Henry FordHenry Ford
Henry Ford was a genius in many aspects
of our everyday life. He changed industry, production, and everybody’s
lifestyle. Many people know about him inventing some of the first automobiles,
but what came out of it for America was a new encouragement for technology
and an easier lifestyle for the average American.
Also Henry Ford has changed the perspective
of industries around the world. His invention of the assembly line and
his five-dollar a day wage for the average worker brought about a total
new change in factories. Ford’s style and ingenuity helped America to be
more prosperous and created a large amount of opulence for America in the
early 1900’s, all because of one man’s creativity and determination to
achieve a dream that would help out the common man and the entire world.
Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863, on
a farm a few miles from Detroit. As a boy Henry was very creative and liked
to work with tools. However, he hated doing chores and he always wanted
to make things easier to do in life. This would be Henry’s motto in life,
always wanted to make things easier to do in life, at home or work. Ford
was so creative that in 1893, he built his first engine and in 1896, he
completed what he called the quadricycle, which ran for several years and
sold it for $200. Ford had his second car finished in 1898 which was lighter
and stronger than most cars around then. Soon enough many automobile companies
were looking for somebody like Ford to help get their company going.
However, Ford would go into automobile
racing and then build his own car company. Ford’s years in automobile racing
was his way to improve the car and a chance to test it under competition.
Soon though, he would get out of racing by a tough minded and ambitious
James Couzens, who developed plans for a car company.
Couzens was able to start out the company
with $28,000 in cash, and $21,000 in notes. The Ford Motor Company came
out with the model A, the model B, and the model K in their beginning years.
However, most of these cars were too expensive for the common man. So Ford
decided that he would make a car that was affordable to the ordinary worker.
For a few years, Ford and his technicians began building their next and
most important car in history. In 1908, Ford brought out for the first
time the Model T. It was an ugly car, seven feet high with false doors
and a crank. Even though it was ugly and simple, it was modern and affordable.
Actually, it was ahead of it’s time. The
car could generate it’s own electricity for ignition and it had a planetary
transmission which allowed women and children to drive it. It was easy
to operate and had the most efficient gasoline gauge of it’s time. The
greatest thing that came out from the Model T, was it’s influence in all
of America. Since the Model T was the first affordable car, which reached
a low of only $260 in 1925, it allowed the average American to own a car
now. One thing the Model T helped in was the improvement of the roads.
With more people out on the roads, many roads were now being paved, and
highways and bridges were being built for cars. Also farmers saw the Model
T effective, soon the rural population was brought into the mainstream
of technology. It was such a popular car, that over fifteen million were
sold all over the world. However, the most important thing the Model T
did, was it’s impact on connecting the people of America.
Bridges, roads, and highways were starting
to be built for automobiles. Women were starting to leave the house now
more because the Model T was easy to drive. Families could now go on trips
and see America. Access to places was easier now, which led to the building
of more stores, restaurants, and companies. This car was such a great impact,
that the lifestyle we know today was created a lot by one automobile. The
Model T, was the most affordable car of it’s time, but how Ford was able
to make it so affordable was by his production ingenuity. The one greatest
invention in industry is the assembly line. Henry Ford had a theory that
if cars were manufactured all alike, they could be turned out in larger
numbers at a lesser cost. That is why the Model T came only in black and
they were all built the same way. Ford had the whole thing figured out.
If they produced cars more inexpensively this would make them available
to other people, which would lead to more cars bought. This would require
better roads and create more customers which would lead to more cars bought
and more reduced prices for cars.
However, Ford had to figure out a way to
produce cars more inexpensively and quickly. Ford decided to install the
moving belt. This allowed more than one man to try to put together a part
for the car. As the belt moved along one man would have a certain job to
do for that part, then it would move on to the next person. For example,
the magneto would take one man twenty minutes to assemble it, but with
the moving belt the process took only five minutes. Their first attempt
to assemble an entire car by the assembly line was done by putting the
frame on skids and pulling it from one of the building by a rope. As the
frame moved along a group of workers walked by installing parts into the
frame. Soon the number of man hours was reduced from 15 1/2 to 1 /2 hours.
This fascinating process in industry led to the affordability of the Model
T and the process in almost every industry, to produce their products quicker
and easier. Ford’s ingenuity in industry was greater than just his inventions,
but also his business-type approach to the workers. Ford knew that in 1913,
there was growing tension from the 13,000 employees at Detroit.
Ford figured out a way to win their affection,
he would buy it. On January 5, 1914, Ford announced his five-dollar a day
wage for the workers, also he reduced the workday to eight hours. The average
worker then in the U.S. made less than two-dollars a day. Many big industrialists
thought he was dangerous and crazy. The publisher of the New York Times
said ” He’s crazy, isn’t he? Don’t you think he’s crazy?” Ford argued that
good pay makes good workers, and well paid workers could buy more cars.
Soon millions of men poured into Detroit to try to get a job.
Ford had the most effective way to keep
his workers happy and still keep his company prosperous. He showed many
industries how to run their company in a new style without losing any profits
and the ability of increasing production also. Henry Ford was one of the
most creative and determined people in the world. He had an attraction
for the common people, to make their life easier and more simple. Ford
did all this by the invention of the Model T.
Even tough, this was not the first car,
this was the first affordable car. Also, without the assembly line and
the five-dollar a day wage, the affordability of the Model T would not
be accomplished. Many of Ford’s great accomplishments had changed the whole
entire lifestyle of America and made it into what we know today.