Henry Ford was born July 30, 1863 in Wayne County, Michigan. Henry was raised on a farm in Dearborn and helped his father with the harvest. Henry was not interested with school and disliked the farm life. He wanted to learn about internal combustion engines. At age 16, he landed a job as an apprentice in a machine shop. Their he would learn about engines and how they operate. After several years of working as an apprentice, Henry moved back home and worked part-time for the Westinghouse Engine Company.
He put together a modest machine shop on his father's farm and began fooling around with engines and machines. During the time he was living at the farm, he married Clara Jane Bryant. A couple years later Henry and his wife relocated to Detroit, because Ford was offered a job to be the chief engineer at Detroit Edison Company. In 1896, Ford Built a car that had a 4 horse power engine that could hit 20 miles per hour! A very fast speed back then. He named it the Quadricycle Runabout and the automobile was sold for $200. 00.
He brought into existence Ford Motor Company on June 16th, 1903. In Ford's first year, his company produced one thousand, seven hundred and eight cars! An incredible start for the company. In 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T car designed and sold for any family. The Model T revolutionized the American industry. Henry Ford believed in selling cars cheap enough so most people could afford it. He especially wanted his workers to be able to get to work. In 1913 Ford introduced the first assembly line, which drastically reduced production time. He even instituted the $5.
00-a-day- minimum wage. When the United States entered the war in 1917, Ford ordered that his plant begin making things to help win the war. Ford had an effective production line which helped him cut costs of his products, while increasing wages so that his employees were the highest paid in the industry. Henry Ford wanted his workers to be well paid so that they wouldn't strike against him. That was smart move on Ford's part. He even cut the workday to only eight days, which made his workers happy. People from all over the country tried to get a job at the Ford Motor company.
By 1918, half of all vehicles in America were in fact Model Ts. To satisfy the growing popularity of the Model T car, Ford Motor Company opened a factory in Highland Park, Michigan. Ford's production of Model T's made his corporation the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. While still actively working at his company, Henry was nominated by Michigan to run for U. S. Senate. Unfortunately Henry lost the campaign for U. S Senate. With his own money, he dished out 7. 5 million dollars to the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Henry Ford's assembly line did not always manufacture automobiles. Again Ford had his assembly line building necessary equipment for the World War II. By the end of the war his company manufactured more than 8000 airplanes. In 1915, Ford tried to promote world peace by chartering a pace ship, which carried him and many other individuals to Europe. Unfortunately their voyage over sea was unsuccessful and World War I continued to escalate. In 1926 with the demand of the Model T waning and 15,000,000 units sold, Henry Ford's son Edsel urged Henry to make a new and better model.
A year later Henry designed a new car called the Model A. At the first public appearance in New York City, fifty thousand people came to make a deposit on the new car. It was the same in many other major cities. Henry Ford obviously produced another winner perhaps even better than its predecessor, the Model T. Some of the features the Model A had included a 3. 3 liter side valve, larger than the T's 2. 9, and it also had a 40 horsepower engine, twice as powerful. The Model A not only operates more efficiently than the T, it was much more stylish. It came with a wide variety of models.
The Model A seemed to have been more popular than the Model T when it first came out. In 1943, henry Ford's son Edsel died and Henry took control of the business. However, he already had two strokes by the time and two years later, he handed over the presidency to his grandson, Henry Ford II. Henry Ford died quietly on bed at his Fair Lane estate in Dearborn, Michigan. He was 83 years old. Henry ford not only produced an affordable car, he helped create a middle class, raised wages, created the first eight hour day and incorporated the first moving assembly line