Fordlândia

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By User: (WT-shared) Amitevron at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23280369
By User: (WT-shared) Amitevron at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23280369
Fordlândia (“Ford-land”) is an abandoned prefabricated industrial town built in the Amazon Rainforest,on the banks of the Rio Tapajós in the state of Pará in Brazil.

In 1928 by US industrial magnate Henry Ford to secure a source of cultivated rubber for Ford’s automobile manufacturing operations in the United States. Ford had negotiated an agreement with the Brazilian government that granted its fledgling Companhia Industrial do Brasil a concession of 10,000 km² of land on the banks of the Tapajós River near the city of Santarém, in exchange for 9% of the profits generated.

Fordlândia is located in a concession awarded to Ford, which covers more than 10,000 square kilometres along the Tapajós River, near the town of Santarém, in the state of Pará, about 960 km from the mouth of the Amazon . The new town was made up of prefabricated houses, the style of which depended on the function of its occupant in the company: pavilions for the staff, settlements for the workers. The latex treatment factory, a very large construction, is one of the components of American industrial architecture. A hospital was built from the start, treatment was free and renowned for its efficiency.

A power station, a sawmill that powered it, itself supplied by the initial deforestation, were put into service. Stores were added, organized in the American style based on the modern facility of self-service. Close to the pier, the city is made up of an exploded “urban center”, made up of the multipurpose room (cinema, dance hall, etc.), the school, the golf course or the swimming pool. All buildings and their furniture were imported directly from the United States.
Today, Fordlandia is an abandoned city that lies lost in the heart of the Amazon, frequented only by a few farmers and occasional tourists.

Access : Coordinates: -3.831389, -55.4975 / Fordlandia located in the Brazilian state of Pará, near the city of Santarém, halfway between Belém and Manaus, on the banks of the Tapajós River.

Highlights :

  • Ford had the intention of making Fordlandia the latex supplier pole for its ventures, since the material was necessary to make tires for its automobiles. Until then, Ford companies were dependent on rubber produced in Malaysia, then a British colony.
  • Water tower : Considered the symbol of Fordlândia, the 50 meter high water tower is located by the main warehouses.
  • American Village : The six houses in the American Village still had their original furniture, cutlery and even clothes that were left behind when the city was deserted.
  • Fordlandia has been seen and referred to in popular cultural contexts. In the cartoon about Marsupilami, large parts of album number 6 (Marsupilami and the Forgotten City original title: Fordlandia) take place in the abandoned jungle city. This album also features Howard Hughes’ huge propeller plane Hughes H-4 Hercules (Spruce Goose, referred to in the series as Fir Goose and in the Swedish album edition translated as Fina Gåsen).In 2008, the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannesson published an album inspired by Fordlândia.

Go next : Santarém, a city on the southern bank of the Tapajós River (a tributary of the Amazon), in northern Brazil. / Itaituba, a city  in Pará. It sits on the west bank of the Tapajós River.

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