Henry Ford! This book is the story of him. He was born on his father's farm and still farms it. He followed, day after day, the faithful team pulling the plow. Apr 2, Model T cars were once all over America. Learn more about how they came to be via the life story of Henry Ford, at ayofoto.info In eighteen seventy-nine, when Henry began work in Detroit, the city was a center of industrial development. Travelers could tell they were near Detroit by.
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A short biography of Henry Ford. Henry was born on a farm near Greenfield, Michigan on July 30th,. Educated in the Greenfield school district, and at the. Henry Ford Biography. Henry Ford () was an industrialist who changed the face of automobile manufacture in. America, becoming the epitome of. Jul 21, Henry Ford was the founder of the Ford Motors Company, had brought a revolution in the automobile industry. This biography of Henry Ford.
Probably the most informative short biographic article on Ford is Richard B. We do not know what electricity can do, but I take for granted that it cannot do everything. A survey by Fortune magazine conducted in for the National Association of Manufacturers found that Lee Iacocca American. Born to a farmer in Greenfield Township, Michigan, he started displaying leadership qualities and technical skills as a young boy. He was fascinated by machinery.
By American entry into World War I, Ford branch assembly plants had been set up at freight rate-breaking points in twenty-eight cities under the supervision of William S.
By the Ford Motor Company owned, in addition to its main Highland Park and River Rouge plants, branch plants scattered across the globe, rubber plantations in Brazil, iron mines and lumber mills in Michigan, coal mines in Kentucky and West Virginia, glass plants in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, a railroad, and a fleet of ships. This was the beginning of multinational expansion that would see Ford assembling cars in twenty-one countries on six continents by Control of these foreign subsidiaries remained tightly in Dearborn, which mandated policy through thick loose-leaf manuals called Ford Bibles.
With the inauguration of the five-dollar day in , Henry Ford had begun to express his social views and to get involved in social causes. Then in Ford formed the Henry Ford Trade School to train boys from poor families in a variety of trades. He later instituted a private school system at Greenfield Village in which the elementary pupils were taught in three one-room schools and the secondary students in a modern high school.
Emphasis was on vocational training and learning by doing. Ironically for the innovator of mass production, Ford also set up a series of village industries for farmers to produce Ford parts part time using waterpower. He tried to revive square dancing and country fiddling. He championed drinking unpasteurized milk and substituting soybean meal for meat as health measures. He restored the farmhouse in which he was born, the Botsford Inn northeast of Dearborn, where the Fords had attended dances in the s, and the Wayside Inn at South Sudbury, Massachusetts.
It has become the most important historical preserve under nongovernmental operation in the United States. Until U. Ford idealistically declared that he would spend half his fortune to shorten the war by one day and joined the American Peace Society, in which he came under the influence of Rosika Schwimmer , a Hungarian pacifist. Schwimmer wanted to stop the war before either side gained a complete victory and to establish a permanent organization for the mediation of international disputes.
After Ford became ill and left the delegation at Oslo, the peace party went on to Sweden and Denmark, ending up at The Hague in the Netherlands, where it disbanded on 15 January , demoralized and dissension-ridden. Experiments with a number of makes of tractors conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society had left the British authorities most impressed with the Fordson, a 2,pound machine that Ford personally introduced in August at a plowing demonstration at Fremont, Nebraska.
With a wheelbase of only sixty-three inches, the Fordson could turn in a foot circle. It was cheap to operate because its four-cylinder, twenty-horsepower engine ran on kerosene. And, like the Model T, the Fordson was designed to be mass-produced at low cost. The Fordson tractor contributed little toward alleviating food shortages during the war. By 1 March only 3, of the 8, Fordsons ordered by the British government had been delivered, and privately owned steam tractors were plowing considerably more acres of British farmland than the government-owned Fordsons.
It was 23 April before the first Fordson for domestic use came off the assembly line. Too late to have any significant impact on winning the war, mass production of the Fordson reached fantastic heights just as the market for American agricultural commodities rapidly evaporated in the postwar period. The proliferation of the Fordson farm tractor was a contributing factor in creating the ruinous combination of higher fixed costs and overproduction of staple commodities that plagued American farmers during the s.
