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Henry Ford Essay, Research Paper
Vvvrrrrrm! The largest mass production of automobiles in U.S. history was just the
beginning. Throughout Henry Ford s life he was known for the huge production of
cars, and for the first time, the average family had the chance to own one.
Henry was born to the name Henry William Ford. His parents William and Mary
Litigot Ford were married in 1862 waiting one year to have Henry as their first born on
July 30, 1863 in Springwells Michigan. His childhood was an average for a farm boy.
When he was not studying he read one of his father’s McGruffy Readers just for fun.
Just like any boy, he did not like to work on the farm, but instead of not doing it, he did
it while day dreaming of building a machine that would cut work time. For his birthday
at the age of twelve he was given a watch. It was not long until he started to take it
apart, then put it back together. When people noticed how good a job he did on his
own watch people gave him theirs to fix. He fixed watches until 17 when he left school
and went to Detroit to get a job at Michigan Car Works making repairs for $1.10 a
day. He then received a job at Dry Dock Engine Company, where he was a natural at
designing engines and repairing them. After mastering the job, he went back home to
go to a small business college for three months.
At home he met and married Clara Bryant a daughter of a neighboring farmer.
Henry married her on April 11, 1888. Their home was on a 40 acre farm his father had
given him. He was not happy working on a farm. So she insisted on them moving to
Detroit whether or not he had a job. Luckily he found a job fairly quickly and he began
doing what he loved, and built cars. He designed and built a car in a shed behind his
house on Bagley Avenue. Soon after he was working as chief engineer at Detroit
Edison Co. making $1,800 a year. At the same time business man after business man
approached Henry offering him great sums of money to build their cars in his spare
time. In 1901 Henry and many investors started the Henry Ford Company with
$60,000. After a short time he met Alex Malcomson and started the Ford &
Malcomson Company, but again the company failed because of money troubles. After
another short time he met James Couzens. In June 1901 with Alex, James, and eight
other investors Henry started the Ford Motor Company. Ford made Couzens in charge
of money, Malcomson in charge of production, and Ford himself began designing the
cars. With $100,000 of capital Ford was soon to produce the Fordmobile, later know
as the Model A, on the market for $850. Reliability, not beauty was Ford’s aim, but the
Model A was not an instant success. This did not effect Ford, he was quick in
introducing the Model B for $2,000. Again the B was not an instant success. So Ford
presented the Model C a cheaper more reliable Model B. The C did catch the
consumers attention. Ford then moved his company to much bigger plant and
produced five more cars. In 1908 Henry began designing the Model T. He introduced
it to the public, the demand became so great he had to create mass production. It was
to become “Ford’s best known car, a noisy, uncomfortable, unattractive , but efficient
automobile” . The company was now worth $2,000,000. Due to the workers reports
of hard, fast labor, nobody wanted to work for Ford. Lawyers wanted to get workers
that would be willing to sue Ford. Henry then made an announcement in January 1914
that workers would make a minimum wage of $5.00 a day for an eight hour work day.
These reports ended as quickly as they started. One result of the new wage
announcement was the arrival of hundreds of workers looking for work. Many were
scattering when a fire hose was turned on them. When asked by President Wilson to
help in building war ships for the first World War he was quick to do it. He built
motors, cylinders, steel helmets, and boats. In 1919 he was also called by a journalist
from the Chicago Tribune who wrote a column in the paper stating that Ford was
against the expedition into Mexico in pursuit of Villa. The suit was found in Ford’s
favor and he was awarded six cents in damages.
On December 31, 1918 Henry Ford resigned from the company presidency in
favor of his son, Edsel Ford. Couzens and Malcomson did the same and in turn Henry
bought all the remaining stock for his family. Henry retired as a trustee in the motor
company living with his wife on a farm in Dearborn for many years. In 1943 the entire
Ford Motor Company was shocked. Edsel Ford died. Henry then took over the
company on account of Edsel’s son Henry II not yet experienced enough to run the
On April 7, 1947 Henry Ford died. Known for making a low priced, high quality
automobile and introducing mass production into the car market Henry revolutionized the
automobile industry. In marking the 50th anniversary of his death, everyone should look
back and see just how he made the world a better place to live in, by just making a
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