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2.5 million acres of this hilly, rocky, and infertile land once constituted its own sovereign state, run by a foreign corporation. Imagine rowing down a Brazilian river and stumbling upon this site: abandoned buildings juxtaposed with distinctly American Cape Cod cottages and swimming pools in the heart of the Brazilian jungle.

Towering above these houses is a 164-foot iconic water tower that dominates the landscape. It feels like a movie set, making you wonder: what is this American Midwestern town doing in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and why was it deserted?



The roots of this town trace back to the technological revolution at the dawn of the 20th century. The global expansion of the motor industry, hampered by the British monopoly on rubber, hit America hard. Henry Ford, the pioneer of the affordable motorcar, envisioned making his empire self-sufficient. His solution? Establishing his own rubber factory in the Brazilian rainforest, where rubber trees grow naturally.

Located over 3,000 miles away from Ford’s car plants in Michigan, amidst the rubber trees of the Brazilian jungle, Ford Landis was Henry Ford’s American dream—a self-sustaining community and a rubber plantation. In 1929, Ford embarked on his ambitious plan to build the largest rubber plantation in the world to meet the growing demands of his automobiles. The question lingered: would Ford Landis succeed?

Ford Landis was substantial for its location, accommodating over 2,000 people with amenities such as a dance hall and a hospital. It resembled an American city transplanted into the Brazilian jungle, a testament to Ford’s grand vision. Him Da Lisboa, a resident, remembers the mechanical heart of the town—the factory, warehouse, sawmill, and workshop—where electricity was generated, serving as the town’s lifeline.

Yet, could this outpost of American engineering thrive in the rainforest, far from home? Ford went beyond just building a city; he created an independent state geared towards rubber extraction. The process involved tapping latex from rubber trees early in the morning, coagulating it with acid, and processing it into rubber slabs, marking a significant industrial effort in the region.

However, cultural clashes soon emerged. The strict, disciplined lifestyle imposed by Ford clashed with the more relaxed Brazilian way of life. Prohibitions on alcohol, strict diet and social regulations like square dances were foreign and unwelcome, leading to unrest and, in 1930, a full-scale mutiny. Workers rebelled, cutting telegraph wires and driving managers and cooks into the jungle, prompting military intervention by the Brazilian Army.

The rigid guidelines and agricultural mismanagement proved disastrous. The rainforest’s ecosystem was disrupted as forests were cleared without simultaneous replanting of rubber trees, which were also prone to diseases. Ford’s attempt to industrialize rubber production faltered due to lack of biological expertise. Synthetic rubber further compounded the economic downfall, rendering Ford Landis economically unsustainable.

By 1945, Ford Landis was sold back to the Brazilian government for a fraction of its original investment. Today, its sawmills, hospitals, and streets lie abandoned, a poignant reminder of Henry Ford’s failed venture to export mainstream American ideals to the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
A Journey Into The Depths Of Our Brain And How We Remember!
𝗡𝗲𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗸: 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻-𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝘂𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀

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