Henry Ford’s eerie Amazon ghost town

The audacious Henry Ford, then the richest man in the world, built an American town in the middle of the Amazon in 1928 that was supposed to be a rubber plantation for his tires and car parts.  It was a 10,000-square-kilometre disaster, despite the cute houses, square dances and company cars.   Photographer Dan Dubowitz’s photo art of abandoned Fordlandia is part of the Contact Photography Festival in Toronto, at Bau-Xi Photo.  (Above: Brazilian manager’s houses, archival pigment print)

-The Power House

Ford never visited the outpost and had no idea how to run a horticultural project.  Rubber was harvested improperly and both the Americans and Brazilians experienced severe cultural problems.  Workers staged a revolt that had to be quelled by the army. By 1945, the town had been sold and abandoned.

-American manager’s house

-Fordlandia canteen

-“Sleeping Child”

-American Hospital

-Cemetery

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There are 14 comments

    1. boomerontario

      It is amazing, really, isn’t it — the whole thing: story, pictures and legend. I knew nothing about this until the Toronto festival, and I find it as captivating as you do. Thanks for taking the time.

      Like

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