Ford House museum app tempts history buffs

For fans of automotive history, a visit to the Edsel and Elanor Ford estate in Detroit is a must, but if you can't make it to Michigan, this free iPhone app is a reasonable substitute.

As someone who comes from a long line of race car drivers and auto enthusiasts, it always comes as a shock to me that I don't bleed straight motor oil when I get a cut or a scrape. It runs that deep, people. Living in a city that is a cinch to traverse on foot or public transit has helped to temper my vehicular attachment, but every once in a while a product like the Edsel & Elanor Ford House iPhone app will bring it writhing to the surface once again.

Edsel & Elanor Ford House app
If you choose a "self-guided" tour, these two options are presented. Edsel & Elanor Ford House

Truth be told, the Ford House app doesn't have much--if anything--to do with cars, at least not directly. It focuses on the life and dream home of Henry Ford's son, Edsel, and Edsel's wife, Elanor, with a little bit of automotive history thrown in for color. In fact, those with a particular fascination with architecture are likely to find the content more enthralling than car enthusiasts, although I know the most die-hard Ford fans will at least find it interesting.

The app features over 60 minutes of exclusive video, many of it exploring the grounds of the Edsel & Elanor Ford House, which stands on the shore of Lake Saint Clair just outside of Detroit, Michigan. It also offers many old family videos shot by Edsel, as well as a special short video on landscape architect Jens Jensen. You can choose whether to take a guided video tour, which takes you through each video in a prescribed order, or you can explore a map and view snippets on your own time.

It would be great if the Ford House app offered some sort of truly self-guided walk-through functionality, to give it more of an interactive feel. As it stands, it really comes across as a History Channel special packaged as an app. Still, it does have a polished look and it is both informative and free. Definitely worth a download for history or Ford buffs.

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