Henry Ford
Overview
 
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line
Assembly line
An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned logistics to create a finished product much faster than with handcrafting-type methods...

 technique of mass production
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

. His introduction of the Model T
Ford Model T
The Ford Model T is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from September 1908 to May 1927...

 automobile
History of the automobile
The history of the automobile begins as early as 1769, with the creation of steam engined automobiles capable of human transport. In 1806, the first cars powered by an internal combustion engine running on fuel gas appeared, which led to the introduction in 1885 of the ubiquitous modern gasoline-...

 revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism
Fordism
Fordism, named after Henry Ford, is a modern economic and social system based on industrial mass production. The concept is used in various social theories about production and related socio-economic phenomena. It has varying but related meanings in different fields, as well as for Marxist and...

": mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers.
Quotations

An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.

Remarks from the witness stand, to a court in Mount Clemens, Michigan (July 1919), as quoted in Thesaurus of Epigrams: A New Classified Collection of Witty Remarks, Bon Mots and Toasts (1948) by Edmund Fuller, p. 162

The average man won't really do a day's work unless he is caught and cannot get out of it. There is plenty of work to do if people would do it.

On reasons for the Great Depression|Great Depression, as quoted in The Zanesville Sunday Times-Signal [Zanesville, Ohio] (15 March 1931); also in A People's History of the United States|A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.

As quoted in International Encyclopedia of Prose and Poetical Quotations (1951) by William S. Walsh

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.

As quoted in News Journal [Mansfield, Ohio] (3 August 1965)

When I see an Alfa Romeo go by, I tip my hat.

As quoted in Alfa Romeo. I creatori della Leggenda (1990) by Griffith Borgeson

You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don't seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together.

As quoted in Wisdom & Inspiration for the Spirit and Soul (2004) by Nancy Toussaint, p. 85

As long as we look to legislation to cure poverty or to abolish special privilege we are going to see poverty spread and special privilege grow.

My Life and Work by Henry Ford (Autobiography)

Encyclopedia
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line
Assembly line
An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned logistics to create a finished product much faster than with handcrafting-type methods...

 technique of mass production
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

. His introduction of the Model T
Ford Model T
The Ford Model T is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from September 1908 to May 1927...

 automobile
History of the automobile
The history of the automobile begins as early as 1769, with the creation of steam engined automobiles capable of human transport. In 1806, the first cars powered by an internal combustion engine running on fuel gas appeared, which led to the introduction in 1885 of the ubiquitous modern gasoline-...

 revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism
Fordism
Fordism, named after Henry Ford, is a modern economic and social system based on industrial mass production. The concept is used in various social theories about production and related socio-economic phenomena. It has varying but related meanings in different fields, as well as for Marxist and...

": mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise
Franchising
Franchising is the practice of using another firm's successful business model. The word 'franchise' is of anglo-French derivation - from franc- meaning free, and is used both as a noun and as a verb....

 system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is a private foundation incorporated in Michigan and based in New York City created to fund programs that were chartered in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford....

 but arranged for his family to control the company permanently.

He was known worldwide especially in the 1920s as promoter of pacifism
Pacifism
Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

 and antisemitism.

Early years

Ford was born July 30, 1863, on a farm in Greenfield Township
Greenfield Township, Michigan
Greenfield is a former civil township of Wayne County, Michigan; it was created from a portion of neighboring Springwells Township in 1833. Greenfield eventually encompassed the survey township T1S R11E....

 (near
Detroit, Michigan). His father, William Ford (1826–1905), was born in County Cork
County Cork
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Cork . Cork County Council is the local authority for the county...

, Ireland, of a family originally from western England, who were among migrants to Ireland as the English created plantations. His mother, Mary Litogot Ford (1839–1876), was born in Michigan; she was the youngest child of Belgian immigrants; her parents died when Mary was a child and she was adopted by neighbors, the O'Herns. Henry Ford's siblings include Margaret Ford (1867–1938); Jane Ford (c. 1868–1945); William Ford (1871–1917) and Robert Ford (1873–1934).

