Henry Ford and His Vision of Mass Production

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Other men may have invented the technology that led to the modern manufacturing process, but it was Henry Ford who established the ideals behind it. Although the technology was in place for assembly-line methods, it was Ford who made it his life's work to create the systems for efficient assembly lines, making both him and his workers very rich while doing so. His innovative assembly-line system helped elevate his reputation as a genius in both business and engineering. It was Ford who could produce cars with incredible efficiency. Ultimately, Ford made it publicly known how profitable manufacturing could really be.

Born July 30, 1863, in what is today Dearborn, MI, Henry Ford grew up on a prosperous family farm. The founder of the Ford Motor Company had a keen interest in mechanical work from an early age.

In 1891, he began working as an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit, and in a couple of years, he was promoted to chief engineer. In his free time, Ford worked on his personal experiments involving internal combustion engines.

In 1896, Ford manufactured a self-propelled vehicle called the Quadricycle. This machine had four wire wheels and was controlled by a tiller. It had two forward speeds but could not be driven in reverse. Although Ford was not the first person to have developed a vehicle with a gasoline engine, he was among the pioneers who contributed to the nation's automotive revolution.

After failing at two attempts to establish his own company, Ford incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903. He successfully rolled out a few cars each day at his Ford factory in Detroit. He ordered components that were made to order by other companies and used them for his machines. In 1908, Ford launched the Model T, which at one time accounted for half of the vehicles in America.

Today, Ford is known as the father of modern assembly lines used in mass production. His factory was capable of the mass production of inexpensive automobiles. The assembly line in his unit could produce a car in 98 minutes.

Ford proved that manufacturing was one of the most profitable industries, and because of this, he could afford to pay his workers high wages. (He was noted for paying $5 per day.) In addition, Ford aimed at lowering costs and implemented a number of technical and business innovations. He initiated a franchise system with dealerships across North America and in large cities throughout the world.

By 1927, his company brought together all the processes of automobile manufacturing, starting with refining raw materials. This happened at the company's huge Rouge plant and highlighted Henry Ford's vision of mass production.
On the net:Henry Ford

The Life of Henry Ford
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