Universal Studios – Harry Potter

Back in January of 2018 I spent a week in Orlando.  Most of that week was spent at the Universal Studios theme park there.  The main reason I went was that a good friend from when I lived in Pennsylvania came along on the trip and he wanted to see “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” arguably the most popular attraction at the park.  He loaned me copies of all 7 Harry Potter movies and I binge-watched them starting January 2, less than two weeks before we visited the park.

Today I am only posting photos I took in the Harry Potter areas.  Tomorrow I will post photos from other areas and later in the week I will post photos from our day-trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

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The Henry Ford Museum – Post 1 of 3

Here are more photos from “The Henry Ford” museum in Dearborn, Michigan which I visited back on September 17.  The museum is dedicated to invention and innovation.

As you can see, there are many other makes of cars (not just Fords) in the museum.

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I thought the photo on the poster shown below was interesting – 4 “Smart Cars” in a parking space taking up not much more room than a full sized Dodge Ram pickup.

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Below is the motorhome used by Charles Kuralt and his CBS crew for his “On The Road” series:

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Below is a model of a futuristic tractor-trailer cab.  Companies like Tesla already have similar designs in production.

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The Henry Ford Museum – Post 2 of 3

Here are more photos from “The Henry Ford” museum in Dearborn, Michigan which I visited back on September 17.  The museum is dedicated to invention and innovation.

These were some models of prototype vehicles for the future:

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This is a functional diner:

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The “Speedee Service System” was a huge innovation is fast food technology:

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One of President Kennedy’s limousines:

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One of President Reagan’s limousines:

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One of President Trump’s limousines???:

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The Henry Ford Museum – Post 3 of 3

Here are more photos from “The Henry Ford” museum in Dearborn, Michigan which I visited back on September 17.  The museum is dedicated to invention and innovation.

This is the “Dymaxion House,” a round house with some clever innovations.  The concept never took hold.

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I have this microwave cookbook in my cookbook library:

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We had both of these, somewhat educational, toys as kids:

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And of course most of us have probably seen or had Tupperware!

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There was a gallery dedicated to glass, which was the last area I visited before the battery in my smartphone ran out of juice….

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The photo above is looking down through the top of a glass cube which had thin, colorful panels embedded in it.  The photo below is looking at if from the side.

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The Henry Ford Museum – Post 1 of 2

Back on September 17 I visited “The Henry Ford,” a museum in Dearborn, Michigan which highlights invention and innovation.  It isn’t just the history of the Ford Motor Company, in fact there are many automotive brands represented in the various displays, in addition to trains, aircraft, farm machinery, motors and mechanical devices, electronics and things which many of us use everyday.  Today I am posting around 20 photos from that visit and tomorrow I will post about 30 more.

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Below are some early “electric” cars:

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And I include the photo below because I saw a car like this driving around a parking lot (with an audience, which is what drew my attention to it) near the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  That university, I’m sure with assistance from Ford Motor Company, is a leader in solar car development and is a frequent entrant in competitions to promote the advancement of that technology.

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And below is the original “Turbine Car,” built on a Chrysler chassis.  That technology never became economically feasible.

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The Henry Ford Museum – Post 2 of 2

Back on September 17 I visited “The Henry Ford,” a museum in Dearborn, Michigan which highlights invention and innovation.  It isn’t just the history of the Ford Motor Company, in fact there are many automotive brands represented in the various displays, in addition to trains, aircraft, farm machinery, motors and mechanical devices, electronics and things which many of us use everyday.  Today I am posting around 20 photos from that visit and tomorrow I will post about 30 more.

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I used to have a fold-up “travel clock”, Kodak instamatic camera and Canon digital camera like those in the photo above.

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As a kid in Chicago, we used to have this game (or one like it) for our road trips to Wisconsin and train trips to West Virginia to visit my grandparents.

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I still have an iPod Nano like the one shown above.

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As many of you know, I am a big NASCAR race fan.  The ‘SC’ in NASCAR stands for stock car.  The photo above is of a true “stock car,” which only had safety modifications, such as a roll bar, added to it (and I’m sure the motor was souped up over what one would get in a car purchased from a car dealer).  Note the stock metal bumpers and grill in the photo above, and the stock steering wheel, dashboard and padded bench seat (!) in the photo below.

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Below, on the other hand, is a more modern car raced on the NASCAR circuit which is a “built from scratch” RACE car.  High tech chassis, custom made sheet metal (which only resembles a “showroom” car), custom made dash with only essential gauges, removable, padded steering wheel (the driver climbs in and out the open “window”) and “custom-fit to the driver” seat.

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This car is here because it recorded the fastest-ever lap in an official NASCAR event.  In one of the two 1987 races held in Talladega, Alabama this car ran a qualifying lap of 212.089 mph!  During the actual race, however, Bobby Allison was involved in a horrible accident in which his car became airborne and almost went into the spectator grandstand.  As a result of that incident, NASCAR mandated a “restrictor plate” that was used in future races to slow the cars down at certain tracks to reduce the risk of a catastrophic event which might injure or kill spectators.

In 1985 Bill Elliott drove a car like this at Talladega and came from almost two full laps down (behind) to lead and ultimately win (I was there!), all without the aid of a yellow caution flag.  I was sitting out near turn 4 and believe me – his car absolutely flew (although not literally).  The average speed of that race was a whopping 186.288 miles per hour.  In 2016, AFTER the restrictor plate was required, the average speed was “only” 140.046 mph.

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Greenfield Village – Post 1 of 2

Back on September 17, while staying in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I drove in to the Detroit suburb of Dearborn to visit “The Henry Ford”, a museum dedicated to invention and innovation which is operated by the Ford Motor Company.  One of my younger brothers had visited the museum a few years ago and told me it is amazing.  I will post pictures from the museum itself starting tomorrow but first I want to show you Greenfield Village, a historic community adjacent to the museum which reminded me very much of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.  It opened to the public in 1933. 

The Village is a large area, beautifully landscaped, with wide streets and many homes and buildings which were originally built in other parts of the world but were deconstructed, transported to the Village and rebuilt.  There is a separate entry fee for the Village but if you ever get up to Dearborn I highly recommend that you make time to go through it.

There were several modes of transportation available in the Village.  I walked through it but some people paid extra to ride horse-drawn carriages, Model T cars or historic buses.  There is also a train which takes riders around the perimeter of the Village, which sits on about 90 acres.

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