Henry Ford was an American businessman, industry pioneer and industrialist. He founded the Ford Motor Company and developed the assembly line technique.
Ford created an automobile that middle-class Americans could afford easily. This transformed automobile into something more than an expensive hobby.
Ford had an outstanding vision regarding business, and consumerism played a major role in it. His desire to reduce the cost of production led to the discovery of many new ideas, such as the franchise system.
Henry Ford was born on 30th July 1863 in Greenfield Township, Michigan. His father’s name was William Ford, and his mother’s name was Mary Ford. By the age of 15, Ford had already started dismantling and repairing watches.
His father expected him to take over the farm but he hated farm work. He left his home in 1879 and worked as an apprentice machinist in Detroit. He came back to Dearborn in 1882 and started working on the family farm. Eventually, Westinghouse hired him to service their steam engines.
In 1893, he started his gasoline engine experiments. It resulted in the creation of Ford Quadricycle. On June 4th, 1896, he test-drove the quadricycle and developed it further. Ford teamed up with C. Harold Willis and built a 26-horsepower automobile in October 1901.
An old acquittance Alexander Y. Malcomson provided Ford with a helping hand. This led to the formation of Ford and Malcomson LTD. He started working on designing an inexpensive vehicle and forged a contract with a machine shop which was owned by the Dodge Brothers.
To deal with various issues, Malcomson brought in another investor group. He also gave the Dodge brothers a portion of the company. On June 16, 1903, the company’s name was changed to Ford Motor Company.
Ford introduced his new car during this period. The automobile covered 1 mile in 34 seconds and created a new land record. Convinced by its speed and success, the driver Barney Old Field named it ‘999’. He also took it out for a spin. As a result, the name of Ford Motors became known throughout the USA.
On 1st October 1908, the Model T was launched. In this vehicle, the steering wheel was located on the left side while the engine and the transmission were completely covered. Despite its light weight profile, the material provided excellent strength.
This model was sold for $850 which was considered a reasonable price. However, Ford wanted to lower the cost further and strive to achieve that goal. He organized a publicity stunt which highlighted the features of the Model T and was covered by every well-known newspaper.
Henry Ford’s labor Philosophy focused on creating better conditions for the workers and reducing their workload. He introduced a $5 per day program. Work hours were reduced from 9 to 8 and a five day per week schedule was also introduced. Ford also launched a daily pay raise program for qualified workers. These incentives attracted many talented workers to the company. However, Ford was staunchly opposed to labor unions.