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NAAM E-News – October 2013, Volume 14, Issue 3

January 10, 2014 in Newsletter by admin

In This Issue

President’s Message

By Jacky Frady

For museums that operate on a calendar year, you are putting finishing touches on your budget, business plan, exhibit and program calendars, and identifying objectives and developing tactics to meet your goals.

Please include NAAM in your goal setting, for example:

  1. Attend the 2014 Conference.
  2. Enter several projects in the NAAMY Awards Competition.
  3. Apply for a conference scholarship.
  4. Participate regularly in the forum on the NAAM website.
  5. Become more involved in NAAM through a committee or leadership position.

Next step, identify the tactics to accomplish your goals:

  1. Budget conference expenses, schedule your calendar to attend the conference (see the conference article for dates and fees), and develop a work plan to accommodate this time away from your museum.
  2. Select the NAAMY Award categories to enter, outline entry steps and needs, set completion dates, and outline a plan to promote the awards you win.
  3. Watch for scholarship announcements, thoughtfully complete the application, and mark your calendar to submit it before the deadline (to be determined).
  4. Set reminders in your outlook calendar to check the forum on a regular basis and participate.
  5. Schedule dates to explore opportunities to increase involvement, reach out to NAAM committee chairs and Board members (see www.naam.museum for contact info), and share your ideas.

Just like you, goal setting is a primary goal of the NAAM Board of Directors at this time. We sincerely thank our 36 members who participated in the Member Interest Survey and sharied information to help make NAAM better. In preparation of our Strategic Planning Meeting that is quickly approaching, we are reviewing survey results, our current Strategic Plan, our progress with this plan, and current committee projects and goals. We look forward to developing a new Strategic Plan that will guide our efforts and ensure NAAM remains relevant and meaningful to our members.

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with me. I welcome and appreciate your input.

2014 Annual Conference

NAAM and the World Forum

Be sure to mark your calendars for the joint 2014 Conference with NAAM and the World Forum for Motor Museums, which will be held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, from March 25 through 29, 2014.

The theme will be “Attracting New Audiences” and there will be three days of sessions with topics ranging in scope from vehicle conservation and preservation to media relations and reaching non-auto enthusiast visitors. In addition, two days of field trips will take us up the Pacific Coast Highway and along the streets and boulevards that once made up the beginning of historic Route 66.

We are now in the process of finalizing the seminars that will make our gathering both timely and relevant so please contact Leslie Kendall at the Petersen Automotive Museum (lkendall@petersen.org) if you would like to submit a last-minute idea for a paper, presentation, or panel discussion.

The registration fee will be $500 for delegates and $350 for delegates’ guests who will join us at the dinners, receptions, and tours, but not the sessions. This fee will cover the cost of select meals, conference materials and handouts, daily shuttles to and from hotels, offsite tour transportation, and access to the Petersen Museum hospitality suite.

Because it will be a “joint” conference, participants from both the World Forum and NAAM will attend all of the same events at the same time. This will allow for maximum interaction among the delegates and provide a rare opportunity to liaison with your colleagues from around the world without having to leave the country! On-line registration will be available soon so watch for periodic updates.

We hope to see everyone in California next March and will keep you informed as our plans for this landmark event continue to unfold.

2014 NAAMY Awards Competition

As 2013 starts coming to a close, this is a good time to start planning your entries for our upcoming competition. The NAAMY Awards brochure and entry form are not out yet, but you can review last’s year information on the NAAM website, www.naam.museum. Select the categories you want to enter, gather support materials as outlined in the guidelines, and begin drafting points pertinent to your entry narrative. A NAAMY Awards offer many benefits from offering the incentives to improve your programs to illustrating the excellent work your museum is producing.

