Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum

We are happy you are here!  Please note that while we are celebrating the “Year of the Motorcycle” access to the Crawford auto collection is limited.  Please visit soon to enjoy A Century of the American Motorcycle open now through March 20, 2022. Then return April 16 to see the next exhibit in the Year of the Motorcycle – Open Road: The Lure of Motorcycling in Ohio.

You can explore the auto collection online here and through our social media @clestartshere.

The Lower Crawford Gallery is under renovation and currently unavailable.  With generous funding from the State of Ohio, the work to renovate the lower gallery of the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum is underway.  In partnership with AECOM, WRHS will complete both aesthetic and critical infrastructure upgrades to a space that, with few exceptions, has not been altered or restored since its construction in 1965.  Follow us on on social media or join our News for updates on progress and reopening details!  Read more about plans for the lower gallery renovation here.

History | Automobiles | Aircraft | Other Transportation | Marque Files | Crawford, Coffee & Cars | Crawford Newsletter

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society depicts the automobile at various stages of development, both on a national and regional level. Its automobiles and artifacts are the centerpieces of the guest experience at the Cleveland History Center.

The Century of the American Motorcycle is an extraordinary traveling exhibit from the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL, featuring significant American-built motorcycles from their world-renowned collection. This exhibit opens at the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum on August 19, 2021, and closes in March 2022.

Few people know that Northeast Ohio was a crucial hub of development in the transportation industry. The Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection brings the history of transportation alive through the over 170 antique automobiles, 21 non-car transportation artifacts (motorcycles, bicycles, and boats), 12 aircraft, and 3 carriages and sleighs. The Collection is enhanced further by the WRHS Automotive Marque Files, which include automobile brochures, owner’s manuals, advertisements, and more. The Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection was initially formed in 1963, with the donation of Thompson Products Auto Album from Frederick C. Crawford and TRW.
For more on Frederick C. Crawford and his incredible generosity to the Western Reserve Historical Society, click here.

Preservation Methods with the Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection

Preservation does not mean restoration at the Crawford. We do not restore the vehicles, their components, or any other artifacts unless it is absolutely necessary. We preserve the vehicles and artifacts in their current condition by using accepted practices of the AIC (American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works). Once we have done a treatment to a vehicle or any other artifact it should look similar to what it did before the treatment, depending upon initial condition.