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Biography of Henry Ford

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Henry Ford was one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs in

creating the automobile assembly line, it was his controversial

characteristics and unorthodox approach towards administrating the

Ford Motor Company which resulted in the conglomeration of one of the

most successful corporations in the world. At the turn of the century

everything was booming! The growth of the economy and stock market

increased the job opportunities as well as morals. As a result of

this industrial revolution, out of the woodwork came a humble yet

driven man, Henry Ford. Between the five dollar/day plan, his

policies on administrating the company, and his relations with his

customers, Ford was often presented as a suspicious character. This

controversial behavior epitomized the success of the company, it did

not lead to his own downfall as many suspect. The Anti-Semitic

accusations, and the belief that Ford was taking advantage of his

customers, were by far overshadowed by his brilliance and strong hand

in running his company.

Of course, there were not always supporters of Henry Ford. If

fact, there were many critics, critics who believed that Henry Ford

was so controversial that it prevented the potential of Fords from

becoming greater than it is today. By the mid twenties the Ford's was

already the worlds most successful automobile company, but their great

reputation would soon decline. Fords $5/day plan for all employees

signified the overwhelming success of the company. Many believed this

success was short-lived with the new policies dealing with the workers

which soon followed. With the need to increase production and lower

costs, in the mid 30's Ford cut all Ford worker's wages in half.

Workers were expected to work faster, and harder. Department heads

were ordered to ban all talking and whistling while work was in

progress. All of this was a ploy by Ford to make sure he knew every

move of his workers, he was very possessive. Secondly, Ford began to

fire older workers and hire younger workers. His ideology was that

the younger workers could work more productively and more efficiently.

Which in turn would send more money flowing into his pockets. What

resulted was quite humorous in fact. Black hair dye became a hot

seller in the Detroit area . Older workers tried to disguise their

age by dying their hair black. Ford's manipulation of his workers was

immoral and unjust. There was no industrial democracy, workers were

forced to do what they were told or would be out of a job.

Henry Ford's controversial behavior reflected badly on himself

and on the Ford Motor Company. The Anti-Semitic views expressed by

Henry Ford could never be denied. It was common knowledge in fact

that Henry Ford was prejudice. He wrote an article in the Dearborn

Independent expressing his ideas that Jews were the cause of many

peoples problems. Henry Ford was sued by a man by the name Aaron

Sapiro in the early 1930's. Sapiro had evidence that Ford threatened

himself with Anti-Semitic sentiments. Ford was recorded as saying,

"Sapiro is a shrewd little Jew. The bible says Jews will return to

Palestine, but they want to get all the money out of America first.

Sapiro should be kicked out because he is trash.." The result of the

trial was humiliation for the Ford company and Henry Ford himself.

After a hung jury in the first trial, the case was dropped when Ford

wrote a lengthy retraction and apologized for his statements. Ford's

was declining in profits and production among the worlds best. All

as a result of Henry Ford's ego. Thus, by 1931 Ford lowered in the

ranks, controlling only 28% of the market 2nd to GM with 31%.

Henry Ford was the godfather of the automobile industry in the

early 1900's. The development of his River Rouge plant was considered

a "industrial

Cathedral." Hundreds waited month after month in front of the

employment building hoping to be hired. To foreign immigrants it

meant hope and a successful future. The River Rouge plant employed

over 50,000 employees. Pols, Lithuanians, Germans, almost every

western Europe country could be represented at the Ford Plant. Like a

father Henry Ford began educational programs, teaching his illiterate

employees how to read English. Company picnics, and dinners were all

part of Ford's policies that were so unusual, yet so brilliant at that




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