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Henry Ford & Frederick W. Taylor: A Comparison of Methods and Principles

Henry Ford & Frederick W. Taylor: A Comparison of Methods and Principles

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Published by Anthony Cappucci
A comparison of the manufacturing methods and science of Henry Ford, and Fredrick W. Taylor (The Father of Scientific Management)
A comparison of the manufacturing methods and science of Henry Ford, and Fredrick W. Taylor (The Father of Scientific Management)

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Published by: Anthony Cappucci on Sep 22, 2008
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Henry Ford & Frederick W. Taylor:A Comparison of Methods and Principles
Early Life
Ford’s Early Life
Henry Ford was one of eight children of William and Mary Ford. He was born onthe family farm near Dearborn, Michigan, then a town eight miles west of Detroit, on July30, 1863. Abraham Lincoln was president of the 24 states of the Union, and JeffersonDavis was president of the 11 states of the Confederacy. Ford attended a one-roomschoolhouse for eight years when he was not helping his father with the harvest. At age 16he walked to Detroit to find work in its machine shops. After three years, during which hecame in contact with the internal-combustion engine for the first time, he returned to thefarm, where he worked part-time for the Westinghouse Engine Company and in sparemoments tinkered in a little machine shop he set up. Eventually he built a small “farmlocomotive,” a tractor that used an old mowing machine for its chassis and a homemadesteam engine for power.Ford moved back to Detroit nine years later as a married man. His wife ClaraBryant, had grown up on a farm not far from Ford’s. They were married 1888, and on November 6, 1893, she gave birth to there only child, Edsel Bryant. A month later Fordwas 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. He had determinedseveral years before to build a gasoline-powered vehicle, and his first working gasoline1
 
Ford's Quadricycle
engine was completed at the end of 1893. By 1896 he had completed his first horselesscarriage, the “Quadricycle,” so called because the chassis of the four-horsepower vehiclewas a buggy frame mounted on four bicycle wheels. Unlike many other automotiveinventors, including Charles Edgar and J. Frank Duryea,Elwood Hayes, Hiram Percy Maxim, and his Detroitacquaintance Charles Brady King, all of whom had builtselfpowered vehicles before Ford but who held on to their creations. Ford sold his to finance work on a second vehicle,and a third, and so on.During the next seven years he had various backers, some of whom, in 1899,formed the Detroit Automobile Company (later the Henry Ford Company), but alleventually abandoned him in exasperation because they wanted a passenger car to put onthe market while Ford insisted on improving whatever model he was working on, sayingthat it was not yet ready for customers. He built several racing cars during these years,including the “999” racer driven by Barney Oldfield, and set several new speed records. In1902 he left the Henry Ford Company, which subsequently reorganized as the CadillacMotor Car Company. Finally, in 1903, Ford was ready to market an automobile. The Fordcompany was incorporated, this time with a mere $28,000 in cash put up by ordinarycitizens, for Ford had, in previous dealings with backers, antagonized the wealthiest men inDetroit.
Taylor’s Early Life
Frederick W. Taylor was born in Philadelphia, PA, March 20, 1856. Taylor wasthe son of a lawyer. He entered Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire in 1872,2
 
where he led his class scholastically. After passing the entrance examination at Harvard,he was forced to abandon plans for matriculation, as his eyesight had deteriorated fromnight study. With sight restored in 1875, he was apprenticed to learn the trades of  patternmaker and machinist at the Enterprise Hydraulic Works in Philadelphia.Three years later he went to the Midvale Steel Company, where, starting as amachine shop laborer, he became successively shop clerk, machinist, gang boss, foreman,maintenance foreman, head of the drawing office, and chief engineer.In 1881, at 25, he introduced time study at the Midvale plant. The profession of time study was founded on the success of this project, which also formed the basis of Taylor’s subsequent theories of management science.
Comparison of Their Early Lives
Ford was born into a farm family of the Midwest and Taylor was the son of aLawyer, born in East. This may be why Ford sort wealth and Taylor seemed moreinterested in academics, although they accomplished both. Ford had no education other than what he learned in the one room schoolhouse. Taylor attended the Phillips Exeter Academy, where his intelligence was made clear, accepted into Harvard, but was unable toattend. Both Ford and Taylor worked in machine shops and were machinists. Ford was anindustrialist and Taylor was a scientist, although Taylor held over forty patents of his own.3
 
1863 Ford’s life span 19471856 Taylor’s life span 1915

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