Essay on Henry Ford

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Henry Ford and the Assembly Line

     Henry Ford the most influential person in the last century, created a cheap inexpensive traveling carriage. By doing this, people in America and soon people around the world could travel 200 miles in a ten-hour period. Before this invention of the automobile people could only travel 20 miles in one day by horse.

Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863. He was the first of six to his parents William and Mary Ford. Henry grew up in a typical 19th century home and attended a one-room schoolhouse. At an early age, he had an interested in mechanical things and a dislike for farm work. At the age of 16 in 1879, Henry left his home to work as an apprentice machinist in Detroit.
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Henry became the Vice-President and Chief Engineer of his own company. The factory built only a few cars a day but still remained in business.

Ford soon began working to make a simple, sturdy car that large numbers of people would be able to afford. He achieved one of the first such cars with the Model T, which appeared in 1908. This was the only car Ford produced. The original price of a Model T was $825. This was too high of a price for many customers. To lower the price, Ford and his coworkers tried new ways to reduce production costs. The company created an assembly line method in which conveyor belts brought automobile parts to workers. Each worker performed a particular task such as adding or tightening a part. This system helped reduce the assembly time of a Ford automobile from about 12 and one half worker-hours in 1912 to about 11 and one half worker-hours in 1914. This greatly influenced the industrial industry forever.

As the company's production costs fell, Ford passed much of the savings on to his customers. The price of a Model T touring car dropped to $550 in 1913, $440 in 1915, and to $290 in 1924 thus making it possible for the average family to own one.

In 1914, Ford raised the minimum wage to $5 a day for his employees who were 22 years of age and over. At this pay more the employees earned more than twice of what most earners received. Ford also reduced the workday from 9 hours to 8 hours a day.

Workers flocked to Ford plants seeking jobs,

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