Answered By: Archives & Library Staff @The Henry Ford
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017 Views: 398

The original Glidden Tours were a type of road race held in the early 20th century to promote highway development and travel in the United States.  They were named after American telephone pioneer, automobile enthusiast, and financial supporter, Charles J. Glidden, These tours even helped inspired the first commercial airplane reliability tours in 1925.

The Glidden Tours were revived in 1946 and continue today with vintage automobiles traveling predetermined routes.  There are also designated stops along the routes for participants to show off their vehicles.  Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village has been used in past tours.



 Acc. 1708 Automotive Related Programs Collection

The Automotive-Related Programs Collection is composed primarily of programs and score cards dealing with automobile events. This collection also includes information on other modes of transportation related to the rise of automobile use, such as horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, motorcycles and airplanes. The programs have been organized topically within the following six series: I. Antique Automobile Exhibits and Collector Events II. Automobile Shows III. Motorcycle and Bicycle Races and Shows IV. Commemorative Programs V. Automobile Races and Competitions VI. Touring Events and Rallies They are organized chronologically within the series.

  Series IV Commemorative Programs    Box 14 

  • 1946 The Glidden Tour, 1946 Revival

  Series VI Touring Events and Rallies    Box 32   

  • 1946 The Glidden Tour, 1946 Revival, Detroit, MI

  • 1954 Ninth Annual Revival of the Glidden Tour, Sponsored by the Veteran Motor Car Club of America, September 18-25

  • 1907 Fourth Annual Tour of the American Automobile Association and Contest for the Glidden and Hower Trophies, 28 July 10-24 Note: Missing at least one page at the end

  • 1908 The Great Arrow: Fifth Annual Reliability Touring Contest of the American Automobile Association, Including the Contest for the Glidden and Hower Trophies, July 9-22 Note: Includes list of hotels and garages with their guaranteed rates for 1908 to members of the American Automobile Association, in all cities of the United States and Canada having over 10,000 inhabitants

  • 1910 A.A.A. Year Book, Seventh National Reliability Touring Contest for the Glidden and Chicago Trophies

Acc. 91.1.1769 E-M-F, Flanders and Studebaker Photographs

Mainly unlabeled and undated photographs that detail the history of E-M-F and Flanders automobiles, both of which were incorporated into Studebaker Brothers manufacturing Company in 1912 and sold under that name. Also depicted is automotive production and shipping, images of automobile track racing, and photographic materials that promote the durability and reliability of E-M-F, Flanders and Studebaker vehicles.

Acc. 1774 Henry Austin Clark Jr. Photograph Collection

The photograph collection of Henry Austin Clark Jr. collector, museum owner and devotee, documents the history of the automobile in Europe and the United States.

           Box 50 

  • Tours - Glidden Tours 1905-1911 and undated (9 folders)

  • Tours - Glidden Tour Revivals 1946-1954 (7 folders)

            Box 51 

  • Tours – Glidden Tour Revivals 1954

    • Automobiles 101-150

    • Automobiles 151-200

    • Automobiles 201-257

    • General (5 folders)

            Box 52 

  • Tours – Glidden Tour Revivals 1954

    • Small Pictures

  •    Tours – Glidden Tour Revivals 1956-1965 (7 folders)

  •    Tours – Glidden Tour Revivals 1968

    • Automobiles 1-50 (Includes Old 16)

    • Automobiles 51-100

    • Automobiles 101-150

    • Automobiles 151-200

    • Automobiles 201-250

    • Automobiles 251-300

  • Tours – Glidden Tour Revivals 1970-1978 and undated (5 folders)

            Box 58 

  • Personalities - Glidden, Charles J.

