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 Putting America on the Road - Henry Ford and the Model T

Putting America on the Road - Henry Ford and the Model T

We are living in a transformative time and to highlight that each month, we’ll introduce you to men and women who invented or created a new technology or business model that was revolutionary and that has shaped our current reality. Their stories start here, and continue by following the link. We hope you join us in being stimulated by these stories to take your own transformative or revolutionary approach to the home financing business! -James K. O'Donnell, President

Henry Ford was born into a family of farmers in Greenfield Township, Michigan on July, 30 1863. To escape farming life, Ford moved to Detroit to work as an apprentice machinist. In 1891, Ford went to work for the Edison Illuminating Company where he soon became Chief Engineer.

In his spare time, Ford tinkered with gasoline engines. Using four bicycle wheels, a simple one-seater frame, and an ethanol powered engine, Ford’s first vehicle was called the Quadricycle. Encouraged by Edison, Ford built the Model T and founded the Detroit Automobile Company in August 1899.

While Ford wasn’t the original inventor of the automobile, it was his Model T that would bring an end to the age of the horse and buggy. The original Model T was easy to drive, inexpensive to repair and sold well - even at $825 ($22,470 in today’s dollars). By 1913, his automated assembly line perfected, Ford dropped the price to $360. The Model T was the first automobile a growing middle class could afford.

By 1918 half of the cars in America were Model T’s sold from franchised dealerships Ford opened across the country. More than 15, 000,000. Model T’s would be sold by the time it was replaced by new models in 1927.

Like Edison, Ford understood the value of team building and collaboration. He recognized that if workers were going to afford his cars they needed adequate pay. Higher wages and the assembly line created affordable goods and better working conditions. Ford promoted profit sharing and instituted the 5 day work week changing not only transportation, but American industry in the process.

Ford remained committed to systematically lowering prices while continuing to innovate - a technical and business approach that still applies today. Ford became the sixth wealthiest person in the 20th century with a total net worth of between $188 and $199 billion dollars. Ford strongly believed that, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking” and “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

By: Equity National Title   December 11, 2018     Uncategorized


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