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Henry Ford & the 1920s
Transcript of Henry Ford & the 1920s
(died 1947 of a cerebral hemorrhage)
Rural Childhood vs. Urban Success
July 30, 1863 Greenfield Township, Michigan
=> Ford Model T
(rugged, utilitarian, pragmatic)
many farming tasks
5th grade education
media and ("ignorant idealism")
small scale farming technology (e.g. steam engine and water wheel)
Time In Detroit
In 1885, job at the age of 28 in Detroit
within a couple years he had a wife (Clara Bryant) and a son (Edsel Ford)
for basically everyone
growing middle class
w/ spending money
first gasoline car in the US
being a machinist in the Edison Electric Company
Starts Ford Motor Company
sold in USA
Ford produces 25% of the automobiles sold in the USA
The Early $5 Years (1914-
stressed power of labor
techniques from meat packing & watch making assembly lines
incorporated business (made it able to be invested in)
appealed to American middle class
1911 FORD WAS THE LARGEST AUTO MANUFACTURER IN US
Cheap and lightweight Ford Model N
Ford Model T "Tin Lizzie" (1908-1927)
1913 1rst car assembly line
Strong & lightweight vanadium steel
"Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black." -Ford (1913-1925)
60% of the cars sold in the US would be model T's
Between 1913 and 1927, Ford factories produced more than 15 million Model Ts.
influx of Southerners + increased productivity = 5 dollar pay check
=> emergence of a middle class
"Democratize the automobile"
More inexpensive cars in more volume
short 8hr work day allowed more shifts
workers became consumers
in 1908 $800/ T ------$250/ T in 1925
in 1920's competitors began challenging Ford (General Motors- heaters & colors)
Media and Advertisement
Finances and Factories
(1927) Ford moved production to a massive industrial complex built along the banks of the River Rouge in Dearborn, Michigan
Steel and Glass Mills
Bought Lincoln Motor Company
1 mile long Rouge Factory
(largest in the world)
By mid 1920's just about every American family owned an automobile
Ford introduced the
moving assembly lin
(line of workers each who did one task)
Simplified workers jobs; craftsmanship died out
no manufacturer had ever used the assembly line to make a product as complex as the car.
T had >5000 separate parts
Auto industry becoming the largest in country (Wilson admin)
Ford Model A (1927)
Edsel is the President of FMC
With more money (e.g. loans) to spend the Model T seems out dated
appeals to a sophisticated audience
1929, 2 million A's sold worldwide
"made a lady out of Lizzie"
detested labor Unions
Even though production rose to
1 million cars a year
( taking 93 minutes to make a T)
each car had a
couple dollars profit
in 1924 wages worth less than 10 yrs before
In 1930's only large company that
refused to bargain with organized labor
hosed United Automobile Workers
(by 1930) lost $174 million in 5 years
Labor Unions & Fordism
best power: weight ratio
use assembly lines
micro-sized tasks to yield greater output
the assembly line
Products to the masses
"Henry Ford." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
The Grolier Library of North American Biographies
. Connecticut: Grolier Educational, 1994. Print
Gould, William. VGM Business Portraits. Lincolnwood, IL: VGM Career Horizons, 1995. Print.
Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas Andrew Bailey. The American Pageant: A History of the American People. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.