            Box 83 

  • Glidden Tour 1947 and 1949

            Box 84 

  • Glidden Tour 1951 and 1953

            Box 85 

  • Glidden Tour 1954 and 1956

            Box 86 

  • Glidden Tour 1956 (2 albums)

            Box 87 

  • Glidden Tour 1957 and 1966

            Box 88 

  • Glidden Tour 1966

            Box 122 

  •    Glidden Tour, 1905

  •    Glidden Tour, 1906

  •    Glidden Tour, 1908

            Box 149 

  • Automobile Tours - Commemoration of the 1946 Revival of Glidden Tour

            Box 150 

  • Automobile Tours – Glidden Tour 1905

            Box 151 

  • Automobile Tours – Glidden Tour 1906

            Box 152

  • Automobile Tours – Glidden Tour 1906

            Box 153

  • Automobile Tours – Glidden Tour 1906

            Box 154

  • Automobile Tours – Glidden Tour 1946

            Box 223

  • Events and Races - Glidden Tour, 1905-1949

            Box 227

  • Automotive Prints - Glidden Tour, 1950

            Box 228 

  • Automotive Prints - Glidden Tour, 1954 and 1956

           Motion Pricture Subgroup - First Glidden Tour, 1905 (New York to Boston; 2 copies; Object IDs: 92.150.9607, 92.150.9608              and 92.150.9612)

Acc. 1130 Model T Scale Drawings

Drawing of Model T (1909) Touring car. Drawings made Nov., 1972, by a Mr. John Mitchell of Ford Design Center for scale model trophy for a Glidden Tour award. Drawing based on examination of surviving Ford cars plus surviving blueprints at Ford.

The scale Model T was presented by Henry Ford II at the 1972 Glidden Tour to the owner of the best Ford car on the tour: See Bulb Horn (1972) for story. George DeAngelis participated in gathering data for drawing.

1909 Ford Model T Touring Car Drawn to Scale, November 27, 1972, 84.1.1660.P.D.964

Engineering and Blueprint Aperature Card collection

  • Drawer 1 - Auto racing—1911 Glidden Tour

  • Drawer 3 - Ford, Henry II - Trophy for Glidden Tour

Acc. 677 Commercial Airplane Reliability Tour Collection

Henry and Edsel Ford organized the Commercial Airplane Reliability Tour to promote air travel and encourage construction of airfields. The collection primarily includes material documenting the first occurrence of the event in 1925.

The notion for the first air tour in 1925 was inspired by the public reaction and results of the Glidden Auto Tours, which began in 1904 to promote highway development and travel in the United States.

Acc. 378 Public Relations Research Library Subject Files Subseries

Subseries contains news releases, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, and correspondence regarding a range of subjects. Included in the files are records on labor relations, war production during World War II and the Korean War, engineering publicity, aviation, competitors’ literature, safety publications, automobile prices, and other general subject files.

  • Box 38 Aviation subseries - Glidden Tour of a Fleet of 20 Airplanes

Acc 833 General Photographs Series

Ford Motor Company photographers recorded the company’s manufacturing work and contributions to innovation around the nation and world. This series contains photographic prints and negatives created by the company’s first photographic department.

  • Box 430 Glidden tour (1 folder; microfilmed)

Benson Ford Research Center Archives Vertical File

The Archives Vertical File, arranged alphabetically by topic, contains mainly printed material on a wide variety of subjects related to Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company, and the automobile industry.

  • Glidden, Charles J.

Acc. 506 Mills, Edmunds and Nevins and Hill Series

A.K. Mills and Henry E. Edmunds both worked for the Ford Motor Company Archives. Allen Nevins and Frank Ernest Hill used the archives extensively for a book they wrote about Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company. These records contain documents relating to the work of all four men in the archives.

  • Box 48  Glidden tour, 1962 (photos)

Acc. 1764 Henry Austin Clark, Jr. Papers

Personal papers and documents from car collector, museum owner and devotee of all things automobile, Henry Austin Clark, Jr.

  • Box 2  Glidden, Charles, circa 1902 to 1908 and 1950s

Acc. 1660 Photographic Vertical File Series

The Photographic vertical file series is an assembled collection of photographs from a variety of sources. The series contains both original photographs and copy photographs, covering a wide range of topics.

