Just wanted to say Thank You to the HFTSAA. You have lasted a long time and have done so many good things while in existence. My step-fathers, Tony Gorsky and Ted Bonaventure, were very active in the association. Many of you may remember me as the starter at Bonnie Brook and also in cutting down and burning the Dutch Elm diseased trees on the golf course.Just wanted to say Thank You to the HFTSAA.
You have lasted a long time and have done so many good things while in existence. My step-fathers, Tony Gorsky and Ted Bonaventure, were very active in the association. Many of you may remember me as the starter at Bonnie Brook and also in cutting down and burning the Dutch Elm diseased trees on the golf course.I enjoyed all of those activities to include the annual picnics.The various members and boards were exceedingly active all the way through the final General Membership meeting.
Again, Thank You for all that you accomplished and may God Bless All of You.
August 8, 2017
Henry Ford Trade School was opened October twenty fifth, nineteen hundred sixteen, with six boys and one instructor. In 1931 the enrollment rose to 2800, with 135 instructors. The time for students was divided between the school shop and the classroom where customary high school subjects were studied.
The school was organized to give needy boys an opportunity to help support themselves and to retain their interest in education. To accomplish the first purpose, each boy was awarded a cash scholarship which was paid to him regularly.
INCORPORATION AND EQUIPMENT
Incorporated under a Michigan statute, the school was operated as a non-profit enterprise. It had a floor space of about three acres set apart for its exclusive use. All the equipment in the class and shop departments was the best.....
From the first Model-T in Dearborn, MI to a company exporting vehicles around the world, Ford cars,trucks, and tractors have become a worldwide household name. His gamble of paying 5 dollars a day created a middle class.
April 25, 2017
The weather surrounding Lawrence Technological University campus was a tad brisk and had overcast skies. This was brushed aside by men who as young boys had stood in Safety Zones waiting for streetcars at six o’clock in the morning in any type of weather. Trade School “boys” and their guests, including widows of Students started arriving displaying their Badges proudly worn on the left shoulder. Other Alumni Association members had distinguishing memorabilia identifying themselves as well. The Henry Ford Heritage Association was well represented by Richard and Ruth Gatza, Mark Campbell, and Mike Skinner. Jeff Dunlap from the Henry Ford was also in attendance.
Folding chairs encircled a shrouded figure set in a small grotto resplendent with flowers and a flowering tree. Promptly at 10:15 am the program began with a “Welcome” from Kristen DeVries who introduced the luminaries from the University, Edsel Ford II and Bob Kreipke, Ford Historian. With remarks from LTU President Virinander Moudgil, and HFTS Alumni Association President George Banda, the unveiling took place with Edsel Ford II, George Banda, Virinder Mougdil, and Douglas Ebert. Bob Hill gave an introduction to the Sculptress, Michaele Duffy Kramer.
The program ended with an invitation to take photographs and to take part in a reception where light refreshments were served.
John J. Graf
By way of background, at the 30th Anniversary Commemoration of the Trade School in 1946, Henry Ford II highlighted the fine record of heroism of Trade School students and graduates by indicating that more than 1,000 served in World War II. A special honor was attributed to 68 gallant young men who paid the ultimate price with their lives by presentation of a bronze tablet listing their names. Over the years the Alumni Association has honored that pledge to “Remember Them” at various alumni association celebrations. However, with the gradual declining membership, we have been seeking a long term accommodation with the Veterans Administration at the Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly, Michigan. That accommodation was approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs on August 8, 2014. With the V.A. approval, the granite monument was completed by Patten Monument and delivered and mounted at the cemetery on November 5, 2014. The monument will serve as a reminder that freedom is not free. We must remember that their sacrifice and courage was a high price for our freedom. It is anticipated that the monument dedication will be scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2015 (Armed Forces Day). The date will be more accommodating for relatives that want to attend the affair and are employed, and for Alumni Members who head south for the winter months. During the intervening period the monument will be covered until the dedication. Details of the affair will be published after discussions with the Forward Planning Committee.
Updated February, 2015
2015 Monument Dedication
Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.
Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors, and great-grandson of Henry Ford, was awarded Automotive News' Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Jan. 31, 2013. This is the tribute video played at that ceremony, featuring many of the legends of Ford Racing.
The Henry Ford Trade School, which opened in 1916, was planned to give needy boys an opportunity to help support themselves and to learn a trade that would be useful in adult life, according to an article in the Detroit News.
“Ford believed that the American worker had lost the use of his hands and his trade school would teach the boys to use their hands as well as their heads, just as Henry Ford had taught himself to do,” the article said. “Ford, an ardent supporter of education, opened 54 other educational facilities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.”
In 1947 the Henry Ford Trade School revised its curriculum and was able to grant high school diplomas. As a result its training became more concentrated on teenage boys from age 14 to 18. The Henry Ford Trade School closed in 1952. The Henry Ford Trade School merged with the Dearborn Junior College. This College was formerly the Fordson Junior College until 1946 when the Dearborn city schools merged. It was an outgrowth of Fordson High School and occupied a building on Michigan Avenue and Lois Street that also served as an elementary school.
The school graduated more than 8,000 tradesmen before it closed in 1952.
- This article lists recent updates on hftsaa.org.
- Detroit automakers and higher education: The Henry Ford Trade School and General Motors Institute
Interesting article in Hemmings Classic Car Blog
- Historic Newsletters
Old HFTSAA Newsletters from the Archives
- Remembering HFTS Video
Special Video about the Henry Ford Trade School (Available for purchase from Ideal Video Transfer LLC)
- Henry Ford Trade School - 75th Anniversary
Video of the 75th anniversary celebration on October 25, 1991
DANIEL S. RUCKER
1925 - 2014
Dan passed away November 1, 2014. He graduated from the Trade School January 20, 1943. He was one of the few African-Americns to ever attend the trade school.
Dan served during WWII in the US Marine Corp. He played semi-pro baseball and was an avid bridge player.
In June 2012 he traveled to Washington D.C. to take part in the award cerremony honoring the Montford Point Marines. There along with hundreds of others, he received the Congressional Gold Medal at the Capitol. The first black Marines were recruited in 1942 following an executive order of President Roosevelt. They became known as the Montford Point Marines.
He joined the Alumni Association, November 2004.