His father gave him a pocket watch in his early teens. At 15, Ford dismantled and reassembled the timepieces of friends and neighbors dozens of times, gaining the reputation of a watch repairman. At twenty, Ford walked four miles to their Episcopal
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

 church every Sunday.

Ford was devastated when his mother died in 1876. His father expected him to eventually take over the family farm, but he despised farm work. He later wrote, "I never had any particular love for the farm—it was the mother on the farm I loved."

In 1879, he left home to work as an apprentice machinist
Machinist
A machinist is a person who uses machine tools to make or modify parts, primarily metal parts, a process known as machining. This is accomplished by using machine tools to cut away excess material much as a woodcarver cuts away excess wood to produce his work. In addition to metal, the parts may...

 in the city of Detroit, first with James F. Flower & Bros., and later with the Detroit Dry Dock Co. In 1882, he returned to Dearborn to work on the family farm, where he became adept at operating the Westinghouse portable steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

. He was later hired by Westinghouse company to service their steam engines. During this period Ford also studied bookkeeping at Goldsmith, Bryant & Stratton Business College in Detroit.

Marriage and family

Ford married Clara Ala Bryant (1866–1950) in 1888 and supported himself by farming and running a sawmill. They had a single child: Edsel Ford
Edsel Ford
Edsel Bryant Ford , son of Henry Ford, was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He was president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 until his death in 1943.-Life and career:...

 (1893–1943).

Career

In 1891, Ford became an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company
Edison Illuminating Company
The Edison Illuminating Company was established by Thomas Edison on December 17, 1880, to construct electrical generating stations, initially in New York City...

. After his promotion to Chief Engineer in 1893, he had enough time and money to devote attention to his personal experiments on gasoline engines. These experiments culminated in 1896 with the completion of a self-propelled vehicle which he named the Ford Quadricycle
Ford Quadricycle
The Ford Quadricycle was the first vehicle developed by Henry Ford. Ford's first car was a simple frame with an ethanol-powered engine and four bicycle wheels mounted on it.The earliest cars were hand built, one by one, and very expensive...

. He test-drove it on June 4. After various test-drives, Ford brainstormed ways to improve the Quadricycle.

Also in 1896, Ford attended a meeting of Edison executives, where he was introduced to Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

. Edison approved of Ford's automobile experimentation; encouraged by him, Ford designed and built a second vehicle, completing it in 1898. Backed by the capital of Detroit lumber baron William H. Murphy, Ford resigned from Edison and founded the Detroit Automobile Company
Detroit Automobile Company
The Detroit Automobile Company was an early American automobile manufacturer founded on August 5, 1899, in Detroit, Michigan. It was the first venture of its kind in Detroit. Automotive mechanic Henry Ford attracted the financial backing of three investors; Detroit Mayor William Maybury, William...

 on August 5, 1899. However, the automobiles produced were of a lower quality and higher price than Ford liked. Ultimately, the company was not successful and was dissolved in January 1901.

With the help of C. Harold Wills, Ford designed, built, and successfully raced a 26-horsepower automobile in October 1901. With this success, Murphy and other stockholders in the Detroit Automobile Company formed the Henry Ford Company
Henry Ford Company
The Henry Ford Company was the second company for Henry Ford, founded November 3, 1901. It resulted from the reorganization of the Detroit Automobile Company, his first unsuccessful attempt at automobile manufacture a year before. In March 1902, Ford left the company following a dispute with his...

 on November 30, 1901, with Ford as chief engineer. However, Murphy brought in Henry M. Leland
Henry M. Leland
Henry Martyn Leland was a machinist, inventor, engineer and automotive entrepreneur who founded the two premier American luxury marques, Cadillac and Lincoln. Retrieved December 30, 2008....

 as a consultant and, as a result, Ford left the company bearing his name in 1902. With Ford gone, Murphy renamed the company the Cadillac Automobile Company.

Teaming up with former racing cyclist Tom Cooper
Tom Cooper (driver)
Tom Cooper was an 1890s champion bicycle racer and early auto racing driver. He is best known for his rivalry with Major Taylor as well as his later work with Henry Ford and Barney Oldfield.- Early years :...

