Henry Ford’s Innovations to the World

Dylan Delile
Mrs. Baker
Literature Analysis
April 9, 2014

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Dylan Delile
Mrs. Baker
Literature Analysis
April 9, 2014
Henry Ford’s Innovations to the World
Henry Ford was one of America’s greatest businessmen; he was the founder of Ford
Motor Company and the man largely responsible for initiating the era of mass-consumption and
mass production in the American economy. Ford’s innovative business practices, industry
stabilization, the assembly line, and high wages for workers, revolutionized American industry.
Henry Ford first began his mass-production of these vehicles when he worked for Edison
Illuminating Company in Detroit. Ford built his first gasoline-powered horseless carriage, also
named the Quadricycle, in his shed behind his house. In 1903, he established the Ford Motor
Company, and five years later, the company came out with the first Model T vehicle. In order to
produce these amazing cars, Ford introduced revolutionary new mass-production methods. These
methods included large production plants, the use of standardized, interchangeable parts, and in
1913, the world’s first moving assembly line for his vehicle productions (Ford).
The “Tin Lizzie” as the Model T was known as, was an immediate success, and Ford
soon had more orders that the company could handle. As a result, he put into practice techniques
of mass production that would revolutionize American industry, including massive plants. Mass
production significantly cut down the time required to produce an automobile, which allowed
costs to stay low. In 1914, Ford also increased the daily wage for an eight-hour day for his
workers to $5, which was normally $2.34 for nine hours. Even as production went up, demand
for the Model T remained high, and by the end of 1917, half of all cars in America were Tin

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Lizzies. In 1919 Ford ceased Model T production and introduced the new Model A, which
featured better horsepower and brakes, among other improvements. By that time, the company
had produced over 15 million Model T vehicles, and Ford Motor Company was the largest
automotive manufacturer in the world, also opening plants all around the world.
Ford also became one of America’s most prominent citizens in the early twentieth
century, and began to take strong positions in the social affairs of the government and the people
in the states. One of the causes Ford campaigned was the “Americanization” and assimilation of
new immigrants. Ford sponsored an Americanization School for foreign workers in his plants,
encouraging them to conform to middle-class American lifestyle standards. From a social
perspective, Henry Ford was marked by seemingly contradictory viewpoints. In business, Ford
offered profit sharing to select employees who stayed with the company for six months and who
conducted their lives in a respectable manner.
The company’s “Social Department” looked into an employee’s drinking, gambling an
otherwise unworthy activities to determine eligibility for participation. Ford was also an ardent
pacifist and opposed World War I, even funding a peace ship to Europe. Later, in 1936, Ford and
his family established the Ford Foundation to provide ongoing grants for research, education,
and development (Henry).
Henry Ford did not create the car like most people think, he improved the vehicle and
made it something that was available to most people that were middle class. Ford was a man of
courage and sacrifice; Henry devoted his life to the common people, making them cars that will
help them adapt to the new age America. All of his innovations used in the 1920s are still used
today and without his innovations, some of the things we have today probably wouldn’t be

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around. So what most people don’t realize about Henry Ford is he wasn’t just a man that made
cars but a man who created a whole new system of the industrial age (The Henry Ford).

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Work Cited
“Henry Ford.” 2014. The Biography Channel website. Apr 8 2014, 12:28
<http://www.biography.com/people/hery-ford-9298747>
“Henry Ford.” History.com. 2009. History.com Staff. A+E Networks. Apr 8 2014, 12:30
<http://www.history.com/topics/henry-ford>
“The Life of Henry Ford.” 2013. Hfmgv.org Staff. Apr 8 2014, 12:42
<www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/hf/>
Harris, Jacqueline L. Henry Ford. New York. Franklin Watts, 1984. Print.