Henry Ford, (1863-1947), America’s most ambitious automotive magnate, revolutionized manufacturing with his ground-breaking production techniques. From the time he was a young child in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford had an inquisitive interest in machines amusing his family by the number of hours he spent tinkering around with engines and other devices.
Over the next several decades his experiments and trials lead to the construction of his first horseless carriage in 1896, which he dubbed the Ford Quadricycle.
Recognized world-wide as an agent of change, Ford pioneered three separate and distinct ideas that transformed business and the social economic face of this country forever—all of which assured him an honored niche in history.
He designed and built the Model T Ford car, "the car that put the world on wheels," initially selling the automobile for $950 in 1908. In less than 20 years, however, the price dipped as low as $280 making it more affordable for the average family—thus, ushering the start of the Motor Age.
Ford also inaugurated the moving automotive assembly line and developed the process of mass production on which modern industry is based. His mass-production techniques would eventually allow for the manufacture of a Model T every 24 seconds.
In 1914, Ford shocked the manufacturing world when he began paying his employees a whopping five dollars a day-- nearly doubling the wages offered by other manufacturers. Another innovation: he cut the workday from nine to eight hours in order to convert the factory to a three-shift workday.
Henry Ford, a man with great ideas, foresight and seemingly limited potential became an international iron and household word. Ford also pioneered in the field of aviation and in the development of the farm tractor.
The great ideas of this inquisitive Michigan native put the world on wheels.