Clarke Historical Library: More Relevant Exhibits

Yesterday, I wrote about an exhibit at the Clarke Historical Library that included a quaint advertisement extolling the virtues of the “built-in car room.” Looking through their other exhibits, I found three more that might interest readers who are interested in cities. The first two demonstrate the power of the oil and gas industry, and the third provides access to interesting historical sources on the early development of one North American city.

Today it is hard to imagine a time when gasoline was not a necessity, but until the beginning of the twentieth century gasoline was seen as a largely waste product of refining. Nineteenth century oil refineries focused on making kerosene, which was the preferred fuel by consumers for illumination… The automobile fundamentally restructured the refining business, taking the unpopular and largely unsellable stove naphtha and making it a commonly sold petroleum product. (“Early Company History“)

In 1956 Leonard adopted a new strategy that played to its strength as a regional, Michigan-based company by encouraging people to travel in Michigan. Labeled “going places in Michigan,” the keystone of the campaign was a very successful television show, Michigan Outdoors, which was televised across the state… Leonard Refineries both sponsored the program and built a large number of printed promotions around it. Almost all of the promotions were distributed free of charge, at “your local Leonard station.” (“Going Places in Michigan“)

Michigan has an abundance of oil and natural gas located under its landscape. For over one hundred years Michiganians have been involved in the task of finding those resources and bringing them to market… The web component of the exhibit supplements the physical exhibit with almost 800 industry photographs which are arranged by decade.

“I Arrived at Detroit…” celebrates the three hundredth anniversary of Detroit’s founding by bringing to the Web over one hundred first-hand accounts of individuals who visited Detroit between 1701 and 1837. The individuals who wrote these accounts left a surprisingly detailed and vibrant record of what they saw and experienced. They show that even in this early period Detroit was a most interesting place.

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This entry was posted in Automobiles, Cars, Oil & Gas Industry, Photographs, U.S.A.. Bookmark the permalink.

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