In the middle of the Amazon, the haunted remains of Fordlandia

Americas Now

A century ago, the rise of the automobile industry created an overwhelming need for rubber. By the 1920s, auto tycoon Henry Ford tried to meet this demand by establishing the biggest rubber plantation the world had ever seen, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. But the project was doomed from the beginning and abandoned before its conclusion.

In the middle of the Amazon, the haunted remains of Fordlandia

In the middle of the Amazon, the haunted remains of Fordlandia

A century ago, the rise of the automobile industry created an overwhelming need for rubber. By the 1920s, auto tycoon Henry Ford tried to meet this demand by establishing the biggest rubber plantation the world had ever seen, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. But the project was doomed from the beginning and abandoned before its conclusion.

After Fordlandia was abandoned, Henry Ford sold the land back to Brazil, losing an estimated half of billion dollars in the process. He never set foot in the city that was supposed to bear his name.

British photographer Dan Dubowitz captured this attempt at constructing an all-American city in the middle of the jungle in a visual essay of greed and consumption. This week’s Urban Voices come from the haunted remains of Fordlandia.

Dan Bubowitz —http://www.dandubowitz.net/

The exhibit Fordlandia, The Lost City of Henry Ford, at the Organization of American States Gallery, in Washington, DC—http://museum.oas.org/exhibitions/2010s/2015-fordlandia.html