Henry Ford, born on July 30, 1863, was an industrialist and business magnate, also known for creating the Ford Motor Company, whose cars are sold worldwide today. He also developed one of the most efficient production processes — a method that has been adopted by factories all around the world. Join us as we celebrate his birthday!
July 30, 1863
April 7, 1947 (age 83)
Henry Ford was one of the most prominent names in the world of motor cars. He is also credited with inventing the assembly line method of mass production in factories, which took the world by storm. He was born in Springwells Township, Michigan, and his ethnicity was Irish-Belgian. He was the oldest son of William and Mary Ford, with four younger siblings.
Ford always loved mechanisms. When he was 15, he used to repair his friend’s and neighbor’s watches, earning a good reputation among them. He worked on his family farm in Dearborn and learned to operate the Westinghouse portable steam engine and later serviced them. Ford was inspired by a road engine he had seen as a young boy, and in his farm workshop, built a steam-operated tractor and a steam car, although he thought that steam wasn’t appropriate fuel for light vehicles. Ford made the first motor car in 1892; it was powered by a two-cylinder four-horsepower motor. In 1895, he took it out for a test ride, driving up to 1,000 miles. Ford later built three more such cars in his workshop by 1896. Along with building the motor cars, he also developed a self-propelled vehicle, naming it the Ford Quadricycle. In 1899, he founded the Detroit Automobile Company, which quickly dissolved due to the manufacturing quality and price not meeting Ford’s vision. Together with Alexander Malcomson, he then founded Ford & Malcomson, Ltd. and began manufacturing automobiles. In 1903, it became the Ford Motor Company. The corporation’s first car, the Model T, came to the market in 1908 and had a steering wheel to the left. The vehicle was very popular. By 1918, half of the cars on the roads were the Model T. The Ford Motor Company became a family-owned corporation around the same time after Ford and his son bought the stocks from all the shareholders. The declining sales for Model T’s prompted Ford to make a new car, the Model A, which was introduced in 1927. It was also successful in sales. During World War I, Ford entered the aviation business and made engines for aircraft. He opened an Airplane division in the Ford Motor Company after the war but closed it during the Great Depression. The coming years and World War II proved difficult for Ford, as it affected him mentally, personally, and professionally. In 1945, he gave control of the company to his grandson, Henry Ford II.
Ford published an autobiography, “My Life and Work” (1922), where he spoke about how he got into the business and what strategies he used to become successful. He was married to Clara Jane Bryant in 1866, and they had one son, Edsel Ford. After retiring from his company in 1945, he went through many health problems and eventually passed away in 1947 in Dearborn.
It is powered by a two-cylinder, four-horsepower motor — he builds three more.
It is called the Ford Quadricycle.
Previously called the Ford & Malcomson Co., the company manufactures automobiles and cars.
Model T has the steering wheel on the left side and becomes popular among the masses — half the cars on the roads in the next 10 years are the Model T.
The book, “My Life and Work,” talks about Ford’s entry into the motor car business and the strategies he used to become successful.
Why We Love Henry Ford
Ford paid his workers well
Ford was a big believer in paying his staff well, as they were a vital part of his company, and he wanted them to be content and satisfied with their jobs. He paid them almost double what the standard wages were at the time, and this attracted many who were talented and skilled to join his company. It also ensured that the quality of his cars was exceptional and that his employees were happy.
He was a non-smoking advocate
Ford was highly against cigarettes and was aware of the harmful effects they could have, so he published a book that showcased the various health hazards of smoking. During Ford’s time, smoking was a normal habit to pick up, and we love that he stood his ground and tried to educate people about the dangers of cigarettes.
He knew the importance of being efficient
Ford was always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of the production of his cars and in 1913 established the famous moving assembly line in his company. This increased efficiency and brought down production costs. The concept of the assembly line has been adopted by factories all over the world.
5 Surprising Facts
He has more than 160 patents
By 1947, Ford had established over 160 patents for products and designs — most of these products were aimed at improving the quality of work and emphasizing the importance of smart work.
Ford hated car racing
Ford hated car racing, although he was a car racer for some time during his career — he did so solely to promote his cars and the company.
A museum in his honor
One of the strangest artifacts at the museum is a vial of Thomas Alva Edison’s last breath — Ford had always admired the inventor and asked Edison’s son to catch his father’s last breath on his deathbed.
He once ran for the U.S. Senate
In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson convinced him to take up politics, which he did, by running for a seat in the U.S. Senate — unfortunately, he lost by 4,500 votes.
He was the second-richest billionaire
Ford was preceded by oil magnate John D. Rockefeller in the list of richest billionaires in America.
Henry Ford FAQs
How did Henry Ford change the world?
Ford introduced automobiles to the mass market and changed the world’s agricultural economy, making many of them prosperous industrial and urban ones.
How old was Henry Ford when he got his first job?
He got his first job at 16 when he moved to Detroit to be an assistant machinist.
How many cars did Henry Ford make in a day?
Ford made up to 1,000 cars, thanks to the new assembly line system he had introduced. Each car took a maximum of one hour and 33 minutes to assemble.
Henry Ford’s birthday dates