Ford releases 5,000 photos of its 119-year history – Ford Heritage Vault – TopAuto
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Ford releases 5,000 photos of its 119-year history – Ford Heritage Vault

Ford celebrated its 119th anniversary in June 17 by releasing more than 5,000 curated photographs and brochures of Ford and Lincoln cars from across the company’s years of operations.

The Ford Heritage Vault is a dedicated website set up for anyone to be able to browse the previously-archived material online.

“Our archives were established 70 years ago, and for the first time, we’re opening the vault for the public to see,”  said Ted Ryan, Ford archive and heritage brand manager.

“We’re opening up in a way we’ve never done before.”

These historical assets are free to download and are meant for personal use, said Ford.

Furthermore, new content will be continually added to the site going forward.

A history of Ford

Ford was founded in 1903, and the material available in the online collection today is the result of two years of careful curation by Ford’s archive team.

Many of the high-resolution photos detail the design and functionality of Ford and Lincoln’s vehicles from years gone by.

Other images bring Ford’s heritage to life for fans of the brand and also serve as a way of educating newcomers to the Blue Oval automaker, said Ford.

The items are a clear reflection of the times they were made in, with one such example, a set of brochures from the 1970s and ’80s, showcasing Ford’s attempts to appeal to younger audiences with scenes of racing, beaches, and skydiving – all accentuated by the browns, yellows, and oranges that defined the style of the era.

“Brochures like these add so much more information and impact for people who want to learn about our products, heritage, and accessories,” said Ciera Casteel, an archivist at Ford who helped prepare the materials.

The project saw assistance from the likes of current and retired Ford employees, as well as motor city Detroit’s Wayne State University.

Common searches on the site among early testers were for the Ford Bronco and F-Series, as well as the Meteor, Fairlane, Galaxie, Model A, and Edsel.

One user even found the Ford Tempo models that their mother and grandmother owned in the 1980s and ’90s.

The website includes accessibility features that translate photos, charts, graphs, and other digital assets for compatibility with assistive technology such as screen readers for visually impaired site visitors.

Users can also request remediated versions of brochures from the site.

“These assets were born analogue, and we have worked hard to bring them to the digital world,” said Casteel.

“But digitizing isn’t enough. It was important to us that the Heritage Vault is accessible for everyone to enjoy.”


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