Uncommon TLS, one page, 6 x 8, Ford Motor Company letterhead, August 1, 1939. Letter congratulating dealer Floyd Ostrom for reaching an impressive goal. In full: “We take this means of extending our congratulations to you as one of the dealers who delivered 100 or more new units during the month of May 1939. We want you to know that we appreciate fully the extra effort put forth by you and your organization to achieve this distinction. We are indeed proud to have representation of this kind.” Letter is in a 8.25 x 10.5 leather display frame alongside a portrait of the Fords. Leather display is in turn suede-matted and framed to an overall size of 32 x 25. In very good condition, with uniform toning, scattered light foxing and a crease to left edge. Accompanied by Ostrom’s 1938 Los Angeles Police Department press pass. Just the third item signed by both Fords we have offered, this one with exceedingly desirable automotive content. Oversized. RR Auction COA.
Category Archives: Henry Ford
Extraordinary matte-finish 10 x 8 photo of Orville Wright and Henry Ford looking over a set of blueprints for the restoration of the Wright Brothers’ bicycle workshop at Greenfield Village, signed at the bottom in fountain pen by both men. In fine condition. Ford founded his Greenfield Village museum in Detroit in 1929, with the aim of ‘collecting the history of our people as written into things their hands made and used.’ Ford purchased the Wright Brothers’ home and workshop in 1937, then had it moved from Dayton, Ohio, and reassembled at the museum complex. A rare and marvelous photograph of great historical significance. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Superb vintage pearl-finish 10 x 8 photograph of Edison, Ford, Herbert Hoover, and other dignitaries at the 1929 dedication of Ford’s Greenfield Village complex, signed in fountain pen, “Thos. A. Edison,” “Henry Ford,” and “Mrs. Henry Ford,” and dated December 4, 1930, in the lower border. Mild toning and soiling, a few trivial dings, and slightly irregular ink adhesion to signatures, which nonetheless remain clear and distinct. Ford founded the Edison Institute (also known as Greenfield Village) in Detroit in 1929, with the aim of collecting American history ‘as written into things their hands made and used.’ The centerpiece was the Menlo Park laboratory of Thomas Edison. The entire complex—including the laboratory proper, all of the outbuildings, and dirt that it stood on—was transported and rebuilt. This singular tribute to Edison’s genius was dedicated on October 21, 1929, in a ceremony broadcast over nationwide radio. Edison, in the presence of such dignitaries as President Herbert Hoover, ‘recreated’ the original light bulb in his newly relocated laboratory. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
RR Autograph Auction DS signed Henry and Edsel Ford Sold For $18,368
DS, signed “Henry Ford,” and “Edsel B. Ford”,” four pages, 8.5 x 13, August 6, 1919. Financial agreement between C. Harold Wills and Henry Ford after Wills had left the company. In part: “Memorandum of release and agreement…between C. Harold Wills…first party and Henry Ford…second party…Whereas, the first party quit the service of Ford Motor Company on or about the 15th day of March, 1919, and has not since rendered any service to said company…Whereas, it has heretofore been unsettled and undetermined whether first party was entitled to any payment from the second party on account thereof; the first party claims $1,474,567.03, plus $117,561.36 as interest…be due him on account…Whereas, the first and second parties have been associated in the work of the Ford Motor Company for many years and they have had numerous relations together; Whereas it is desired to settle and adjust all matters of every and any nature existing between the parties…Witnesseth; That for and in consideration of the payment by the second party unto the first party of the said total sum of $1,592,128.39 this day made, the first party hereby releases and discharges the said second party of and from any and all claims and demands.” Signed on the third page by Wills and Henry Ford, and signed on the fourth page again by Wills and Henry Ford, and also signed by Edsel Ford. Binding staples to top edge, expected folds, and some scattered light toning and creases, otherwise fine condition.
When Henry Ford started the Ford Motor Company in 1903, Childe Harold Wills, a friend and associate at the Detroit Automobile Company, joined him as the chief designer and metallurgist. Wills could not afford to buy stock in the new company, but Ford offered him 10% of his own dividend because he was such a valuable asset. In his first several years there, he worked hand in hand with Ford on the early models, making several enormous contributions. Not only did he design integral parts of the cars themselves (the lightweight alloys required for mass production, the planetary transmission and the detachable cylinder head on the Model T), but he also designed the calligraphy of the iconic scripted “Ford” logo that is still in use today. In 1919, as Ford began buying out shareholders to gain complete control of his company, Wills decided to leave, reminding Ford that he was due a portion of his dividends. This incredibly rare document is Wills’s copy of the contract in which Ford agrees to pay him over $1.5 million severance. We have only offered one document signed by both Edsel and Henry Ford in the past: this piece is not only signed by both, but it also holds a second Henry Ford signature and the signature of Wills, one of the greatest engineers in the auto industry, making it by far the finest Ford document we have ever offered for sale. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.