The plantations of Fordlandia and Belterra were two attempts by the Ford Motor Company from 1928-1945 to establish a permanent rubber plantation presence in Brazil. The goal of setting up the Ford Motor Company of Brazil was two-fold: to supply Ford’s internal demand for rubber as well as to provide a better way of life for the Brazilians who lived and worked on the plantations. The plantations were testaments to the innovations of agriculture and industry related to commercial cultivation in the jungle, but they were also marked with failures such as not understanding native culture and trying to impose a Dearborn-like work schedule and life on the native Brazilians.

If you would like more information about Fordlandia please visit the Benson Ford Research Center Popular Research Topics page on Brazilian rubber plantations.

A great read about Fordlandia is Greg Grandin's Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City. Grandin used many of these pictures in his book and did research at the Benson Ford Research Center, The Henry Ford. The book was nominated for a 2009 National Book Award for Non-Fiction and Amazon gave it a "Best Books for the First Half of 2009" Award.

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