Springfield Union


Ford Fiasco: Tracking the Rise and Fall of the Edsel in American Newspaper Archives

 By Bruce D. Roberts, creator of Edsel Promo Time

Automotive sales tracker R. L. Polk & Co. recently announced that the Ford Focus was the best-selling passenger car in the world in 2012.  Impressive!

By contrast, Ford Motor Company’s ill-fated Edsel, sold for the 1958-1960 model years, is a dark icon of product failure even today.  Ford sunk $250 million into Edsel development; what on earth went wrong?

In 1948, Henry Ford II, Ford’s president and son of previous Ford president Edsel Ford, formed a committee to look into the viability of a new car in the expanding medium-priced segment of the automotive market.  General Motors, by far the largest of the Big Three auto makers, had Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Buick as entries in the medium-priced field, while Chrysler Corporation had Dodge, De Soto, and Chrysler.  Ford had only Mercury.

Ford Fiasco: Tracking the Rise and Fall of the Edsel in American Newspaper Archives

The Vermilion Bridge: One of the World’s Most Admired Human Achievements

May 27, 2012, is the 75th anniversary of the opening celebrations of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. When it opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.  It spanned the mile-wide strait entering San Francisco Bay, a feat that had been dreamed of, and deemed impossible, for a century.  On May 27, 1937, over 200,000 pedestrians streamed over the bridge in a festive display of wonder and enthusiasm.

Dallas Morning News (May 28, 1937)

The Vermilion Bridge: One of the World’s Most Admired Human Achievements

Just published — The Readex Report: April 2012

In our latest issue: The exonerated executioner of a Native American sorceress; profiling a polymathic chess master; using a local newspaper archive to uncover an American city's past; and unremembered inhumanity that sparked a world war.
Murder! Or the Remarkable Trial of Tommy Jemmy, 19th-Century Seneca Witch-Hunter and Defender of Indian Sovereignty By Matthew Dennis, Professor of History and Environmental Studies, University of Oregon I never read murder and mayhem stories in the newspaper.  Such sensationalist accounts have been a mainstay of the U.S. popular press since it was invented in the early American republic, and they remain a prominent feature today.  But the tawdry details of homicidal doings, breathlessly recounted, hold little appeal for me.  And yet a few years ago one such story caught my eye and drew me in, sending me on my own investigative journey. (read article)
Just published — The Readex Report: April 2012

Local Intelligence: Exploring the Past of My Adopted Hometown

Our Guest Blogger:

Barbara Shaffer, unofficial historian of Springfield, Massachusetts

From the online archive of the Springfield Republican and Union

Local Intelligence: Exploring the Past of My Adopted Hometown

You are what you eat? Maybe, maybe not

Source: Morning Oregonian, Feb. 5, 1910

Low-fat? Low-calorie? Low-carb? Headlines seem to grab the public’s interest every day with warnings about what and what not to eat. With food-related health issues and rising obesity rates getting so much attention in the United States and around the world, it is tempting to think that mankind’s struggles with diet are new. But of course they aren’t!

Source: Rising Sun (Kansas City, MO), May 26, 1905. Click to open in PDF.

You are what you eat? Maybe, maybe not

Back to top