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Opening the Highways

Jan. 24, 1925, Henry Ford's original vision of providing affordable transportation to everyone materialized in a company advertisement placed in the Saturday Evening Post.  Titled – "Opening the Highways" – the image shows a family overlooking a hilly landscape dotted with cars and Ford manufacturing facilities in the background.

In 2007, after years of declining sales and profits and in the face of a looming financial crisis, the company once again used the ad as a vision for its transformation from survival to profitable growth. The ad came to the attention of Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally as well as other senior leaders and remains an important illustration of Ford's compelling vision for the future as the company implemented the One Ford plan in 2008.

The painting used to create the ad, titled “Visions of Tomorrow,” was in storage at The Henry Ford, a history museum complex in Dearborn, Mich., that collaborates in a unique partnership with Ford Motor Company to preserve America’s and Ford’s rich heritage. The Henry Ford led restoration of the painting and a paper print of the ad, supported by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund.

Mulally and The Henry Ford’s President Patricia Mooradian unveiled the restored painting June 25, as a new addition to the museum’s “Driving America” exhibit.

“The painting itself is very representative of the story we tell in the ‘Driving America’ exhibit every day,” said Mooradian. “It’s the story of how the automobile has changed the American landscape, and made our lives easier along the way. We are very thankful of our partnership with Ford Motor Company and the Ford Motor Company Fund for helping us make sure that this painting continues to inspire visitors for years to come.”

The restoration is tied with a series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the company founder’s birth this year.