Website Forum

What Forum? Hopefully, that’s not what you said when you looked at the title of this article. It’s the forum on the NAAM website. Check it daily, answer questions posed by your NAAM colleagues, offer your advice, and use it as a resource tool to help you with your job. If you do that, the forum will become one of NAAM’s most important benefits. Please make the forum part of your daily routine, perhaps, right after checking emails. Terry Ernest, the NAAM Board member who managed the development of our new website and forum, knows the benefit of association forums.

Terry Ernest joined a business association to receive benefits of mass buying for his retail business. He was looking for a cost savings, but what he found was remarkable asset – a forum. Here he could ask questions and receive input from experts in his field. There were multiple answers that offered difference perspectives. These opinions contributed significantly to the success of his business.

If you feel like you are faced with too much work, too few resources and you are wearing too many hats, then your time is precious and obviously very limited. With the forum, you can find helpful information by simply setting at your desk and using your keyboard. What an effective way to broaden your resources. Give it a try.

As Terry has said, “This is where the power of your membership will be realized. But to make it work, we all must be involved. Please go to our new website, www.naam.museum, and log into the forum area. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or provide your answer to someone else’s questions. To get the greatest value from your NAAM membership, log into the forum and contribute every day!”

Did you forget your login information? If so, contact Lisa Panko at lpanko@automuseum.org.

Curatorial News

A Century of the Automobile Assembly Line

By Matt Anderson
Curator of Transportation
The Henry Ford

It’s been a busy year at The Henry Ford. Not only are we commemorating the 150th anniversary of our namesake’s birth (Ford was born on July 30, 1863), we’re also marking the centennial of Ford Motor Company’s seminal Highland Park assembly line. Over much of 1913 and into the early months of 1914, Henry Ford and his associates combined the standardization of interchangeable parts with the subdivision of labor and the fluidity of work moving to workers. What they discovered in the process was the key to production figures previously unimaginable, and a force that continues to drive global industry today.

Fittingly, the Ford assembly line had its “spark” in the Model T’s magneto generator. Somewhere around April 1, 1913, flywheel magnetos were placed on moving lines in the Highland Park plant. Instead of one worker completing one flywheel in some 20 minutes, a group of workers stood along a waist-high platform. Each worker assembled some small piece of the flywheel and then slid it along to the next person. One whole flywheel came off the line every 13 minutes. With further tweaking, the assembly line produced a finished flywheel magneto in just five minutes.

We can only imagine the excitement that came with this “eureka” moment. Ford soon adapted the assembly line to engines, and then transmissions, and, in August 1913, to complete chassis. The crude “slide” method was replaced with chain-driven delivery systems that not only reduced handling but also regulated work speed. By early 1914, the various separate production lines had fused into three continuous lines able to churn out a finished Model T every 93 minutes – an extraordinary improvement over the 12½ hours per car under the old stationary assembly methods.

There’s no greater measure of the assembly line’s efficiencies than the result it had on the Model T’s price. While the car was a good value when introduced in 1908 for $850, by the early 1920s Ford was able to drop the price to a mere $260 for a two-seat runabout. Lower prices increased demand, and the resulting feedback loop yielded 15 million cars built and sold by the time Model T production ended in 1927.
The assembly line’s anniversary is a reminder that automobile museums preserve much more than automobiles. We are also the custodians of significant social and technological concepts that, despite their tremendous influence, cannot be fully shared through physical objects alone. While a finished Model T, an industrial milling machine, or an employee badge might tell parts of the assembly line’s story, it is up to us as curators, directors and collections managers to preserve and interpret the whole. So long as we do, the automobile’s larger influence on American life and progress will remain relevant to changing audiences. One hundred years later, the assembly line remains a powerful industrial force. It is our task to share the origins and inspiration that brought that force to light a century ago.

News from Member Museums

 National Corvette Museum – Bowling Green, Ky.

motor cycle exhibit

Corvettes may be the best thing on four wheels, but what about our two-wheel friends? Running from September 21 through January 3, the National Corvette Museum presents “Two-Wheel Speed,” a unique exhibit featuring over 40 amazing motorcycles of various makes, models and eras. The bikes on display range from the classic American Harley to foreign bikes such as Kawasakis and Yamahas.

