Crawford Auto Aviation Collection

Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum

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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 two major exhibits at the Cleveland History Center in University Circle: Setting the World in Motion and REVolution: The Automobile in America.

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 140 antique automobiles, 21 non-car transportation artifacts (motorcycles, bicycles, and boats), 10 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.



In celebration of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s 150th Anniversary, the Cleveland History Center and Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum showcased Cleveland’s rich automotive history on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Cleveland All-Stars Homecoming Car Show. Highlighting Cleveland and Northeast Ohio-made vehicles, the car show took place on the front lawn of the Cleveland History Center in University Circle, Cleveland’s premier cultural neighborhood. The juried show featured Cleveland Made, Cleveland Custom, and Cleveland Racing vehicles, as well as other classic and antique vehicles of historical significance. Photos taken by George Michaels and Katryn Duly.

2017 Cleveland All Stars Homecoming Car Show Photo Gallery


Click the image below for more photos!