, Ford also produced the 80+ horsepower racer "999" which Barney Oldfield
Barney Oldfield
Berna Eli "Barney" Oldfield was an automobile racer and pioneer. He was born on a farm on the outskirts of Wauseon, Ohio. He was the first man to drive a car at 60 miles per hour on an oval...

 was to drive to victory in a race in October 1902. Ford received the backing of an old acquaintance, Alexander Y. Malcomson
Alexander Y. Malcomson
Alexander Y. Malcomson was a coal dealer from Detroit, Michigan who bankrolled Henry Ford's first successful foray into automobile manufacturing: the Ford Motor Company.- Early life :...

, a Detroit-area coal dealer. They formed a partnership, "Ford & Malcomson, Ltd." to manufacture automobiles. Ford went to work designing an inexpensive automobile, and the duo leased a factory and contracted with a machine shop owned by John and Horace E. Dodge to supply over $160,000 in parts. Sales were slow, and a crisis arose when the Dodge brothers demanded payment for their first shipment.

Ford Motor Company

In response, Malcomson brought in another group of investors and convinced the Dodge Brothers to accept a portion of the new company. Ford & Malcomson was reincorporated as the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 on June 16, 1903, with $28,000 capital. The original investors included Ford and Malcomson, the Dodge brothers, Malcomson's uncle John S. Gray
John S. Gray (Michigan)
John Simpson Gray was a candymaker, business man, and banker from Detroit. He was also an original investor in the Ford Motor Company.-Early life:...

, James Couzens, and two of Malcomson's lawyers, John W. Anderson and Horace Rackham
Horace Rackham
Horace H. Rackham was one of the original stockholders in the Ford Motor Company and a noted philanthropist.- Early Life and Ford :...

. In a newly designed car, Ford gave an exhibition on the ice of Lake St. Clair
Lake Saint Clair (North America)
Lake St. Clair is a fresh-water lake named after Clare of Assisi that lies between the Province of Ontario and the State of Michigan, and its midline also forms the boundary between Canada and the United States of America. Lake St. Clair includes the Anchor Bay along the Metro Detroit coastline...

, driving 1 mile (1.6 km) in 39.4 seconds, setting a new land speed record
Land speed record
The land speed record is the highest speed achieved by a wheeled vehicle on land. There is no single body for validation and regulation; in practice the Category C flying start regulations are used, officiated by regional or national organizations under the auspices of the Fédération...

 at 91.3 miles per hour (147.0 km/h). Convinced by this success, the race driver Barney Oldfield
Barney Oldfield
Berna Eli "Barney" Oldfield was an automobile racer and pioneer. He was born on a farm on the outskirts of Wauseon, Ohio. He was the first man to drive a car at 60 miles per hour on an oval...

, who named this new Ford model "999" in honor of a racing locomotive of the day, took the car around the country, making the Ford brand known throughout the United States. Ford also was one of the early backers of the Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, also known as the Indianapolis 500, the 500 Miles at Indianapolis, the Indy 500 or The 500, is an American automobile race, held annually, typically on the last weekend in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana...

.

Model T

The Model T was introduced on October 1, 1908. It had the steering wheel on the left, which every other company soon copied. The entire engine and transmission were enclosed; the four cylinders were cast in a solid block; the suspension used two semi-elliptic springs. The car was very simple to drive, and easy and cheap to repair. It was so cheap at $825 in 1908 ($ today) (the price fell every year) that by the 1920s, a majority of American drivers had learned to drive on the Model T.

Ford created a massive publicity machine in Detroit to ensure every newspaper carried stories and ads about the new product. Ford's network of local dealers made the car ubiquitous in virtually every city in North America. As independent dealers, the franchises grew rich and publicized not just the Ford but the very concept of automobiling; local motor clubs sprang up to help new drivers and to encourage exploring the countryside. Ford was always eager to sell to farmers, who looked on the vehicle as a commercial device to help their business. Sales skyrocketed—several years posted 100% gains on the previous year. Always on the hunt for more efficiency and lower costs, in 1913 Ford introduced the moving assembly belts into his plants, which enabled an enormous increase in production. Although Ford is often credited with the idea, contemporary sources indicate that the concept and its development came from employees Clarence Avery, Peter E. Martin
Peter E. Martin
Peter Edmund Martin was a leading early production executive of the Ford Motor Company....

