Changing Face of the Auto Industry-Images from the Wayne State University Library Digital Collection

Three important qualities we can develop as lifelong learners are: curiosity, creativity, and information literacy. 

We need to develop in ourselves and in our students the habit of curiosity, the endless fascination with all things. There is no detail or task or story or image that we don’t approach with an attitude of fascination and wonderment; focusing on the questions- what is this? how does this work? how can I do this differently?

Creativity-how can I understand this so well that I can explain it in multiple ways to capture someone’s imagination and truly help them understand.  How can I understand this so well that I can develop a brand new solution or innovation?

Media Literacy- how do we as consumers of media help our students understand appropriate media sources and become adept at discerning quality?

So, I encourage you to spend some time on your own or with your students exploring Wayne State University Digital Collection- Changing Face of the Auto Industry.

workers in auto plant

Interior of Dodge Brothers Company Factory, 1919
8×10 black and white photograph of the interior of a Dodge Brothers Company factory showing men posed in and around automobiles

With over 2000 images digitized for your perusal, I am sure you will find some fascinating inspiration from a reputable source. Helping your students become adept at the myriad digital collections in our nation’s university libraries will be an engaging and worthwhile endeavor.


Cadillac Motor Car Company Road Testing Department
8×10 black and white photograph of a line of cars being road tested, image inscribed “Road Testing Department”

As a former social studies teacher and English Language Arts teacher I can think of using many of these images to help students understand the industrialization of the 20th century as well as being inspiration for creative writing prompts. As a school counselor, I can imagine using them to illustrate the changing nature of the workforce- yet identifying many commonalities as well-collaboration, productivity, etc.

Feel free to share how you are using this wonderful digital archive- I’d love to hear your ideas for helping our students develop curiosity, creativity and media literacy! For a list of additional 21st Century Skills, please see the Applied Education System website.


Top Image:

Hudson Motor Car Company Office
7.75×9.25 black and white photograph of office interior with office workers at desks





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