Henry Ford Essay

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Henry Ford

"It is doubtful if any mechanical invention in the history of the world has influenced in the same length of time the lives of so many people in an important way as the motor car." So writes an American historian, thinking of the automobile alone. But it does not stand-alone. It was the automobile factory that introduced mass production, a process that has changed the lineaments of our economic and social life more profoundly than any other single element in the recent history of civilization. Nearly everyone has heard of this process, yet few have any detailed or exact knowledge of its inception and development. Enter Henry Ford. The true answers of what inspired this Michigan farmer to develop a production process that
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Before long he is one of the masters of the Springfield Arsenal. Elias Howe liked to tinker with the grain mill on his father’s farm, an occupation fitting his rural life. At sixteen he became an apprentice in a Lowell factory for making textile machinery – his sewing machine lay just ahead. Eli Whitney combines farm chores and forge work; restlessly ambitious, he saves money to attend Yale – with what result we all know. "The farm is a sound teacher of ingenuity and elementary mechanical skills. Before long however its lessons are ended, and the youth whose imagination is fired by railroads, steamboats, cotton mills, machine shops, and gun factories looks to a larger sphere." 2

Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 in the Detroit, Michigan area. He was the oldest of six children born to William and Mary Litogot O’Hern Ford, and the grandson of Irish immigrants who had arrived in America in 1847. The entire family worked on the family farm and Ford was raised with intentions of taking over the family farm when he grew up.

"He had an intelligent, inquisitive nature and was energized by the huge growth of industry occurring in the Detroit area." 3He was also an avid experimenter. At age nine, in one of his first experiments, he theorized the power of steam. To prove the nature of this phenomenon, he plugged the spout of one of his mother’s delicate teapots, and set it to a boil. And to the

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