Happy B’Day Henry Ford: the creator of the Model T car
Sometimes a trial and error method can work wonders. However, success requires courage, dedication, persistence, and hard work. As a teenager, Henry Ford apparently believed the same idea and took the watch that was presented to him on his birthday apart to explore how it worked, then reassembled it. DIY and interest in machines from an early age were encouraged by his parents.
Date of Birth: July 30, 1863
Deceased: April 7, 1947
The steam engine caught Ford’s attention when it engaged in engineering activities and moved away from farming. His interests led him to build a gasoline engine at his home for the kitchen sink. On the 158e birthday of the founder of Ford Motor Company, we revisit some interesting facts about the man.
- Born near Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford regarded Thomas Edison as his role model and personal hero. When Edison heard about Henry’s idea of building a four-wheeled contraption, he endorsed his idea, which in turn galvanized Henry’s thoughts and instilled in him the confidence to take it further.
- Most middle-class Americans have to thank Henry, for an amazing yet affordable invention to meet their switching needs. Ford’s Model T car was named “Car of the Century” by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation because it was a game-changer and turned the luxury of the rich man into an innovation that serves millions of people. However, the car was loud, unappealing and uncomfortable within five years of being made with around half a million vehicles on the road. Henry Ford himself joked about the color of the car, saying “any customer can have any car painted any color they want, as long as it is black.“
- Henry Ford has been inducted into the “Automotive Hall of Fame,” for being one of the few great automotive personalities since its inception in 1939 in Dearborn.
- In 1896, he unveiled a Quadricycle, the first self-propelled vehicle. The wheels of this one were similar to heavy bicycle wheels and the steering resembled the helm of a boat. The vehicle could only move forward but not back up. He offered a second car in 1898 and managed to persuade a group of people to invest. On July 16, 1903, he established the third automobile company – the Ford Motor Company, and the new Model T car entered the market setting records. In 2020, the company sold 4,187,000 wholesale vehicles worldwide.
- Henry Ford and his team brought together ideas from multiple industries from bicycle, gun and meat packer manufacturers to get the most out of each industry and use the ones that are suitable for the automotive industry. The mobile assembly line setup was adopted from the meat industry in 1913 and has held its place in the business even after 100 years of its introduction. In January 1914, Ford made the other bold move to double the wages to $ 5 per day for 53,000 people per year. As of 2020, Ford Motor Company employs 186,000 employees with a market capitalization of $ 55.32 billion.
- In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, he built schools that provided education through traditional classroom technique as well as hands-on experience or “learning by doing”. Even today, the company reserves a third of its funds for education through scholarships. Operation Better World, launched by the Ford community, aims to involve local Ford dealers in the implementation of hunger relief and healthcare programs.
- During World War II, Henry Ford supported the United States Army by assisting it with jeeps, bombers, and tanks.
“Nothing is particularly difficult if you divide it into small jobs”, these words of Henry Ford illustrate well his life, his research and his love for invention. He breathed technicality throughout life and explored a new way to lead a competent life. On this day, we salute this amazing spirit that has presented a new version of the automotive industry.
The post is part of a Anniversary series where we very frequently celebrate the birthdays of renowned personalities from the Tech Industry. The series includes entrepreneurs, C-level executives, innovators or renewed leaders who have evolved the industry with their exponential skills and vision. The intention is to highlight the person’s accomplishments and touch on the little known, but interesting, part of their life. You can see the list of all famous tech personalities including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or by subscribing to your daily newsletter.
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