, Charles E. Sorensen
Charles E. Sorensen
Charles Emil Sorensen was a Danish-American principal of the Ford Motor Company during its first four decades. Like most other managers at Ford during those decades, he did not have an official job title, but he served functionally as a patternmaker, foundry engineer, mechanical engineer,...

, and C. Harold Wills. (See Piquette Plant
Piquette Plant
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is located at 411 Piquette Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, within the Piquette Avenue Industrial Historic District. It was the second home of Ford Motor Company automobile production...

)

Sales passed 250,000 in 1914. By 1916, as the price dropped to $360 for the basic touring car, sales reached 472,000. (Using the consumer price index, this price was equivalent to $7,020 in 2008 dollars.)

By 1918, half of all cars in America were Model T's. However, it was a monolithic black; as Ford wrote in his autobiography, "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black". Until the development of the assembly line, which mandated black because of its quicker drying time, Model T's were available in other colors, including red. The design was fervently promoted and defended by Ford, and production continued as late as 1927; the final total production was 15,007,034. This record stood for the next 45 years. This record was achieved in just 19 years from the introduction of the first Model T (1908).

President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 asked Ford to run as a Democrat for the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from Michigan in 1918. Although the nation was at war, Ford ran as a peace candidate and a strong supporter of the proposed League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

.

Henry Ford turned the presidency of Ford Motor Company over to his son Edsel Ford
Edsel Ford
Edsel Bryant Ford , son of Henry Ford, was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He was president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 until his death in 1943.-Life and career:...

 in December 1918. Henry, however, retained final decision authority and sometimes reversed his son. Henry started another company, Henry Ford and Son, and made a show of taking himself and his best employees to the new company; the goal was to scare the remaining holdout stockholders of the Ford Motor Company to sell their stakes to him before they lost most of their value. (He was determined to have full control over strategic decisions.) The ruse worked, and Henry and Edsel purchased all remaining stock from the other investors, thus giving the family sole ownership of the company.

By the mid-1920s, sales of the Model T began to decline due to rising competition. Other auto makers offered payment plans through which consumers could buy their cars, which usually included more modern mechanical features and styling not available with the Model T. Despite urgings from Edsel, Henry steadfastly refused to incorporate new features into the Model T or to form a customer credit plan.

Model A and Ford's later career

By 1926, flagging sales of the Model T finally convinced Henry to make a new model. He pursued the project with a great deal of technical expertise in design of the engine, chassis, and other mechanical necessities, while leaving the body design to his son. Edsel also managed to prevail over his father's initial objections in the inclusion of a sliding-shift transmission.

The result was the successful Ford Model A, introduced in December 1927 and produced through 1931, with a total output of more than 4 million. Subsequently, the Ford company adopted an annual model change system similar to that recently pioneered by its competitor General Motors (and still in use by automakers today). Not until the 1930s did Ford overcome his objection to finance companies, and the Ford-owned Universal Credit Corporation
Universal Credit Corporation
The Universal Credit Corporation was a financing entity for Ford cars that existed in the US in the 1930s. In 1932, Henry Ford sold the corporation for $US 50 million in order to finance his manufacturing operations during the 1932 Bank Moratorium....

 became a major car-financing operation.

Ford did not believe in accountants; he amassed one of the world's largest fortunes without ever having his company audit
Audit
The general definition of an audit is an evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product. The term most commonly refers to audits in accounting, but similar concepts also exist in project management, quality management, and energy conservation.- Accounting...

ed under his administration.

The five-dollar workday

Ford was a pioneer of "welfare capitalism
Welfare capitalism
Welfare capitalism refers either to the combination of a capitalist economic system with a welfare state or, in the American context, to the practice of businesses providing welfare-like services to employees...

", designed to improve the lot of his workers and especially to reduce the heavy turnover
Turnover (employment)
In a human resources context, turnover or staff turnover or labour turnover is the rate at which an employer gains and loses employees. Simple ways to describe it are "how long employees tend to stay" or "the rate of traffic through the revolving door." Turnover is measured for individual companies...

 that had many departments hiring 300 men per year to fill 100 slots. Efficiency meant hiring and keeping the best workers.

