“We sit around a campfire and talk and tell jokes,” Harvey Firestone responded when asked what he and friends Henry Ford and Thomas Edison do when they go camping together.
This was just one of the many questions answered by Firestone, Ford and Edison when they attended a pancake dinner held Aug. 31 in their honor. Ford’s reputed favorite late-night dinner was flapjacks.
Organized as a benefit for the Belleville Area Museum, the gentlemen were joined at the Haggerty Road campus of Wayne County Community College by nearly 100 local guests.
Katie Dallos, museum director, and Tom Fielder, president of the Belleville Area Historical Society, welcomed the crowd and opened the official question-and-answer session of the program.
Edison, Ford and Firestone, portrayed by actors from Dore Productions of Northville, answered questions covering a wide variety of topics including how they came to be friends and how those friendships ultimately influenced all of their careers and business ventures to their advantage.
Firestone told of how. Ford originally contacted him to purchase tires for his new Model-T project and how the orders for the now famous black Ford increased from 2,000 tires to 20,000 in a few brief years. Edison added that after he moved his winter home to Florida, his friend Ford sent him a new Model-T every new model year.
The dinner was held as a benefit for the museum and the venue displayed a collection of historic photos of the guests of honor. A silent auction was also held and included many pieces of colorful art donated by local artists and their fans, including a previously unreleased piece by the late Jane Kovach.
Dallos expressed her pleasure with the success of the event as a kick-off for the exciting Labor Day weekend WWII Reenactment and Thunder Over Michigan, and noted that she hopes to make this an annual event.
Museum Press Release