Henry Ford - the man who changed the automotive industry #blogpost
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 - April 7, 1947) was an American entrepreneur, industrialist and a pioneer in the automotive industry.
He didn’t become a farmer, like his father thought he would, and ran away from home at the age of 16. He tried his luck in Detroit, where he worked as a apprentice machinist. After that, he serviced the Westinghouse steam engines and in 1891, he became an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company.
At the time, Ford was interested in petrol engines and in 1896, he built his first automobile - a self propelled vehicle named Ford Quadricycle, which attracted the interest of the public and investors. With their help, Ford established his first company - Detroit Automobile Company - which soon went bankrupt.
In 1903, when his son Edsel was 10 years old, Ford established his another, more successful company, Ford Motor Company, which managed to make over 1,700 cars in a year of its existence with small starting money of 28,000 dollars. These cars and concepts brought the company many wins in automobile races and a lot of speed records. However, Ford also wanted to make a reliable and cheap car for everyone. So in 1906-1908, he unveiled the Ford Model N and Ford Model T (nicknamed Tin Lizzie), which were sold for only 825 dollars. By the end of 1908, over 1,000 Model Ts were sold. Ford himself said: “The customers can have the Model T in any color - as long as it’s black.”
Because of the demand for cheap cars, Ford had to open a new factory in Highland Park, where an assembly line was built, designed by Ford’s employees, who were inspired by the slaughterhouse mechanism. The assembly line was finished in 1913 and a year after, over 250,000 new cars were sold. Ford also raised the daily wage for permanent employees to 5 dollars.
In the next years, the Model T’s price was getting lower, thanks to the improvement of the assembly line. Because of this, Ford Motor Company dominated 50% of the American market and in 1927, a 15 millionth Model T was made. This record was held for 45 years. Ford bought the stocks of his company during the 30’s, making him its only owner. In 1927, after the end of Model T’s production, the factory was closed for a half a year until his son Edsel finished the design for the brand new Ford Model A.
Henry Ford died in his estate on April 7th, 1947 of a cerebral hemorrhage.
This blogpost was made from my presentation about Henry Ford.
Thank you for reading.