Ford astonished the world in 1914 by offering a $5 per day wage ($ today), which more than doubled the rate of most of his workers. A Cleveland, Ohio newspaper editorialized that the announcement "shot like a blinding rocket through the dark clouds of the present industrial depression." The move proved extremely profitable; instead of constant turnover of employees, the best mechanics in Detroit flocked to Ford, bringing their human capital and expertise, raising productivity, and lowering training costs. Ford announced his $5-per-day program on January 5, 1914, raising the minimum daily pay from $2.34 to $5 for qualifying workers. It also set a new, reduced workweek, although the details vary in different accounts. Ford and Crowther in 1922 described it as six 8-hour days, giving a 48-hour week, while in 1926 they described it as five 8-hour days, giving a 40-hour week. (Apparently the program started with Saturdays as workdays and sometime later it was changed to a day off.)

Detroit was already a high-wage city, but competitors were forced to raise wages or lose their best workers. Ford's policy proved, however, that paying people more would enable Ford workers to afford the cars they were producing and be good for the economy. Ford explained the policy as profit-sharing rather than wages. It may have been Couzens who convinced Ford to adopt the $5 day.

The profit-sharing was offered to employees who had worked at the company for six months or more, and, importantly, conducted their lives in a manner of which Ford's "Social Department" approved. They frowned on heavy drinking, gambling, and what might today be called "deadbeat dads". The Social Department used 50 investigators, plus support staff, to maintain employee standards; a large percentage of workers were able to qualify for this "profit-sharing."

Ford's incursion into his employees' private lives was highly controversial, and he soon backed off from the most intrusive aspects. By the time he wrote his 1922 memoir, he spoke of the Social Department and of the private conditions for profit-sharing in the past tense, and admitted that "paternalism has no place in industry. Welfare work that consists in prying into employees' private concerns is out of date. Men need counsel and men need help, oftentimes special help; and all this ought to be rendered for decency's sake. But the broad workable plan of investment and participation will do more to solidify industry and strengthen organization than will any social work on the outside. Without changing the principle we have changed the method of payment."

Labor unions

Ford was adamantly against labor unions
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

. He explained his views on unions in Chapter 18 of My Life and Work. He thought they were too heavily influenced by some leaders who, despite their ostensible good motives, would end up doing more harm than good for workers. Most wanted to restrict productivity as a means to foster employment, but Ford saw this as self-defeating because, in his view, productivity was necessary for any economic prosperity to exist.

He believed that productivity gains that obviated certain jobs would nevertheless stimulate the larger economy and thus grow new jobs elsewhere, whether within the same corporation or in others. Ford also believed that union leaders (particularly Leninist-leaning ones) had a perverse incentive to foment perpetual socio-economic crisis as a way to maintain their own power. Meanwhile, he believed that smart managers had an incentive to do right by their workers, because doing so would maximize their own profits. (Ford did acknowledge, however, that many managers were basically too bad at managing to understand this fact.) But Ford believed that eventually, if good managers such as he could fend off the attacks of misguided people from both left and right (i.e., both socialists and bad-manager reactionaries), the good managers would create a socio-economic system wherein neither bad management nor bad unions could find enough support to continue existing.

To forestall union activity, Ford promoted Harry Bennett
Harry Bennett
Harry Bennett , a former boxer and ex-Navy sailor, was an executive at Ford Motor Company during the 1930s and 1940s. He was best known as the head of Ford’s Service Department, or Internal Security. While working for Ford, his union busting tactics, of which The Battle of the Overpass was a prime...

, a former Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 boxer, to head the Service Department. Bennett employed various intimidation tactics to squash union organizing. The most famous incident, in 1937, was a bloody brawl between company security men and organizers that became known as The Battle of the Overpass
The Battle of the Overpass
The Battle of the Overpass was an incident on May 26, 1937, in which labor organizers clashed with Ford Motor Company security guards.The United Auto Workers had planned a leaflet campaign entitled, "Unionism, Not Fordism", at the pedestrian overpass over Miller Road at Gate 4 of the Rouge complex...