Even before Ford abandoned his pacifist neutrality, the Ford branch plants in Paris and Great Britain had disregarded Dearborn and turned out thousands of motor vehicles for the Allies. They also made aircraft motors, armor plate, caissons, shells, steel helmets, submarine detectors, and torpedo tubes.
Sixty Eagle Boats submarine chasers were completed by Ford too late to see action, and two tank prototypes developed by the company had just reached the point at which quantity production could begin when peace came. Although the manufacture of Model Ts for the civilian market never was stopped, automotive work was cut back significantly at Ford during the war. The production of Ford motor vehicles declined from a high of , units in to , units in The abrupt termination of war contracts because of the armistice of 11 November caused little concern in the automobile industry.
Automobile plants were quickly converted back to the production of passenger cars—at Highland Park it took only about three weeks—to fill the huge back orders for new cars that had accumulated during the war.
Automobile manufacturers embarked on ambitious expansion programs, confident that the demand for motorcars was insatiable. This illusion was shattered with the onset of the postwar recession. New-car sales slackened with the general decline in purchasing power.
He abandoned the thought of seeking another loan once it became apparent to him that the bankers would demand in return a voice in the management of his company. The strategy implemented at Ford was foremost to turn the huge inventory of raw materials that had been bought at inflated prices into a reservoir of finished cars, then to stop production until those cars were disposed of at a profit and raw-material prices had declined.
Consignments of unordered cars were forced on more than 6, Ford dealers who had the unhappy choice of borrowing heavily from local banks to pay cash on delivery or forfeiting their Ford franchises. The shutdown at Ford was accompanied by stringent economy measures that went beyond what was essential for survival and jeopardized the future well-being of the firm.
The Ford plants were stripped of every nonessential tool and fixture, including every pencil sharpener, most desks and typewriters, and extension telephones.
The company also benefited from replacing some equipment with improved machinery and methods that increased output per man-hour of labor. These gains were canceled out, however, by a ruthless halving of the office force from 1, to workers as most departments, including critical ones such as auditing, were overly simplified, merged, or eliminated. Many capable executives were discharged or resigned from the company. Although this critical loss of executive talent defies adequate summarizing, besides Couzens the most significant losses were probably William S.
Knudsen and Norval A. After stripping his business to the bone, Ford unaccountably undertook two new business ventures.
After resigning from Cadillac in the Lelands had formed Lincoln to build Liberty aircraft engines. In they turned to building luxury cars, which were mechanically excellent but poorly styled. The Lelands lasted only four months as Ford managers; Henry Ford fired them on 10 June after the father-and-son team had altercations with the production men. Edsel was given control of Lincoln, and under his supervision the car became a style trend-setter. He and Eugene T. And Edsel was instrumental in encouraging leading custom coachbuilders, most important, Raymond H.
Dietrich, to move from the East Coast to Detroit. Although the Lincoln did not set sales records, it set the main direction of American luxury-car design—great power combined with smooth performance and riding comfort—for the interwar decades and gave Ford visibility at the very top as well as at the bottom of the market. It is less clear why Ford branched out into aviation by investing in late in a company formed by William Stout to build metal airplanes.
On 1 July Stout began a Detroit-Cleveland air service, and in the government awarded Stout the mail contracts between Detroit and Cleveland and between Detroit and Chicago.
The most successful Ford aircraft venture was the Ford Tri-Motor, a three-engine plane that could carry eight passengers plus cargo.
Some Tri-Motors were built between and , when production was halted because of the declining market for commercial aircraft. More was written about Henry Ford during his lifetime, and he was more often quoted, than any figure in American history.
Theodore Roosevelt complained that Ford received more publicity than even the president of the United States. The people of what scholar Reynold M. Ford probably could have been elected president of the United States had he really wanted the office. In he spurned efforts to get him to head the tickets of the American party and the Prohibition party on a platform of peace and prohibition.
And, even though he refused to campaign, he won the Michigan presidential primary of the Republican party by a comfortable margin. Ford-for-President clubs sprang up spontaneously across the nation from to Cameron, began publishing anti-Semitic articles in Between and Ford reprinted them in four brochures and in a more comprehensive book, The International Jew , which was translated into most European languages and was widely circulated throughout the world.
