Goodyear Model Room and the Ringling Museum

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article on Goodyear, and what it plans to do with its Model Room. It will eventually move headquarters, and it doesn’t know what to do with it.

Already, the World of Rubber has closed, and there are fewer visitors. Bruce Weindruch, of the History Factory, told the Journal quite rightly, that they might need them some day. “They better save the models.”

  1. The State of Ohio tourism establishment needs to get involved. Tires are part of the state’s history, and they need to find a home near to something connected with Ohio.
  2. The company needs a renewed focus on who wants to see them. With the popularity of NASCAR, car conversions and general Mike Rowe “Dirty Jobs” kind of television, people want to see this sort of thing. Miniatures are the TOP draw at Sarasota’s Ringling Museum, where a giant miniature circus thrills every generation. The circus is giant, and takes up a whole building. It is one of those things that is so rare, so unique, that you want to see it again and again.
  3. Goodyear needs to get a grip on its heritage. The World of Rubber might have needed renovation, but a company spends MILLIONS on advertising and cannot find a few hundred thousand to take care of its archives? That’s penny wise, but very foolish.
  4. Could Goodyear donate the models to a museum with some money for a room to house it? For a couple hundred thousand, Goodyear could do something in conjunction with the Ohio Historical Society. Or maybe a local museum in Akron could expand its mission to include the models? For instance, Lock 3 and the Akron History Center might want the models. The models would be perfect in a lobby or static area where parties could be held.
  5. The museum could be part of a renewed sales effort. Are they moveable enough to tour the US? Could they appear in an art museum as a work of Americana? Americans love the Blimp; this could be part of that legacy.

Save the models!

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