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Henry Ford was not just the founding father of the Ford company, he accomplished many things during his lifetime. He invented the first car the Model T, and several other cars that made him know for the first person to make a car that runs on horsepower.
Henry Ford was born on a small farm in Greenfield Township, Michigan. His parents were William and Mary Ford, and he had three brothers and two sisters. At 16,Henry Ford left Greenfield Township to Detroit where he worked as a machinist. He came back to Greenfield and work on the family farm after three years, but continued to operate and service steam engines and work occasional stints in Detroit factories. In 1888, he married Clara Bryant, who had grown up on a nearby farm. In the first several years of their marriage, Ford supported himself and his new wife by running a sawmill.
In 1891, he returned with Clara to Detroit, where he was hired as an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company. After two years of working for the Edison Illuminating Company he became chief engineer. Around the same time, Clara gave birth to their only son, Edsel Bryant Ford. Henry Ford started spending irregular hours working on his efforts to build a gasoline-powered horseless automobile.
In 1896, he completed what he called the “Quadricycle” which consisted of a light metal frame fitted with four bicycle wheels and powered by a two-cylinder, four-horsepower gasoline engine. Henry Ford was determined to improve upon his prototype, Ford sold the Quadricycle in order to continue building other vehicles. He received backing from various investors over the next seven years, some of whom formed the Detroit Automobile Company (later the Henry Ford Company) in 1899. The following year, Ford established the Ford Motor Company. A month after the Ford Motor Company was established, the first Ford car the two-cylinder, eight-horsepower Model A was assembled at a plant on Mack Avenue in Detroit. At the time, only a few cars were assembled per day, and groups of two or three workers built them by hand from parts that were ordered from other companies. The “Tin Lizzie” as the Model T was known, was an immediate success, and Ford soon had more orders than the company could satisfy.
As a result, he put into practice techniques of mass production that would revolutionize American industry, including the use of large production plants, standardized, interchangeable parts, and the moving assembly line. Mass production significantly cut down on the time required to produce an automobile, which allowed costs to stay low. In 1914, Ford also increased the daily wage for an eight-hour day for his workers to $5;up from $2.34 for nine hours, setting a standard for the industry. Even as production went up, demand for the Tin Lizzie remained high, and by 1918, half of all cars in America were Model Ts. In 1919, Ford named his son Edsel as president of Ford Motor Company, but he retained full control of the company’s operations. After a court battle with his stockholders, led by brothers Horace and John Dodge, Henry Ford bought out all minority stockholders by 1920. In 1927, Ford moved production to a massive industrial complex he had built along the banks of the River Rouge in Dearborn, Michigan. The plant included a glass factory, steel mill, assembly line and all other necessary components of automotive production.
That same year, Ford ceased production of the Model T, and introduced the new Model A, which featured better horsepower and brakes, among other improvements. By that time, the company had produced some 15 million Model Ts, and Ford Motor Company was the largest automotive manufacturer in the world. Ford opened plants and operations throughout the world. The Model A proved to be a relative disappointment, and was outsold by both Chevrolet (made by General Motors) and Plymouth (made by Chrysler); it was discontinued in 1931. In 1932, Ford introduced the first V8 engine, but by 1936 the company had dropped to number three in sales in the automotive industry. Despite his progressive policies regarding the minimum wage, Ford waged a long battle against unionization of labor, refusing to come to terms with the United Automobile Workers (UAW) even after his competitors did so.
In 1937, Ford security staff clashed with UAW organizers in the so-called “Battle of the Overpass” at the Rouge plant, after which the National Labor Relations Board ordered Ford to stop interfering with union organization. Ford Motor Company signed its first contract with UAW in 1941, but not before Henry Ford considered shutting down the company to avoid it.
On April 7,1947 in Fair Lane, Dearborn, Michigan.(Home of Henry and Clare Ford) Henry Ford got sick then he got diagnosed with intracerebral hemorrhage. He died in his home peacefully in the bed of him and his wife Clare.
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