After establishing the Ford Motor Company in 1903, Henry Ford (1863-1947) steam rolled the first Model T in 1908; and manufactured the world’s first moving assembly car line in 1913. Today, Ford is revolutionizing mass-production methods in line with the global Modern Age. And this is thanks to decades of improving constructions of production plants and interchangeable parts.
Henry Ford was born in 1863 in Dearborn, Michigan. At the age of 16-years, he began to concentrate on his working career as a ‘Machinist’ in Detroit; servicing steam engines and freelancing in Detroit factories. After marrying Clara Bryant in 1888, Ford worked as an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company, three years later; making his way up as ‘Chief Engineer’. Here, Ford used his spare time to construct a ‘horseless carriage’ powered by gasoline – an ‘automobile’. In 1896, Ford created a ‘Quadricycle’, which comprised a metal frame, four bicycle wheels and two-cylinders powered by a gasoline engine running 4 hp.
THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY LEGACY
The brains behind the Ford Motor Company (FMC) – Henry Ford – is a simple example of how to attract automotive needs and interests. The establishment of FMC saw young talent flourish as Ford hired ambitious engineers who believed in his vision. ‘Model A’ was the first FMC car. The 4-cylinder $600.00 ‘Model N’, became the best-selling car in the U.S. in 1907. Ford’s vision furthered with the aim for a cheaper car for the “great multitude”. The introduction of the ‘Model T’ in 1908, took a new level of easy-operating systems, maintenance and road control.
Trying to increase manufacturing for high supply volumes at lower costs, 1910 witnessed a bigger FMC plant. Ideas were birthed from gun, watch and bicycle makers, and meat packers; creating a moving assembly line of automobiles. But due to the high turnover, the company was forced to hire 53,000 people and doubled wages to $5.00 a day. In 1919, Henry Ford bought out all his investors and became the sole owner of the globe’s largest automobile company, with son, Edsel, as president.
Ford terminated the ‘Model T’ in 1927 and developed a new car (‘Model A’), to meet demands for ‘style’ and ‘comfort’. In the same year, the Rouge Plant was established to take the manufacturing process a little further – not only building cars, but also making steel, tires, glass and other parts used in building cars. The Model A was a 4-year success until 1932, when Ford introduced his final auto innovation – the V8 engine. After the Japanese ‘Battle of Pearl Harbor’, the Ford Motor Company became a giant U.S. military contractor supplying airplanes and engines.
After his death on the 7th of April 1947 at the 83-years of age, Ford was remembered as one the leading businessmen in U.S.. His innovative vision was to manufacture affordable cars, built by talented workers earning steady wages. He used technological profits it harvest new ideas and democratize American life.
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