.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Edsel (who was president of the company) thought Ford had to come to some sort of collective bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

 agreement with the unions, because the violence, work disruptions, and bitter stalemates could not go on forever. But Henry (who still had the final veto in the company on a de facto basis even if not an official one) refused to cooperate. For several years, he kept Bennett in charge of talking to the unions that were trying to organize the Ford company. Sorensen's memoir makes clear that Henry's purpose in putting Bennett in charge was to make sure no agreements were ever reached.

The Ford company was the last Detroit automaker to recognize the United Auto Workers
United Auto Workers
The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Auto Workers , is a labor union which represents workers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and formerly in Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial...

 union (UAW). A sit-down strike by the UAW union in April 1941 closed the River Rouge Plant
River Rouge Plant
The Ford River Rouge Complex is a Ford Motor Company automobile factory complex located in Dearborn, Michigan, along the Rouge River, upstream from its confluence with the Detroit River at Zug Island...

. Sorensen recounted that a distraught Henry Ford was very close to following through with a threat to break up the company rather than cooperate but that his wife Clara told him she would leave him if he destroyed the family business. She wanted to see their son and grandsons lead it into the future. Henry complied with his wife's ultimatum. Overnight, the Ford Motor Co. went from the most stubborn holdout among automakers to the one with the most favorable UAW contract terms. The contract was signed in June 1941.

Ford Airplane Company

Ford, like other automobile companies, entered the aviation business during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, building Liberty engines. After the war, it returned to auto manufacturing until 1925, when Ford acquired the Stout Metal Airplane Company
Stout Metal Airplane Division of the Ford Motor Company
Stout Metal Airplane Division of the Ford Motor Company was an American aircraft manufacturer founded by William Bushnell Stout. The company was purchased by Ford Motor Company in 1924 and produced the Ford Trimotor. In the height of the Depression, Ford closed the aircraft design and production...

.
Ford's most successful aircraft was the Ford 4AT Trimotor
Ford Trimotor
The Ford Trimotor was an American three-engined transport plane that was first produced in 1925 by the companies of Henry Ford and that continued to be produced until June 7, 1933. Throughout its time in production, a total of 199 Ford Trimotors were produced...

, often called the "Tin Goose" because of its corrugated metal construction. It used a new alloy called Alclad
Alclad
Alclad is a trademark of Alcoa used as a generic term to describe corrosion resistant aluminium sheet formed from high-purity aluminium surface layers metallurgically bonded to high strength aluminium alloy core material. These sheets are commonly used by the aircraft industry...

 that combined the corrosion resistance of aluminum with the strength of duralumin
Duralumin
Duralumin is the trade name of one of the earliest types of age-hardenable aluminium alloys. The main alloying constituents are copper, manganese, and magnesium. A commonly used modern equivalent of this alloy type is AA2024, which contains 4.4% copper, 1.5% magnesium, 0.6% manganese and 93.5%...

. The plane was similar to Fokker
Fokker
Fokker was a Dutch aircraft manufacturer named after its founder, Anthony Fokker. The company operated under several different names, starting out in 1912 in Schwerin, Germany, moving to the Netherlands in 1919....

's V.VII-3m, and some say that Ford's engineers surreptitiously measured the Fokker plane and then copied it. The Trimotor first flew on June 11, 1926, and was the first successful U.S. passenger airliner, accommodating about 12 passengers in a rather uncomfortable fashion. Several variants were also used by the U.S. Army. Ford has been honored by the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

 for changing the aviation industry. 199 Trimotors were built before it was discontinued in 1933, when the Ford Airplane Division shut down because of poor sales during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

.

Willow Run

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 referred to Detroit as the "Arsenal of Democracy
Arsenal of Democracy
"The Arsenal of Democracy" was a propaganda slogan coined by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a radio broadcast delivered on December 29, 1940. Roosevelt promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by giving them military supplies while the United States stayed out of the actual...

