Henry Ford made a long lasting impact on society with his accomplishments in life. He was able to help society advance in mass producing cars. With his invention to make a moving assembly line he was able to revolutionize the automobile industry. Today’s society values his contributions and have made improvements from this method.
Henry Ford was one of eight children of William and Mary Ford. Ford attended a one-room school for eight years when he was not helping his father with the harvest.
At age 16 he walked to Detroit to find work in its machine shops. Here we can see the difference of the society, as Ford attended a very small school and left his family at the age of 16. Today schools are more bigger than one-room and offer better education. Ford’s passion for machinery made him get a job that he would expand his skills with. Eventually, he built a small “farm locomotive,” a tractor that used an old mowing machine for its chassis and a homemade steam engine for power.
He wanted to build a gasoline-powered car, so he started experimenting with materials.
A month later Ford was made chief engineer at the main Detroit Edison Company plant with responsibility for maintaining electric service in the city 24 hours a day. Because he was on call at all times, he had no regular hours and could experiment to his heart’s content. These management and engineering jobs helped shape Ford’s leadership and technical skills for his achievements later in life.
Having the time and opportunity to do what he wanted was key for his success in pioneering the mass production of cars. After two years of spending nearly every free minute refining his engine in the small shed behind his home, as well as in a basement room at Edison Illuminating, Ford completes his first automobile, the ‘Quadricycle,’ and drives it through the streets of Detroit.
This accomplishment gave Ford the ability to see himself producing cars for other people. Investors would give him money for him to produce different types of cars. In the figure, Ford produced his first automobile. From this he was able to expand his models and build more complicated cars. With financial investors he has attracted with his quadricycle, Ford forms the Detroit Automobile Company . Since he gained a lot of attention he was able to create his own company to build his new model of cars. Having this company he was able to do what he was really passionate in doing.
Henry Ford had numerous amounts of achievements throughout his career in the automobile industry. Between 1903 and the 1908 advent of the Model T, Ford’s company manufactures nine different cars: Models A, B, AC, C, F, K, N, R, and S. The most successful, the Model N, is described in advertisements as ‘a high-grade, practical automobile…[raised] out of the list of luxuries” The Ford Model N in display Ford with the help of the money from his investors was able to create nine different models that were all available for purchase. However, these automobiles were all expensive to build and only he wealthy were able to afford these cars. As seen in figure 2, when comparing the Model N to the “Quadricycle”, Ford was able to create more improved cars. Henry Ford was determined to build a simple, reliable and affordable car; a car the average American worker could afford. Out of this determination came the Model T and the assembly line – two innovations that revolutionized American society and molded the world we live in today. Because of Ford’s willingness to create a car for the masses he was able to invent the moving assembly line.
Model T in the moving assembly line In the figure one can see the line of cars being pulled by the conveyor belt in the bottom of the cars. This moving line assembly was the first of its kind for the automobile industry. The Model T made its debut in 1908 with a purchase price of $825.00. Over ten thousand were sold in its first year, establishing a new record. Four years later the price dropped to $575.00 and sales soared. By 1914, Ford could claim a 48% share of the automobile market . Starting the value of a car that low was a first for any car sold during that time. This allowed most Americans to be able to afford this car. He also hired motion-study expert Frederick Taylor to make those jobs even more efficient. Meanwhile, he built machines that could stamp out parts automatically (and much more quickly than even the fastest human worker could).
When making the Model T Ford wanted to create a faster process that would allow him to create the highest amount of cars in a set time. Frederick Taylor is considered the father of time study so to have him hired in his company definitely made his assembly line as efficient as can be. Ford installed moving lines for bits and pieces of the manufacturing process: For instance, workers built motors and transmissions on rope-and-pulley–powered conveyor belts. In December 1913, he unveiled the pièce de résistance: the moving-chassis assembly line . This assembly line to make these heavy parts of the car made it easier for the workers to finish their jobs, then pass it on to the next worker to do their job. As the pace accelerated, Ford produced more and more cars, and on June 4, 1924, the 10-millionth Model T rolled off the Highland Park assembly line . This achievement helped to establish Ford’s legacy in the American automobile industry.
Henry Ford’s effect on society was brought many innovations to the automobile industry. These innovations later changed the way that other products built in factories were made. Ford’s unprecedented production system, based on low skills and high wages, allowed for a huge expansion of the middle class, which could readily afford the cars the company was building. The Model T fostered a movement from farms to urban manufacturing jobs, and ultimately into the suburbs. It also allowed for faster delivery of goods and services because doctors, mail carriers, and small businesses owners could afford these horseless carriages. Ford’s manufacturing jobs was the tipping point for Americans to stop living working on their farms and instead to get manufacturing jobs.
The spike in these jobs helped out people because it did not require a lot of skill since most manufacturing jobs would train for one step in the process. Since most people could afford these cars, people started using them for everyday uses. This led for people to move away from horses as a form of transportation to now automobiles. Parts for the Model T are built Here one can see how the moving assembly line uses gravity to make the line more efficient. This innovative way of using gravity made a lasting impact because today we still use gravity to our advantage.
I chose to write my scholar because I heard about Henry Ford before college but I never fully understood what the moving assembly line innovation actually meant and the giant impact it has on society. Ford broke the Model T’s assembly into 84 discrete steps, for example, and trained each of his workers to do just one. I learned this process in my IME class and I knew when I researched my scholar that I had seen this before. I also learned about Frederick Taylor who was an expert in time studies, this was also taught to me in my IME class. I really like how I am learning these skills that apply to my major and am learning the history of where it came from. This research paper also made me admire these engineers who I have learned a lot from.