Sunday 7 April 2013

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Henry Ford

It was on this day in 1947 that Henry Ford passed away at his home, Fairlane, in Dearborn, Michigan.  Here are ten things you may not know about the automobile pioneer.

Henry's Ford's Estate, Fairlane, courtesy  

1.  At 13, Henry successfully took apart and put back together a pocket watch that his father had given him as a gift.

2.  In 1888, Henry Ford married Clara Bryant.  Five years later, they had one son, named Edsel.  

Clara Bryant photo courtesy

3.  In 1893, the Edison Illuminating Company hired Henry Ford.  He so impressed them that he was soon promoted to Chief Engineer.

4.  In 1896, Henry built the Ford Quadricycle, consisting of four bicycle wheels, a seat, a 2 cylinder engine, 2 gears (no reverse) and a 3 gallon gas tank.

5.  In 1903, Henry established the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan.

6.  In 1908, as promised, Henry Ford built a car for the masses named the Model T.  It cost $850 and 15 1/2 million were sold in the United States alone.

7.  In 1913, Ford perfected the assembly line.  A complete chassis, which had previously taken 728 minutes to build, now took only 93 minutes. 


One day's production at the Highland Park Plant courtesy

8.  He also introduced the $5-a-day wage, about twice what other employers were paying their employees at the time.  In 2011 currency, that is worth $110.  (See my blog post "Cars in the Driveways, Chickens in the Pots" dated January 5, 2012.)

9.  In 1918, half of America's cars were Ford Model T's.

10.  Henry Ford offered profit sharing to all employees who had worked for him for 6 months or more and "who conducted their lives in a respectable manner".  

Photo of Henry Ford courtesy

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