The suit was settled out of court on 7 July, when Ford published an apology to Shapiro and a retraction of his attacks on the Jewish people. But the damage could not be so easily undone.
Except for minor face-liftings and the incorporation of basic improvements such as the closed body and the self-starter, the Model T remained basically unchanged long after it was outmoded. The popularity of the Model T declined in the s as rural roads were improved, consumers became more style- and comfort-conscious, and the market for new cars shifted from a demand for low-cost, basic transportation by first-time owners to filling replacement demand.
Sloan, Jr. The payoff was that the thirteen-to-one ratio by which the Model T had outsold Chevrolet in was cut to two-to-one by , forcing even Henry Ford to recognize that the Model T era was over.
Model T production was halted on 27 May , and the Ford plants were shut down while its successor, the Model A, was hastily designed. Some , orders were received before the Model A had been seen by the public. Following what was probably the most extensive changeover of an industrial plant in history, the assembly lines at River Rouge began to turn out limited numbers in November, and the Model A was introduced on 2 December.
Unlike the revolutionary Model T, however, the Model A was a very conventional car for its time and was made obsolete even as it was introduced by further developments at Chevrolet, especially by the introduction of a six-cylinder engine as standard in the model year. Ford took the radical step of going Chevrolet one better by introducing his horsepower Model 18 V-8 on 2 March Casting its entire engine block as a single unit was perhaps the most significant manufacturing innovation of the — decades because it significantly reduced manufacturing costs, making a V-8 engine practical for low-priced cars.
The V-8 engine remained the basic power plant of Ford cars for twenty-one years. V-8 styling followed that of the top-of-the-line Lincoln, and with the V-8 Ford began to emulate the annual model change innovated at GM. Plymouth also cut into Ford sales in the low-price field after it was introduced in by the Chrysler Corporation.
Only in the sale of light trucks did the Ford Motor Company enjoy a slight lead over its competitors.
In the oligopoly that had come to dominate the automobile industry, by Ford had dropped from undisputed leadership to third place in sales of passenger cars, with Automobile registrations declined for the first time in the United States during the depression, and not until did the automobile industry equal its record output of 5. Ford production collapsed from more than 1. Unsatisfied with farm work, Ford left home at the age of 16 to take an apprenticeship as a machinist at a shipbuilding firm in Detroit.
In the years that followed, he would learn to skillfully operate and service steam engines and would also study bookkeeping.
In , his natural talents earned him a promotion to chief engineer. All the while, Ford developed his plans for a horseless carriage.
In , Ford built his first gasoline-powered buggy, which had a two-cylinder, four-horsepower engine. In , he constructed his first model car, the Ford Quadricycle. In the same year, he attended a meeting with Edison executives and found himself presenting his automobile plans to Thomas Edison. The lighting genius encouraged Ford to build a second, better model. By , Ford was awarded with his first patent for a carburetor. In , with money raised from investors following the development of a third model car, Ford left Edison Illuminating Company to pursue his car-making business full-time.
After a few trials building cars and companies, Henry Ford established the Ford Motor Company in Later, in , Ford and his family established the Ford Foundation to provide ongoing grants for research, education and development.
In business, Ford offered profit sharing to select employees who stayed with the company for six months and, most important, who conducted their lives in a respectable manner. Lacey, Robert. The Men and the Machine. The Dial Press, New York, Sward, Keith. The Legend of Henry Ford. Sinclair, Upton. The Flivver King. A Story of Ford-America. Charles H. Kerr Pub. Reprinted from edition.
Watts, Steven. The People's Tycoon. Henry Ford and the American Century. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, No man exceeds Thomas A. Edison in broad vision and understanding. I met him first many years ago when I was with the Detroit Edison Company, —probably about or thereabouts. The electrical men held a convention at Atlantic City, and Edison, as the leader in electrical science, made an address. I was then working on my gasoline engine, and most people, including all of my associates in the electrical company, had taken pains to tell me that time spent on a gasoline engine was time wasted—that the power of the future was to be electricity.
