Henry Ford – Hero Behind Ford Motor Company

Henry ford biography
Henry Ford
Full NameHenry Ford
DOBSeptember 4, 1917
ProfessionBusinessman, Industrialist
DemiseSeptember 29, 1987

Henry Ford was an American  industrialist who revolutionized factory production with his assembly-line methods. He developed the first automobile that middle-class Americans could purchase, transforming the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a transportable vehicle that significantly influenced the landscape of the twentieth century.

The debut of the Ford Model T vehicle by Henry Ford changed transportation and American business. As the owner of Ford Motor Company, he rose to become one of the world’s wealthiest and most well-known individuals. Ford had a global vision, and he saw consumerism as the path to achieving peace. His unwavering drive to progressively reduce costs resulted in numerous technical and business advancements, including a franchising structure that established dealerships in major cities across North America and on six continents. Ford bequeathed the majority of his immense fortune to the Ford Foundation and planned for his family to retain permanent control of it.

Henry Ford Early Career

Henry Ford was one of William and Mary Ford’s eight children. He was born on the family farm near Dearborn, Michigan, a village eight miles west of Detroit at the time. When he wasn’t helping his father with the harvest, Ford attended a one-room school for eight years. At the age of 16, he walked to Detroit in search of work in the city’s machine shops. After three years, during which he had his first encounter with an internal-combustion engine, he returned to the farm, where he worked part-time for the Westinghouse Engine Company and tinkered in a small machine shop he had built up.

Ford was appointed head engineer at the main Detroit Edison Company facility, where he was in charge of ensuring that the city’s electric service was available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He had no fixed hours and could explore to his heart’s content because he was on call at all times. He had decided to develop a gasoline-powered car several years before, and his first working gasoline engine was built toward the end of 1893. By 1896, he’d finished his first horseless carriage, the “Quadricycle,” so named because the four-horsepower vehicle’s chassis was a buggy frame mounted on four bicycle wheels.

In 1899, he founded the Detroit Automobile Company (later the Henry Ford Company), but all of his partners eventually abandoned him in frustration because they wanted a passenger automobile to put on the market, whereas Ford insisted on constantly improving whatever model he was working on. During these years, he created various racing cars, including the “999” racer driven by Barney Oldfield, and set several new speed records. He departed the Henry Ford Company in 1902, which was later renamed the Cadillac Motor Car Company.

Finally, in 1903, Ford was ready to sell his first automobile. The Ford Motor Company was incorporated, this time with only $28,000 in capital put up by regular individuals, because Ford had previously antagonized Detroit’s wealthiest men in his dealings with supporters.The company was a success from the start, but the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers threatened to throw it out of business just five weeks later because Ford was not a licensed manufacturer. He had been denied a license by this group, which wanted to keep the profits of what was quickly becoming a huge industry for its members.

According to the association, the patent covered all gasoline-powered autos. Ford, like many rural Midwesterners of his period, despised industrial conglomerates and Eastern financial dominance. “I will develop a motor car for the broad mass,” Ford declared in October 1908, heralding the birth of the Model T. During the Model T’s 19-year run, he sold 15,500,000 cars in the United States, over 1,000,000 more in Canada, and 250,000 in the United Kingdom, totaling half of the world’s auto output. The motor age arose largely as a result of Henry Ford’s idea of the car as a utility for the common man rather than a luxury for the wealthy.


Previously, only the wealthy could easily travel throughout the country; now, millions of people can go wherever they want. The astounding Model T birth rate was made possible by the most advanced production technology ever devised. After much experimentation by Ford and his engineers, by 1913–14, the system that had evolved in Ford’s new plant in Highland Park, Michigan, was able to deliver parts, subassemblies, and assemblies with precise timing to a constantly moving main assembly line, where a complete chassis was turned out every 93 minutes, an enormous improvement over the 728 minutes previously required.

The Ford Motor Company stated in 1914 that it would pay eligible workers a minimum salary of $5 per day and lower the workday from nine to eight hours, transforming the factory to a three-shift day. Ford became a worldwide star overnight. People either lauded him as a great humanitarian or derided him as a lunatic socialist. Ford’s accomplishment in making the automobile a basic requirement turned out to be only a foreshadowing of a larger upheaval. The development of mass-production techniques, which eventually allowed the company to produce a Model T every 24 seconds.

Ford Airplane Company

ford airplane

During World War I, Ford entered the aviation industry by producing Liberty engines. It returned to auto manufacturing after the war until 1925, when Ford purchased the Stout Metal Airplane Company. The Ford 4AT Trimotor, nicknamed the “Tin Goose” due to its corrugated metal construction, was Ford’s most successful aircraft. It made use of a novel alloy called Alclad, which combined aluminum’s corrosion resistance with duralumin’s strength.

The Trimotor, which first flew on June 11, 1926, was the first successful passenger aircraft in the United States, seating roughly 12 passengers in a fairly uncomfortable manner. The United States Army also utilized several variations. The Smithsonian Institution has recognized Ford for his contributions to the aviation sector. There were 199 Trimotors manufactured before it was retired in 1933, when the Ford Airplane Division was closed due to poor sales during the Great Depression.

Henry Ford Death

In 1947, Ford died at home, exactly 100 years after his father fled Ireland for Michigan. His Ford equity holdings were transferred to the Ford Charity, which was established in 1936 to maintain family control of the company and grew to become the world’s richest private foundation.

Top 10 Famous Quotes By Henry Ford

  1. Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.
  2. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
  3. Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again.
  4. You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
  5. My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.
  6. The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.
  7. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.
  8. Vision without execution is just hallucination.
  9. Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.
  10. Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.