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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Plymouth in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Phoenix Mill

Women in a Village Industry

 
 
Phoenix Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 12, 2019
1. Phoenix Mill Marker
Inscription.  
Henry Ford wanted only women to work here
in this small factory, built in 1922 as one of his Village Industries. The women workers built electrical parts such as voltage meters, light switches and generator cutouts (a form of relay) for Ford automobiles and, during World War II in the 1940s, produced electrical wiring for M-7 machine gun directors and electrical parts for Universal Gun Carriers. With increased wartime work, their operation was transferred to the Willow Run Bomber Plant, and they became some of the first "Rosie the Riviters".

You Auto Know
Women working at Phoenix Plant had to be single or widowed, wear dresses to work, and could not smoke.
 
Erected by MotorCities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area marker series.
 
Location. 42° 23.518′ N, 83° 28.089′ W. Marker is in Plymouth, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is on Edward Hines Drive, on the left when traveling
Upper left image image. Click for full size.
Photo from the collections of The Henry Ford.
2. Upper left image
Designed by reknowned industrial architect Albert Kahn, the Phoenix plant stands on property acquired by Ford in 1919.
south. Marker is 400 feet south of Northville Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14973 Northville Road, Plymouth MI 48170, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gunsolly Carding Mill (approx. 1.1 miles away); Plymouth (approx. 1.4 miles away); Baker House (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Conner Building (approx. 1 miles away); The Plymouth United Savings Bank (approx. 1 miles away); The Penniman Buildings (approx. 1 miles away); Rose of Aberlone (approx. 1 miles away); The Wilcox House (approx. 1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Plymouth.
 
Also see . . .
1. Phoenix Ford Plant Sold to Developer. The Plymouth Voice reported (September 30, 2018) that the Phoenix plant was sold to a developer who plans to open restaurant and retail space. (Submitted on July 17, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

2. New life ahead for Kahn-designed former Ford mills in Wayne County. Crains Detroit Business reported (March 14, 2019) that three former Ford mills are expected to be redeveloped, with the Phoenix plant being turned into a restaurant and banquet center. (Submitted on July 17, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWomen
 
Middle left image image. Click for full size.
Photo from the collections of The Henry Ford.
3. Middle left image
Ford believed that women possessed the fine motor skills required to assemble delicate electrical parts.
Center image image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum.
4. Center image
The women employees of Phoenix, shown here in 1922, had a beautiful view of Phoenix Lake, created by Ford's new dam at the site.
Upper right image image. Click for full size.
Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum.
5. Upper right image
Ford's Phoenix plant is all that remains to mark the location of the historic village of Phoenix. It stands on the site of two former gristmills, the first built in 1840.
Lower right image image. Click for full size.
Photo from the collections of The Henry Ford.
6. Lower right image
Ford paid the women employees $5.00 per day, almost as much as the men, which was unheard of at the time.
Phoenix Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 12, 2019
7. Phoenix Mill Marker
View looking north along Edward Hines Drive.
Phoenix Mill image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 18, 2019
8. Phoenix Mill
View of the building from the east, looking across Northville Road. (The building can't be seen from Edward Hines Drive.)
 

More. Search the internet for Phoenix Mill.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 17, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 82 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 17, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   8. submitted on July 22, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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