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Catalog Number 1966.168.002
Object Name Film, Motion Picture
Title What Makes Detroit A Great City? "Industry and Henry Ford"
Scope & Content Monochromatic, silent 16mm film with the introductory title card "What Makes Detroit A Great City? 'Industry and Henry Ford.'" The film features footage of automotive and other factories and industrial sites on Detroit's west, followed by a brief segment focusing on Dearborn. Each section is introduced with title cards. A Detroit News Pictorial newsreel story concerning the arrival of a Belgian ship is also included in the middle of the film.

Following the introductory title card is one that reads, "Detroit's West Side, Heart of the Automobile Industry." The first auto factory featured is Cadillac's Detroit Assembly on Clark Street. A title card reads, "Cadillac Plant-moved from the east to west side on account of transportation and traffic problems," then footage follows showing workers rounding a corner outside of the plant, and a pan across the complex from an adjacent rooftop. Another card reads, "Three trunk main lines coming together in a space of 150 yards, Michigan Central, Pere Marquette, and Ford's D.T. & I. Where there is transportation there is industry," referring to the railroad lines that surround the Clark Street complex. Two shots of trains follow.

The next title card reads, "Buick, branch of General Motors,--making Buick bodies only." A pan across the exterior of an Buick plant follows.

"Studebaker,--employs 9000 men-producing 25,000 cars yearly," states the following title card. Two related shots follow. The first is a pan across the exterior of Studebaker Plant No. 3 between Campau Street and Scotten Avenue. The second is a shot of workers coming out of the factory's door beneath a "Studebaker, The World Over" sign.

Fisher Body Plant No. 18 is the focus of the next segment. A title card reading, "Fisher Body,--This is the largest of 33 plants of the Fisher Body Co., the greatest body company in the world." Introduces a shot of the building with its sign, a pan across the factory complex, and a pan across a group of workers outside the plant. The factory's sign reads, "Fisher Body - Plant 18, World's Largest Body Plant, Builds Buick Enclosed Bodies Only."

The next title card reads, "Detroit west side plant of Solvay Process Company," and it is followed by a pan across the complex's exterior near the mouth of the Rouge River.

A card reading, "Plant of the Gottfredson Motor Truck Co. at Wayne," introduces a pan across the complex's exterior.
The Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company Jewett plant segment is introduced by a title card reading, "Paige-Jewett employs 1800 men,--producing 455 cars per day." The camera then pans across the factory's exterior where a long sign reads "Home of the Jewett Six-The Most Modern Plant In the Automobile Industry." Construction is visible along the road in the foreground. Two shots of the factory's workers outside of the plant follow.

The next title card reads, "The Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal on the west side will be 94 tracks wide, and 3 miles long when completed. 25,000 men will be employed." It is followed by a quick pan across rows of railroad tracks.

A shot of the Detroit Edison Trenton Channel electric power plant follows the title card, "New plant of the Detroit Edison Co., designed to take care of the great west side of which Dearborn is the heart."

A shot of a freighter being side-launched into a slip as a crowd watches from the bottom of the frame in the foreground follows a title card which simply reads, "Detroit also builds ships."

An aerial shot of the Ford River Rouge Complex follows the title card, "air view of the world's largest automobile plant Fordson River Rouge."

A clip from a Detroit News Pictorial is next on the film. The newsreel's title cards state, "First Ship From Europe Arrives in Detroit. The 'ANDERS,' 240-ft. freight carrier loaded with 3,800 tons of steel rails from Antwerp, Belgium, tied up at the Ford Rouge plant," "The cargo, neatly stowed in the hold," and "On the return trip a shipment of automobile parts and accessories will be carried." The title cards are interspersed between shots of the ship at dock, its hold, and a view of its deck.

After the Detroit News footage, the Rouge complex continues to be the focus; the next title card reads, "New Steel Plants of Ford Motor Co. West side." The camera then pans across railroad cars lined up outside the plant, and to the plant buildings beyond. A pan from the docks to the factory buildings follows a card that reads, "General view showing locomotive shops, glass plant, cement mill, machine shops, the huge ship basin and iron works."

The title card, "Air view of the Ford Airport," introduces a series of shots of the airfield. The first is aerial footage. This is followed by shots of three men outside of the MAIDEN DEARBORN, a Stout Air Transport 2AT-2 Airplane, and then footage of that plane taking off.

The final portion of the reel deals with Dearborn. A title card reading, "Dearborn-a city of New Homes-where the workingman can enjoy good living conditions," kicks off this section. A shot of a street with an American State Bank branch beside a Detroit Edison office, two pans across houses on a residential street, and a shot of the entrances to an apartment building follow. A title card reading "Modern Schools," appears before a shot of the exterior of a school. The final title card reads, "New Country Club." A shot of the club's buildings, some golfers, then a crowd watching a golf tournament follow.
Date c. 1925
Extent of Description 00:12:00
Collection Automotive: Industrial
Search Terms Factories
Detroit Assembly
Studebaker Plant No. 3
Fisher Boat Works, Inc.
Fisher Body Plant Number 18
Auto Workers
Solvay Process Company
Gottfredson Motor Truck Company
Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company
Detroit Edison Company
Trenton Channel Electric Power Plant
Ford River Rouge Complex
Ford Airport
Stout Air Transport
Detroit News