  • Box 73  Firestone, Harvey, 1868-1938 – Automobile Racing – 1946 Glidden Tour


Acc. 1660 “O” File of Copy Negatives

Copied photographs and documents subseries, 1890-1980 (41.2 cubic ft.), is comprised of negatives and prints of copies of documents and photographs. The copies of documents, known as the "D" file, are photographic copies of letters, telegrams, jottings, legal papers, advertisements and other material relating to Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company as they were needed for publication or reference use. Primarily a negative file, there are some prints filed with the negatives. The copied photographs, known as the "O" file, are negatives and reproductions of historical photographs reproduced from both internal and external sources.

  • O-3805 – Aut-Ford-Restorations At Greenfield Village. Lined up side by side. Glidden Tour. 2 photos, ca. 1953

Acc. 2009.103 Phil Harms Collection Photographic Negative Database

The index lists photographic negatives in the Phil Harms Collection, and was created by Mr. Harms. The original Microsoft Access database that this index is drawn from is part of the collection.

  • 792-4  Marmon Touring cars, Glidden Tour

Acc. E.I. 266 Old Car Festival & Sports Cars in Review

This group of records contain the files of the office of the curator of transportation concerning two major Edison Institute special events, Sports Cars in Review and the Old Car Festival.

Some years, the Glidden Tour participants made the Greenfield Village Old Car Festival a part of their tour route.

  • Box 9  Old Car Festival, 1958-1964 9-8 Glidden Tour, 1959

Acc. E.I. 165 Special Events Records

  • Box 1 Glidden Tour, 1953

Acc. E.I. 235 Public Relations

The records in this collection represent an overview of the public relations and marketing activities of Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The records date from the inception of a formal public relations program and the emergence of a new organizational structure for museum administration established around 1950.

  • Box 5    5-13 Glidden Tour, 1953

  • Box 17  17-25 Old Car Festival; Glidden Tour, 1967


Glidden Trophy Badge, circa 1905-1913, 86.178.1

Program for the Fifth Annual Reliability Touring Contest, or Glidden Tour, 1908,

Mrs. Joan Newton Cuneo, First Glidden Tour, 1905, P.1774.X.11

Glidden Tour 1908 Pathfinder Automobile and Horse-Drawn Road Oiling Tank, P.O.19448

Advertising Poster for Metz Automobiles, “Metz ’22,’ Winner of the Glidden Tour,” 1913, 92.150.9448

Removing an Automobile Stuck in a Muddy Road, Glidden Tour, circa 1910, 87.135.1694

Henry Austin Clark, Jr. Cranking a 1907 Locomobile Car on the Glidden Tour, 1957, 92.1.1764.10

Audio/Visual Material

Acc. 600 Public Relations Recordings

Moving image and audio recordings made of various Ford Motor Company related events during the 1950s.

  • 50  Glidden Tour 1953

Books and Secondary

Ford News

  • 1905 History of Automotive Transportation (Glidden Tour), 8:12:88:2-3

  • 1906 History of Automotive Transportation (Glidden Tour),8:14:112:1-2

  • 1907 History of Automotive Transportation (Glidden Tour), 8:16:136:1-2

  • Glidden, Charles J.

  • A History of Automotive Highway Transportation, 7:6L:7:1-4

  • A History of Automotive Highway Transportation (1904), 8:3L:7:1-2

  • A History of Automotive...Transportation: Close Of An Eventful Year, 8:5:4+:2-3

  • History of Automotive Transportation (l903-motor tour), 7:20L:7: 1-4

  • Motoring  1903 History of Automotive Transportation (1903- Glidden tour), 7:20L:7:1-4


Contact Us

ATTN: The Benson Ford Research Center remains closed to the public for in-person research, tours, and visits. It will remain closed until further notice, but Research Center staff members continue to respond to inquiries. Please contact us by email, phone, mail, or by submitting a question.


Benson Ford Research Center
The Henry Ford
P.O. Box 1970
Dearborn, Michigan, USA 48121-1970