Ford Designer Lowell E. Overly in the Soybean Car, 1941

Ford Motor Company. Engineering Photographic Department1941-08-13

The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford
Dearborn, MI, United States

In the 1930s, chemists doing research at Henry Ford's Greenfield Village laboratory discovered that soy-based plastics could be molded into thick, hard sheets. The scientists created prototypes of automobile body parts, like trunk lids. Soon, they envisioned a car with a complete soy-plastic body. Henry Ford unveiled this experimental vehicle in 1941. The Soybean Car was abandoned with the U.S. entry into World War II.


  • Title: Ford Designer Lowell E. Overly in the Soybean Car, 1941
  • Creator: Ford Motor Company. Engineering Photographic Department
  • Date: 1941-08-13
  • Location: United States, Michigan, Dearborn
  • Subject Keywords: Overly, Lowell, E., 1904-1987, Ford Motor Company, Soybean car (Ford Motor Company : 1941), Automobiles, Firsts, Soybean products, Cars, Soybean plastic, Photographic prints, Photographs
  • Type: Photographs
  • Contributor: The Henry Ford
  • Original Source: Digital Collections
  • Object Name: Photographic print
  • Object ID: 64.167.189.P.16353
  • Inventor: Robert Boyer, Henry Ford
  • Invention: Automobile
  • Image ID: THF112498
  • Field: Transportation
  • Credit: From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

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