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Henry Ford

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Henry Ford, born July 30, 1863, was the first of William and Mary Ford's six children. He grew up on a prosperous family farm in what is today Dearborn, Michigan. (Teachers D.) It was early on that Henry showed a strong dislike for his farm chores and interests in all types of mechanical things. (Editors 205.) In 1879 at the very young age of only sixteen Henry left home for Detroit the present day motor city.(Ford Motor C.) In Detroit Henry worked as an apprentice to a machinist.(Wik 190.) Returning home to help with farming from time to time he remained in his apprenticeship for 3 years.(Ford Motor C.) In the years to follow Henry more or less drifted in his work such as operating or repairing steam engines, finding occasional work in a Detroit factory, and over-hauling his father's farm implements, as well as lending a reluctant hand with other farm work.(Dahlinger 12.) However In 1889 with the marriage to his wife Clara Bryant he was forced to find a steady job to support them and worked by running a saw mill. (Teachers D.)

In 1891, Ford became an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit. By doing making this decision it showed that Ford had decided to concentrate his job and work to industrial pursuits. His promotion to Chief Engineer in 1893 gave him enough extra time and money to devote attention to his personal experiments on internal combustion engines. (Yenne 150.) In 1896 his experiments produced a result; he made a quadricycle that had a steering wheel and a two speed engine with no reverse. (Teachers D.) Although this sounds like a very impressive feat Ford was not the first to build a self-propelled vehicle with a gasoline engine.

After two unsuccessful attempts to establish a company to manufacture automobiles, the Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 with Henry Ford as vice-president and chief engineer. (Editors 9.) The small company produced only a few cars a day at the Ford factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit. Groups of two or three men worked on each car from components ordered in by other companies. (Yenne 45)

Henry Ford realized his dream of producing an automobile that was reasonably priced, reliable, and efficient with the introduction of the Model T in 1908. (XXXX) "This vehicle initiated a new era in personal transportation. It was easy to operate, maintain, and handle on rough roads, immediately becoming a huge success." Says Dahlinger in page 310 of the book "The Secret Life Of Henry Ford.". It became so large that by 1918, half of all cars in America were Model Ts. ( XXX) To meet the growing demand for the Model T, the company opened a large factory at Highland Park, Michigan, in 1910.

At this factory in Highland Park is in all honestly Fords greatest accomplishment. This factory combined precision manufacturing, standardized and interchangeable parts, and a division of labor. (Dahlinger 322) In 1913 Ford reached his Peak by inventing the moving assembly line. On the line workers remained in place, adding one component to each automobile as it moved past them on the line. (Wik 65.) Delivery of parts by conveyor belt to the workers was carefully timed to keep the assembly line moving smoothly and efficiently.(Editors 113) The introduction of the moving assembly line revolutionized automobile production by significantly reducing assembly time per vehicle, thus lowering costs. Ford's production of Model Ts made his company the largest automobile manufacturer in the world.

The assembly line however did not just revolutionize automobiles it was a major breakthrough in all aspects of mass production. It allowed faster mass production with



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