These criticisms had not made any impression on me. I was working ahead with all my might. But being in the same room with Edison suggested to me that it would be a good idea to find out if the master of electricity thought it was going to be the only power in the future.
So, after Mr. Edison had finished his address, I managed to catch him alone for a moment.
I told him what I was working on. At once he was interested. He is interested in every search for new knowledge. And then I asked him if he thought that there was a future for the internal combustion engine. He answered something in this fashion. Ford, My Life and Work , p. Yes, there is a big future for any light-weight engine, that can develop a high horsepower and be self-contained. No one kind of motive power is ever going to do all the work of the country. We do not know what electricity can do, but I take for granted that it cannot do everything.
Keep on with your engine. If you can get what you are after, I can see a great future.
Ford, My Life and Work , pp. At its worst, the new department was a mildly tyrannical instrument which sowed the seeds of inquisition at the Ford Motor Co. Its agents became, to some extent, collectors of tales and suspicions.
Examined on their doorsteps, wives were called upon to testify against husbands, children against parents. Hearsay as well as fact found its way to a card catalogue where a record was kept of every worker's deviations.
To avoid getting demerits in this index, the wily Ford employees sometimes beat the game by only pretending an interest in the rules.
To some extent, prying induced lying. As Ford was to put it in his autobiography, his home visitors made an effort to break up the "evil custom" of taking in male boarders. To get around this prohibition, certain of his workmen and their wives simply passed off lodgers as "brothers" or "cousins.
Sward, The Legend of Henry Ford , p. Bennett liked boxers and wrestlers as well as college athletes, and many of them, particularly the big tough ones, ended up on the payroll. Ford had long shown an interest in the redemption of ex-convicts, and had given many of them a second chance.
Bennett continued the policy, with adaptations. He encouraged the thugs and hoodlums to continue their line of work in the plant. He also sought out tough cops and hired them.
With this material he built up a small army of goons who kept the workers under complete control. Anyone doing anything naughty, like talking union, was beaten to a pulp and fired for starting a fight. The reporters witnessed the entire event and photographers took pictures, but after the fight was over, the goon squad turned on the press. They tore the reporters' notes from their hands, grabbed and smashed the photographers' cameras.
One photographer escaped. He ran to the edge of the overpass and dropped his camera into an open convertible, which sped away. In the camera was the complete photographic record of the assault, and the pictures were printed all over the world. An Unconventional Biography of the Men and their Times , pp. The reporters buttressed their stories of the Battle of the Overpass with accounts of eyewitnesses, including a minister, and, after having been pushed around themselves, they pulled no punches once back in the safety of their offices.
If anyone had not known what was going on at Ford's, they did then. In the face of the photographic evidence, Henry Ford denied the whole thing. Edsel Ford sought to negotiate with the union but had been told by his father to stay away and let Bennett handle the problem.
He must have been almost as sick to his stomach as the girl who got kicked. Sorensen said that during this period Edsel determined to resign, but Sorensen talked him into staying.
Edsel insisted on at least attempting to bring about union negotiations, but his father told him flatly, in a direct way, not to interfere. Most of the workers in the plant shared his discomfort more directly, for, after the physical defeat of the union, Bennett unleashed his full tactics of terror and brutality on the men.
He International Jew already sees the present-day European states as will-less tools in his fist, whether indirectly through a so-called Western democracy, or in the form of direct domination by Jewish Bolshevism. But it is not only the Old World that he holds thus enmeshed, the same fate menaces the New.
It is Jews who govern the stock exchange forces of the American Union. Every year makes them more and more the controlling masters of the producers in a nation of one hundred and twenty millions; only a single great man, Ford, to their fury, still maintains full independence. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf , p. For the next two years, Sorensen says, the irascible old man hammered away at his son through Bennett, and in April of he landed the heaviest blow yet.
Ford ordered Sorensen to change Edsel's attitude on several major points. Edsel was to cooperate with Bennett on all matters in general, labor discord in particular, to break up his relationship with his old friend Kanzler, and to "regain health by cooperating with Henry Ford.
Edsel said there was nothing left for him to do but to resign. Sorensen again dissuaded him.