Invention of the Assembly Line

By: Marisa Stark

Before the Invention of the Assembly Line:

1908-

Henry Ford built the first Model T car. The starting price was 850 dollars, which was expensive for many people at the time.


Photo: Henry Ford standing proudly in front of his own Model T.

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Early 1900's-

Without the assembly line, car parts were delivered by horse-drawn carriages. Many of Ford's employees assembled cars while balancing on top of sawhorses because it was a struggle to find room to build.


Photo: 1900's Horse-Drawn Carriage

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1912-

Before the assembly line, Ford Motor Company workers put in 12 and a half hours to assemble just one car. The production costs were expensive, which meant that Ford cars were expensive also.


Photo: Since Model T cars were being sold at a cost of 850 dollars, only the wealthy could afford to drive them.

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1913-

Ford Motor Company created the first moving assembly line. This meant that the price of Model T cars would lower because of its mass production rate.
Henry Ford Assembly Line

After the Invention of the Assembly Line:

1914-

The assembly line greatly increased the mass production of cars at Ford Motor Company. The 12 and a half hours it took to assemble a car in 1912 reduced to one and a half hours in 1914.


Photo: Assembly line at Ford Motor Company, 1914

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1914-

Henry Ford increased pay to five dollars a day for his employees who were 22 years of age and older. This wage was almost unheard of in the early 1900's.
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1924-

The price of Ford's Model T dropped as low as 290 dollars. The amazingly low cost meant that a typical middle class family could afford a car, not just the rich.


Photo: Advertisement for Ford Model T coupe from Ladies' Home Journal, 1924

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1946-

The digital computer ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was making high strides. The ability to compute manufacturing rates of goods greatly contributed to mass production.


Photo: The ENIAC computer, 1946

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1950's - 1960's-

Aside from car production, the assembly line was used for producing goods in agricultural countries, including South America and Asia. This design allowed anyone to work in the manufacturing service, high and low skill leveled.


Photo: Radio manufacturing, 1950's assembly line

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1960's

The advancement of integrated circuits resulted in computers being smaller, faster, and less expensive. The development of computers prompted the use of automated assembly lines.


Photo: 1960 Integrated CIrcuit

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Impact of the Assembly Line

Henry Ford invented the assembly line in 1913. He designed it using conveyer belts, which brought product parts to his employees. Immediately after the assembly line made its way into factories, prices on many products decreased due to mass production rates. It revolutionized customer diversity in companies, and lowered the cost of a majority of merchandise. As technology became popular, computers were invented and used for automated assembly lines. Without the assembly line, delivery time would be less efficient. Fewer quantities of products would be available, meaning higher prices. Assembly lines may lie in factories behind closed doors, but its use affects everyone.

Sources:

- Davis, Tamra S. "World Book Student | Ford, Henry." World Book Student | Article Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://photo.pds.org:5005/student/article?id=ar204085&st=henry%2Bford%2Bmuseum>.


- "100 Years of the Moving Assembly Line." Ford Corporate. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015. <https://corporate.ford.com/innovation/100-years-moving-assembly-line.html>.


- Hannan, Michael T., and Melvin Kranzberg. "History of the Organization of Work." Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/108782>.


- Groover, Mikell P. "Automation." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.britannica.com/technology/automation>.


Picture Sources:


- Horse-Drawn Buggy; circa 1900. 1900. Arkansas History Commission. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/media/gallery/photo/ahc_311122_f.jpg>.


- N.d. Ford Motor Company. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/08/05/model-t-facts.html>.


- 1908 Model T Hand Cranking. N.d. Motor Ford Company. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://myautoworld.com/ford/history/ford-t/ford-t-2/ford-t-2.html>.


- Ford Assembly Line, 1914. 1914. Stevens Institute of Technology. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.kingsacademy.com/mhodges/03_The-World-since-1900/01_The-Last-Days-of-the-Gilded-Age/pictures/Ford-mass-production.jpg>.


- 1924 Ford Coupe, Shown in an Advertising Illustration. 1924. Smithsonian Collection. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://amhistory.si.edu/onthemove/img/media/l/1749.jpg>.


- The ENIAC. 1946. Smithsonian Institution. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <https://www.clear.rice.edu/comp201/08-spring/lectures/lec02/computers.shtml>.


- Average Daily Wages, 1914. N.d. Wheels for the World by Douglas Brinkley. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://cmsimg.freep.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=C4&Date=20140105&Category=BUSINESS06&ArtNo=301050040&Ref=V5&MaxW=300&Border=0&Henry-Ford-5-day>.


- The Soviet Art of Photography. 1950s. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <https://www.marxists.org/history/ussr/art/photography/workers/>.


- Junction-isolated Version of the Type "F" Flip-flop. 1960. Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.computerhistory.org/semiconductor/timeline/1960-FirstIC.html>.


Video Source:


- Henry Ford Assembly Line. Perf. Henry Ford. N.d. Google. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <https://youtu.be/xcgff0Jt9UM>.