In 1917, Henry Ford purchased a yacht. He retained the vessel’s given name, Sialia, the scientific name for the bluebird. Intended as private transportation during trips to investigate possible industrial supply sources, Sialia also carried the Fords and their guests on family excursions. The yacht remained in use–or docked at her home port, Ford Motor Company’s Rouge plant–until 1929.
On this day in 1923, Henry Ford’s yacht, Sialia, arrived at Escanaba carrying Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison for a vacation in the Upper Peninsula. During the trip Firestone is said to have tested the first balloon tires. The three close friends would return to the area periodically.
The yacht served the U.S. Navy in both World War I and World War II.