The Vagabonds
Between 1916 and 1924, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs, embarked on a series of camping trips. They called themselves the Vagabonds and camped in style. Together they brought along numerous support staff including members of their household staffs. The staff set up and took down camp ((including sleeping and dining tents), started fires, cooked, drove, took photographs, and maintained the cars and equipment trucks. The caravan included a truck outfitted as a refrigerator and camp kitchen. Electricity was provided by storage batteries that Edison supplied. The group traveled to the Adirondacks and Green Mountains in 1916 but Ford was not able to join them. The 1918 trip began in Pennsylvania and included West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. In 1919 they visited New York and New England. They traveled to New York's Catskill Mountains and John Burroughs’ home in 1920. The 1921 trip was to Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. In 1923, the group visited Northern Michigan including the lumber camps at Sidnaw and Iron Mountain. The trip in 1924 did not include camping. The group stayed at the Wayside Inn in Massachusetts and made brief excursions to Vermont.

The following resources provide more information about the Vagabonds:

- Benson Ford Research Center Popular Research Topics page on The Vagabonds.

- Videos from our YouTube channel:
Vagabonds: Henry Ford and friends camping (19??)

Vagabonds: Henry Ford and friends camping, part 2 (1916).

- Publications
There to breathe the beauty / by Brauer, Norm. Dalton, Pa. : Norman Brauer Publications, 1995.

For more information about this topic or the collections of The Henry Ford, contact research.center@thehenryford.org.
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