Henry Ford was a genius in many aspects of our everyday life. He changed industry, production, and everybody’s lifestyle. Many people know about him inventing some of the first automobiles, but what came out of it for America was a new encouragement for technology and an easier lifestyle for the average American.
Also Henry Ford has changed the perspective of industries around the world. His invention of the assembly line and his five-dollar a day wage for the average worker brought about a total new change in factories. Ford’s style and ingenuity helped America to be more prosperous and created a large amount of opulence for America in the early 1900’s, all because of one man’s creativity and determination to achieve a dream that would help out the common man and the entire world.
Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863, on a farm a few miles from Detroit. As a boy Henry was very creative and liked to work with tools. However, he hated doing chores and he always wanted to make things easier to do in life. This would be Henry’s motto in life, always wanted to make things easier to do in life, at home or work. Ford was so creative that in 1893, he built his first engine and in 1896, he completed what he called the quadricycle, which ran for several years and sold it for $200. Ford had his second car finished in 1898 which was lighter and stronger than most cars around then. Soon enough many automobile companies were looking for somebody like Ford to help get their company going.
However, Ford would go into automobile racing and then build his own car company. Ford’s years in automobile racing was his way to improve the car and a chance to test it under competition. Soon though, he would get out of racing by a tough minded and ambitious James Couzens, who developed plans for a car company.
Couzens was able to start out the company with $28,000 in cash, and $21,000 in notes. The Ford Motor Company came out with the model A, the model B, and the model K in their beginning years. However, most of these cars were too expensive for the common man. So Ford decided that he would make a car that was affordable to the ordinary worker. For a few years, Ford and his technicians began building their next and most important car in history. In 1908, Ford brought out for the first time the Model T. It was an ugly car, seven feet high with false doors and a crank. Even though it was ugly and simple, it was modern and affordable.
Actually, it was ahead of it’s time. The car could generate it’s own electricity for ignition and it had a planetary transmission which allowed women and children to drive it. It was easy to operate and had the most efficient gasoline gauge of it’s time. The greatest thing that came out from the Model T, was it’s influence in all of America. Since the Model T was the first affordable car, which reached a low of only $260 in 1925, it allowed the average American to own a car now. One thing the Model T helped in was the improvement of the roads. With more people out on the roads, many roads were now being paved, and highways and bridges were being built for cars. Also farmers saw the Model T effective, soon the rural population was brought into the mainstream of technology. It was such a popular car, that over fifteen million were sold all over the world. However, the most important thing the Model T did, was it’s impact on connecting the people of America.
Bridges, roads, and highways were starting to be built for automobiles. Women were starting to leave the house now more because the Model T was easy to drive. Families could now go on trips and see America. Access to places was easier now, which led to the building of more stores, restaurants, and companies. This car was such a great impact, that the lifestyle we know today was created a lot by one automobile. The Model T, was the most affordable car of it’s time, but how Ford was able to make it so affordable was by his production ingenuity. The one greatest invention in industry is the assembly line. Henry Ford had a theory that if cars were manufactured all alike, they could be turned out in larger numbers at a lesser cost. That is why the Model T came only in black and they were all built the same way. Ford had the whole thing figured out. If they produced cars more inexpensively this would make them available to other people, which would lead to more cars bought. This would require better roads and create more customers which would lead to more cars bought and more reduced prices for cars.
However, Ford had to figure out a way to produce cars more inexpensively and quickly. Ford decided to install the moving belt. This allowed more than one man to try to put together a part for the car. As the belt moved along one man would have a certain job to do for that part, then it would move on to the next person. For example, the magneto would take one man twenty minutes to assemble it, but with the moving belt the process took only five minutes. Their first attempt to assemble an entire car by the assembly line was done by putting the frame on skids and pulling it from one of the building by a rope. As the frame moved along a group of workers walked by installing parts into the frame. Soon the number of man hours was reduced from 15 1/2 to 1 /2 hours. This fascinating process in industry led to the affordability of the Model T and the process in almost every industry, to produce their products quicker and easier. Ford’s ingenuity in industry was greater than just his inventions, but also his business-type approach to the workers. Ford knew that in 1913, there was growing tension from the 13,000 employees at Detroit.
Ford figured out a way to win their affection, he would buy it. On January 5, 1914, Ford announced his five-dollar a day wage for the workers, also he reduced the workday to eight hours. The average worker then in the U.S. made less than two-dollars a day. Many big industrialists thought he was dangerous and crazy. The publisher of the New York Times said ” He’s crazy, isn’t he? Don’t you think he’s crazy?” Ford argued that good pay makes good workers, and well paid workers could buy more cars. Soon millions of men poured into Detroit to try to get a job.
Ford had the most effective way to keep his workers happy and still keep his company prosperous. He showed many industries how to run their company in a new style without losing any profits and the ability of increasing production also. Henry Ford was one of the most creative and determined people in the world. He had an attraction for the common people, to make their life easier and more simple. Ford did all this by the invention of the Model T.
Even tough, this was not the first car, this was the first affordable car. Also, without the assembly line and the five-dollar a day wage, the affordability of the Model T would not be accomplished. Many of Ford’s great accomplishments had changed the whole entire lifestyle of America and made it into what we know today.
Filed Under: People
The “Tin Lizzie,” as the Model T was known, was an immediate success, and Ford soon had more orders than the company could satisfy. As a result, he put into practice techniques of mass production that would revolutionize American industry, including the use of large production plants; standardized, interchangeable parts; and the moving assembly line. Mass production significantly cut down on the time required to produce an automobile, which allowed costs to stay low. In 1914, Ford also increased the daily wage for an eight-hour day for his workers to $5 (up from $2.34 for nine hours), setting a standard for the industry.
Even as production went up, demand for the Tin Lizzie remained high, and by 1918, half of all cars in America were Model Ts. In 1919, Ford named his son Edsel as president of Ford Motor Company, but he retained full control of the company’s operations. After a court battle with his stockholders, led by brothers Horace and John Dodge, Henry Ford bought out all minority stockholders by 1920. In 1927, Ford moved production to a massive industrial complex he had built along the banks of the River Rouge in Dearborn, Michigan. The plant included a glass factory, steel mill, assembly line and all other necessary components of automotive production. That same year, Ford ceased production of the Model T, and introduced the new Model A, which featured better horsepower and brakes, among other improvements. By that time, the company had produced some 15 million Model Ts, and Ford Motor Company was the largest automotive manufacturer in the world. Ford opened plants and operations throughout the world.