Henry Ford

By: Christian Mesias

Biography

Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 in a little town called Greenfield Township, Michigan. Even in his adolescence he would tinker with watches and earned status as the town repairmen. From small beginnings, he ended up working for the Edison Illuminating Company in 1891. He continued his work but always longed for something greater and that break came in 1896 when he went to meeting a with Edison’s executives. It was Thomas Edison himself who approved the automobile experiment that Ford had been working on. Now that Edison had backed Ford with exponential capital, he left his job and created the Detroit Automobile Company. After a sour start, Ford left and that car manufacturer was renamed to the Cadillac Automobile Company. Ford hesitantly started another car company by the name Ford & Malcomson, Ltd. It was named this way due to Henry Ford’s partnership with Alexander Y. Malcomson; a Detroit coal dealer. The going went rough once their loans taken from the Dodge brothers for $160,000 in parts was not met. They scrambled to find investors who would help them pay off this debt and also got the Dodge brothers to take a portion of the companies stock. The new company was renamed to Ford Motor Company later that year. On October 1, 1908 Ford created the famed Model T under the notion that cars should be extremely effective and cheap. The car’s popularity grew rapidly and in order to keep up with this demand, Ford created the assembly line to keep production moving quickly. Every year the car’s price dropped even lower. Ford refused to make a new model but eventually gave in under pressure from his son. In the later part of his life Ford Motor Company saw a massive shift in popularity and their revenue dropped massively. Henry Ford’s mental health also plummeted but he insisted that he stay in charge of his beloved company. This would prove to be a poor decision as it led to his death on April 7, 1947.

Question Time!

1. What was Henry Ford's goal with the Model T?

2. How did Ford make their production faster and more effective?

Impact of Henry Ford

Henry Ford popularized the car and made it affordable to the working class. He introduced new ways of manufacturing and created a very fair wage system.