Henry Ford was born in a farm in Dearborn, Michigan, North America on the 30th of July, 1863. When he was young, he always loved technology that was around. He befriended the people who ran the steam engines. And he taught himself how to fix watches. He also used the watch fixing as a guide to learn the principles of designing all sorts of machines. He was a keen leader, and learnt most things by trial and error. In 1879, at the age of 16, he moved out of his family’s farm, to work at an automobile company, which made trains and rail cars in Detroit. Ford went back home in 1882, not to become a farmer, but used and serviced steam engines that were used by farmers. This showed that Ford was an independent learner, and didn’t like working for someone else. In 1891, his family moved to Detroit. He took up a job as an engineer for an electrical company, using it as an opportunity to learn, as he did not know a lot about electricity. He soon became the chief engineer of the company in 1896. He had his mind on other interests and built his first self-propelled vehicle in 1896. The quadricycle. He built his second car two years later.
On June the 16th, 1903, Henry Ford, backed by businessmen, created his own automotive company, the Ford Motor Company. His company manufactured their first car called the model A. That was followed by many improved models. In 1907, the four-cylinder Model N, by Ford became the best-selling car in the whole country, costing $600. His group of engineers worked hard to produce the Model T, introduced on the first of October, 1908. The model T had a four cylinder engine, producing 20 horsepower. It had a top speed of 45 miles per hour (around 72.5 kilometres per hour). It ran anywhere between 13 and 21 miles every gallon (3.79 litres), and weighed 1200 pounds (half a tonne). Over 15 million Model T’s were sold during its time of production in 1908 to 1937. The nickname of the car was the “Tin Lizzie”. The car came in several body styles including a five seater touring car, a two seater, and a seven seater town car. There were a choice of colours available. By the time the last Model T was manufactured, the company was producing a car every 24 seconds.
This invention of the mass produced automobile, revolutionised the way people lived and moved about, because it could get people to places quicker, and more efficiently. The invention met the need of transport because it replaced horse and carriage, and it was affordable. Replaced slaves for transport, and it was generally faster than the older vehicles. Making it the same amount of power as around 20 horse drawn carriages. Ford used the idea of James Watt’s steam engine to power the cars. Henry Ford didn’t invent the car. The car was invented by Karl Benz. Ford did not invent the engine, nor the idea of a production line. Yet, he produced the world’s first production car, used on American roads, and slowly going worldwide.
The invention is obviously not in use anymore, but it has been replaced by millions of production cars today. It has come up to be one of the most substantial leading inventions in the world used today, with over one billion on the road every day. 60 Million Cars are manufactured every day, and 165,000 sold every day. The Ford Motor Company is still in business, and is one of the leading car manufacturers in the world, and owns Lincoln and a small stake in Mazda.
We should all take some time to praise and honour the Ford Motor Company. Thank you Henry Ford!