Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Toyota Museum

A rainy day and I had nothing really planned that I wanted to see so I went to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.   I didn't know this until visiting the museum but the Toyota company started out in the textile industry.  Sakichi Toyoda started Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, which would later become Toyota, in the early 1900s.

I guess his greatest invention was a type of automatic loom that would stop if there was a problem.  In 1924 it became the highest performance automatic loom in the world.

The 1924 Toyoda Automatic Loom.


Circular Loom invented by Toyoda in 1906.


There were many displays of looms (not just Toyoda looms) and other tools used for producing textiles from throughout the ages.  From hand spindles for turning cotton into yarn to giant modern machinery that does it for a hundred spindles at a time.  From early wooden hand looms, to modern air jet looms that do intricate patterns.  It was surprisingly interesting.

Modern air jet loom.



Then the museum offered displays on what I was actually expecting, cars.  The Automobile Section of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works was started in 1933 by Sakichi's son Kiichiro.  To learn about how automobiles worked they reversed engineered a 1933 General Motors car Kiichiro had purchased and their early designs were based of off GM and Ford vehicles that were already on the roads of Japan.



The 1936 AA.  Toyota's first production vehicle.




The 1935 G1.  Toyota's first truck.

1955 Toyopet Crown.


1970 Celica.




First generation Prius.  1997.