how all the different types of axes were used, or how to date a building by the types of nails, screws or fasteners used. Sloane’s style (both in illustration and in word) is lyrical and attentive to detail, but also straightforward with just a touch of flourish. A Museum of Early American Tools at $11.95 plus $2.75 S&H (b&w, 128 pages) … Continue reading

A Reverence For Wood

Reverence for Wood

Eric Sloane was an artist, draftsman, sign painter, author, but most of all, a historian of early American know-how. His pen and ink images that illustrate all of his books are captivating and highly informative. Sloane was born in 1905 and after studying art and lettering, he set out across the US as a painter working road signs and barn sides. Eventually he settled back east and began a career as an author, illustrator meteorologist and mentor to many. As a kid growing up in Connecticut, A Reverence For Wood (arguably his most noted book) was always sitting near the reading chair, ready to be cracked open. In fact, when I asked my father for his copy to flip through, … Continue reading

The Vagabonds

Vagabonds

A truly entertaining, well researched account of the early twentieth century friendship between Ford and Edison and the open road. Two men who created something new where little more than an idea existed previously, take to the road for two week camping trips long before the open road was ready for them. Guinn chronicles their story starting in the nineteen-teens when both are well established characters in the public eye. Both were always on the lookout for the next new thing, and both knew how to manipulate a story to their advantage. Into this mix add John Burroughs (the naturalist followed in the footsteps of Walt Whitman) and Harvey Firestone (tire magnate) and you quickly discover a fascinating story. Their … Continue reading

The Complete Book of Classic Ford Tractors

Classic ford tractors

It has literally been years since we have seen a new Ford tractor book be published. The far majority of them have been out of print. Motorbooks International (owned by Quarto) has held the rights to the books that Robert Pripps and Andrew Morland did together in the 1990s. The N-News has written many a letter over the years asking for some of the Pripps Ford tractor books to be reprinted, or to let the rights fall back to the authors so something could be done. Well, something finally has happened. Bob Pripps alerted me in late 2020 that something was in the works. Quarto has combined three of the earlier Pripps/Moreland books, The Big Book of Ford Tractors, The … Continue reading

Beyond the Model T

Beyond the Model T

Beyond the Model T: The Other Ventures of Henry Ford by Ford R. Bryan. The author was a member of the Ford family, worked at Ford Motors for over 33 years and then after retirement, volunteered at The Henry Ford Museum doing research and digging deep. He wrote a number of books based on his finding in the immense Henry Ford Museum archives. In this 200+ page b&w paperback with over 200 photos, Bryan tells the stories of some of the side interests of Henry Ford. What is particularly appealing is each chapter is a stand-alone story and is easily readable in one sitting. Broken into twenty-one chapters ranging from the Fordson tractor to railroads, telegraphy to lumber, aircraft and … Continue reading

How to Restore Ford Tractors

Book Review: How to Restore Ford Tractors cover

Back in stock! How to Restore Ford Tractors: The Ultimate Guide to Rebuilding and Restoring N-Series and Later Tractors 1939-1962 does an excellent job of hashing out the details of restoring a vintage Ford tractor. Published in 2008 with over 200 pages, this soft cover edition includes wonderful pictures of unusual models and options scattered throughout the pages (as are many photos of hands-on, down and dirty restoration work being done). Though the book emphasizes the N-series machines, overhead valve Hundred Series machines are covered as well. Dealing with the engines, bad brakes, electrical systems, rusted body parts, paint and hydraulics are just a few of the topics covered. There is also a wonderful appendix for parts sourcing that tractor … Continue reading

A Guide To Ford, Fordson & New Holland Tractors

A Guide to Ford Fordson book cover

As a reference guide this book is brief and to the point, listing the most salient information formatted chronologically. In this respect it functions as a very convenient field guide. The no–nonsense black and white archive photos, taken mostly from promotional literature, present the oldest, most familiar images of each tractor in its moment of inception. Just $16. In A Guide To Ford, Fordson & New Holland Tractors 1907-1999 there’s quite a bit of information about the Fordson, dubbed in the first chapter as “The Tractor That Dominated the Market,” and there’s no stinting on all the permutations of this tractor, beginning with the earliest Ford experimental tractors, then, from the “F” to the “All–Around,” indicating the factory of manufacture … Continue reading