Learn more about this exhibit, running through January 3, online here: http://www.corvettemuseum.org/exhibits/motorcycle.shtml

Studebaker Museum – South Bend, Ind.

Capehart Jukebox

The Studebaker National Museum has opened a special Exhibit about Notre Dame’s most famous coach, Knute Rockne, and his connection as celebrity sales representative for the Studebaker Corporation.  Mr. Rockne was perhaps the first superstar ever associated with the Notre Dame football team. This exhibit will run through December 1, 2013 and will examine the relationships between Studebaker, Knute Rockne and the University of Notre Dame from 1928 until Rockne’s untimely death in 1931.

In addition to their new Knute Rockne exhibit, the Museum has recently received a new addition to their glamorous galleries. A 1930 Capehart Amperion 110 Jukebox (with radio) now resides in the Museum with cars from its era on its first-floor gallery.

This Capehart Amperion 110 utilizes a mechanism that changes and flips 78 rpm records automatically. Capehart’s unique design allowed for the user to listen to hours of music without having to change the record player manually each time it finished a record. This player was the absolute ultimate experience for music lovers, at that time.

World of Speed Museum – Portland, Ore.

World of Speed, a new experiential motorsports exposition being developed in the Portland, Ore. area has retained the services of renowned local designer, Eric Black. A Portland native, Eric is a trained architect, but makes his living designing automobiles for clients such as Freightliner and TV personality, Jesse James. He is currently working on vehicles for a major movie project.

“World of Speed will be a new type of experience,” said Executive Director Tony Thacker. “Eric is the perfect guy to oversee its design. We felt that Eric’s blend of an architectural background coupled with his obvious passion for automobiles would enable him to bring a unique perspective to World of Speed” continued Thacker. “It’s not often that one finds a designer with such diverse experience that can talk the hot rod language. We’re very excited to have him on board.”
Anticipated to open in 2014, World of Speed will be a new type of automotive experience that combines the excitement and passion of historic racecars with education.

Murphy Auto Museum – Oxnard, Calif.

Murphy
From October through December, the Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, Calif. will feature a display of the Chevrolet Corvette, America’s Sports car. The exhibit will feature various models including a 1960, 1964, 1966, 1069 and a 1986. Many pieces of Corvette memorabilia will also be on display.

In addition to their new Corvette exhibit, the Museum will also have a display of Brewster Moseley “Auto Portraits from the Past.” For up to date information on what’s happening at the Murphy Auto Museum, please visit them on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Murphy-Auto-Museum/172995117690

Wheels O’ Time Museum – Dunlap, Ill.

World museum fall festival

The Wheels O’ Time Museum in Dunlap, Ill., had an excellent summer season with a significant increase of visitors, capped off by a successful Fall Festival event in October. In early spring, the new workshop and display building was completed, making room for a large workshop as well as a display area for a new partner of the Museum, the local Early Ford V-8 Club. The building was the pet project of the Museum’s Vice President, Jack Seamon, who passed away in February.

The main project in the new facility is the restoration of the Peoria Fire Department’s 1931 Ahrens Fox Fire Pumper, with the aid of the Heart of Illinois Fire Enthusiasts and Collectors, also a new partner club. A recent exhibit in the Ford section was a 1927 Ford Touring from Bradford, Ill., in which six young women toured the country for six years prior to World War II. They named the car the “Silver Streak” and themselves the “Gypsy Coeds.” This group of ladies was even lucky enough to meet and have lunch with Henry Ford himself.

On October 5, the Wheels O’ Time Museum held their annual Fall Festival event. The festival brought out a large crowd who all came to see antique and modern fire trucks, a blacksmith shop, working mini steam engines, music, food and more. Shown is a beautiful 1925 Chevrolet Fire Truck restored by one of our volunteers, at the Festival.

The museum will close for the season on November 1.