Imagine how life would be if our society did not have cars. Today, our society is dependent on cars for our daily routines. From transporting our food, clothes, and technology to just going to the store across the street, cars are a very important part of our society. In the 19th century, only the wealthy and upper middle class had access to automobiles, and they only used cars for fancy transportation and to show off their money. This was due to the extreme prices of cars in the 19th century. With these high prices not many people could afford them, especially not the working class.
Henry Ford revolutionized the automotive industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With Ford's devotion to mechanics, he perfected the assembly line, developed cheap cars for the common people, and sparked an era of mass production. Due to this, Ford paid higher and his contributions allowed the common people to have access to cars. Ford's innovation of the assembly line transformed the automobile industry from just an expensive piece of fancy metal with wheels to a productive machine of American society. Many may assume that Henry Ford invented the assembly line, however, they were wrong.
Henry Ford only improved it drastically and used it in his factories to produce better and faster. As Winfield states, “… the assembly line was not invented by Ford… he only perfected it to be used for mass production. ” The assembly line allowed for production to increase in the factories. This was because everyone had a specific task within the factory. The worker was only focused on the one task they have which cut off confusion and delay in progress. “The assembly line reflects the principle of division of labor, which breaks up complex
manufacturing jobs into smaller, specialized tasks,” states Amy Sue. The assembly line allowed Ford to produce more as well as to reduce prices, making cars affordable for average families. Ford was not greedy, he also improved working conditions. He had his workers work less, with more breaks, and he also payed them almost twice as much as other jobs. As Eric Foner states, “Ford paid the assembly line workers $5 a day when prevailing wages were about $2. 50… he also reduced working hours to 8. ” With this, workers were more likely to work harder and better, which led to more productivity.
The productivity was not done alone, the infrastructure of the assembly line is very critical to the production process. This was done by, as Robert Sobel states,” … conveyor belts in the assembly line that brought parts to the workers to perform their specific task. ” All this improved the production rate and it satisfied the workers. Many may say the assembly line removed individuality, however it brought faster, better, and cheaper production to the Ford Motor Company. With the success of the assembly line, Ford was very please however he had a bigger goal set. Ford wanted to produce cheap cars for the common people to use.
Ford made many different types of cars and experimented with each of them. They were all good but not good enough. After many different models, Ford achieved his goal with his invention of the Ford Model T. The Model T was a fully functional compact automobile with a good transmission and torque as well as comfort and size. Apart from that, the most important aspect of the Model T was that is was extremely cheap. As Sobel states,”… the model T was only worth $290 in 1924. ” This was a huge achievement for Ford because the competitor prices were much higher. Everyone was surprised by how good and cheap this car was.
“This is the car of the future! We rubbed our eyes several times to make sure we weren't dreaming, said one dealer about the model T”, as stated by Jacqueline L. Harris. The model T became extremely popular in 1925. There were thousands of Model T's sold weekly all throughout the country. This was a time when the US economy was at its best and everyone was enjoying the pleasures of life. Now everyone had to have a car in order to function in cooherence with everyone else. As John H. Garraty states,” Henry Ford transformed the automobile from a luxury toy to a mains-tray of society”.
By this time, mostly everyone had cars and they all used them for their daily lives and routines. Mass production arose incredibly quickly from Ford's achievements in the automobile industry. This new era of mass production mainly arose by the success of the assembly line. The assembly line could produce up to 5 times faster than just individual workers. All together the Ford Motor Company was one of the fastest and most productive in the nation. As Carter states, “by 1927, Ford's company had brought together all the processes of automobile manufacturing.
” Thousands of new cars left the factories and were sold for a very low price. Once people started seeing the success of Ford's productivity, other retailers began using the assembly line. Such things like clothing, weapons, and mechanical parts were being mass produced in factories, faster than ever before! As Isaac Marcossen states, “ Henry Ford's inventions marked the first time in history that humans were able to mass produce products that benefited everyone”. America was becoming very advanced with its manufacturing skills that soon enough other countries such as England and France began using this technique.
Soon after that, most of the world was mass producing, however that era was stopped by the great depression and the second world war. Overall, Ford started a new era of production in the united states which eventually spread to the entire world. All in all, Ford's contributions to the automobile industry had many positive results for the future. It's fascinating knowing how one man easily transformed a whole nation. His devotion and passion for what he loved best caused many significant achievements in history. As C. F. Carter states, “..
according to many historians, Ford's innovation of the Model T, the moving belt assembly line, and the $5- eight hour wage made a significant impact in the American production industry”. The cheap Ford Model T gave common people a chance to explore new horizons and also increased trading and traveling. The moving assembly line produced faster, better and cheaper products that were successfully being mass produced. All this led to the start of a huge era of mass production which impacted the whole world, however we all enjoy of its achievements to this day.