Henry Ford developed an early appreciation for George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. During a visit to the historic landmark in the early 1920s, Ford was greatly impressed by this tribute to the nation’s first president. In the spirit of preserving an important icon of our nation’s past, Mr. Ford commissioned a special chemical fire truck for Mount Vernon. The built-to-order American-LaFrance Combination Chemical and Hose Car arrived at Mount Vernon on Friday, September 21, 1923. This revolutionary fire truck was an essential tool in protecting Mount Vernon against its greatest threat. A blend of modern firefighting weapons and techniques combined with the dependability of the Ford Motor Company vehicle resulted in the ultimate in fire protection.
The arrival of this first fire engine was only the beginning of Ford Motor Company’s commitment to protect and preserve the heritage of Mount Vernon, as well as other aspects of American heritage. Inspired by the efforts of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, Henry Ford helped establish The Henry Ford, now the nation’s largest indoor/outdoor history museum, encompassing the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The Henry Ford strives to meet Mr. Ford’s goal of documenting America’s traditions of resourcefulness and innovation through its collection of American material culture.
Committed to educating audiences about America’s remarkable history, Ford Motor Company’s dedication to the preservation of Mount Vernon continues today. In the past decade alone, Ford Motor Company has supported a wide range of institutional educational initiatives and exhibitions, including student internship programs, the George Washington Biography Lesson curriculum guide for the state of Michigan, and major exhibitions such as Saving Mount Vernon and Treasures from Mount Vernon.