Sotheby’s Auburn Fall auction will feature not only American classics and racing equipment like The Crapshooter 7/11, but also many collectibles. Among them is a bottle of Ford Motor Company tomato juice bottled in 1938. In fact, it is a relic of the Great Depression: according to Henry’s Attic: Some Fascinating Gifts to Henry Ford and His Museum, Henry Ford only opened a small cannery on his own plantation in Dearborn, Michigan for three weeks, and supplied juice to the city’s charities for free.
By the beginning of the Great Depression, Henry Ford owned hundreds of hectares of land in southeast Michigan, planted with soybeans, carrots, tomatoes and other crops. The industrialist donated part of the harvest in a difficult decade for America to charitable organizations, and he did it for free. In 1938, in the premises of the old school in Dearborn, where the headquarters of the concern is now, Ford opened a small cannery, which began to produce tomato juice.
Thirty boys and five adult men have been pouring juice for only three weeks. Of course, there is not much left of the 52,505 bottles, but from time to time they appear at auctions – usually empty. At Sotheby’s, however, there will be a full one, although the liquid in it can hardly still be consumed. The label says that Ford Motor Company juice is rich in vitamins A, B and C; Made from select tomatoes grown on Ford’s Dearborn farm; suitable for making cocktails, soup, and can also be used as a sauce for meat.
For one of the little-known parts of the history of the Ford Motor Company, they want to help out 150-300 dollars. By the way, then, in 1938, the story with tomatoes was not over for the company. After 76 years, Ford merged with H.J. Heinz Company, and together they launched a research project to develop a biocomposite that included tomato peel, stems and seeds.