Video: A Conversation with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone

Join three of the giants of the 20th century, and three great friends, in this illuminating 1929 film interview. 



On October 21, 1929, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone were gathered together in Dearborn, Michigan for Ford’s celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Edison’s most famous invention, the electric lamp. The three industrialists and inventors were close friends. With naturalist John Burroughs, they were known as the Vagabonds for their well-publicized camping trips in rural America from 1915 through 1924, and Ford almost worshiped Edison as his hero and mentor.

As part of the elaborate celebration, billed as Light’s Golden Jamboree, the three men filmed the two-minute interview featured here. As we often say here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, old clips such as these are a wonderful resource. They allow us to see and hear the great figures in history speaking in their own words—helps us to know them better, makes them virtually leap off the pages of the history books and come to life. Video follows.


5 thoughts on “Video: A Conversation with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone

  1. Fascinating. . . Ford sounds just like I imagined him: clipped, terse, like a midwestern farmer. Firestone sounds a lot friendlier. Edison appears to be almost totally deaf.

  2. Classic video. What makes it particularly poignant is, in my opinion, that if you had the CEO’s of GM, GE & Bridgestone sitting around today, they would be discussing how to get a government bailout or maybe how to get the DOJ to put a competitor out of business.

  3. a wonderful conversation for us to be able to hear by these giants. Just like to point out it was about a week before the stock market crash

  4. Wonderful to see and hear these great men speak. I love the part where HF prompts Edison to speak, and instead of passing him a note bellows in his ear “ANSWER THAT QUESTION NOW!”

    • That took me back to my childhood. Effective hearing aids are available today, but when I was little deafness was quite common, and so was old folks yelling at each other. As a tot I found it interesting and amusing.

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