". The Ford Motor Company played a pivotal role in the Allied
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 victory during World War I and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. With Europe under siege, the Ford company's genius turned to mass production for the war effort. Specifically, Ford developed mass production for the B-24 Liberator
B-24 Liberator
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. It was known within the company as the Model 32, and a small number of early models were sold under the name LB-30, for Land Bomber...

 bomber, still the most-produced Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 bomber in history. When the planes started being used in the war zones, the balance of power shifted to the Allies.

Before Ford, and under optimal conditions, the aviation industry could produce one Consolidated Aircraft B-24 Bomber a day at an aircraft plant. Ford showed the world how to produce one B-24 an hour at a peak of 600 per month in 24-hour shifts. Ford's Willow Run
Willow Run
The Willow Run manufacturing plant, located between Ypsilanti and Belleville, Michigan, was constructed during World War II by Ford Motor Company for the mass production of the B-24 Liberator military aircraft....

 factory broke ground in April 1941. At the time, it was the largest assembly plant in the world, with over 3500000 square feet (325,160.6 m²).

Mass production of the B-24, led by Charles Sorensen and later Mead Bricker, began by August 1943. Many pilots slept on cots waiting for takeoff as the B-24s rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Willow Run facility.

World War I era

Ford opposed war, which he thought was a terrible waste. Ford became highly critical of those who he felt financed war, and he tried to stop them. In 1915, the pacifist Rosika Schwimmer
Rosika Schwimmer
Rosika Schwimmer or Bédy-Schwimmer "Rózsa" Rózsika was a Hungarian-born pacifist, feminist and female suffragist.Rosika Schwimmer was born on September 11, 1877 to a Jewish family in Budapest in Austria-Hungary...

 gained favor with Ford, who agreed to fund a peace ship to Europe, where World War I was raging. He and about 170 other prominent peace leaders traveled there. Ford's Episcopalian pastor, Reverend Samuel S. Marquis, accompanied him on the mission. Marquis headed Ford's Sociology Department from 1913 to 1921. Ford talked to President Wilson about the mission but had no government support. His group went to neutral Sweden and the Netherlands to meet with peace activists. A target of much ridicule, Ford left the ship as soon as it reached Sweden.

Ford plants in Britain produced tractors to increase the British food supply, as well as trucks and aircraft engines. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917 the company became a major supplier of weapons, especially the Liberty engine for airplanes, and anti-submarine boats.

In 1918, with the war on and the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 a growing issue in global politics, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, a Democrat, encouraged Ford to run for a Michigan seat in the U.S. Senate. Wilson believed that Ford could tip the scales in Congress in favor of Wilson's proposed League
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. "You are the only man in Michigan who can be elected and help bring about the peace you so desire," the president wrote Ford. Ford wrote back: "If they want to elect me let them do so, but I won't make a penny's investment." Ford did run, however, and came within 4,500 votes of winning, out of more than 400,000 cast statewide.

Mental collapse and World War II

Ford had long opposed war and continued to believe that international business could generate the prosperity that would head off wars; when World War II erupted in 1939 he said the people of the world had been duped. Like many other businessmen of the Great Depression era, he never liked or entirely trusted the Franklin Roosevelt Administration. He was not, however, active in the isolationist movement of 1939–41
America First Committee
The America First Committee was the foremost non-interventionist pressure group against the American entry into World War II. Peaking at 800,000 members, it was likely the largest anti-war organization in American history. Started in 1940, it became defunct after the attack on Pearl Harbor in...

, and he supported the American war effort and realized the need to support Britain with weapons to fight the Nazis. However, when Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited was a renowned British car and, from 1914 on, aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce on 15 March 1906 as the result of a partnership formed in 1904....

 sought a US manufacturer as an alternative source for the Merlin
Rolls-Royce Merlin
The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a British liquid-cooled, V-12, piston aero engine, of 27-litre capacity. Rolls-Royce Limited designed and built the engine which was initially known as the PV-12: the PV-12 became known as the Merlin following the company convention of naming its piston aero engines after...

 engine (as fitted to the Spitfire
Supermarine Spitfire
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used as a front line fighter and in secondary roles into the 1950s...

 and Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force...

), Ford first agreed to do so and then reneged. He "lined up behind the war effort" when the U.S. entered in late 1941, and the company became a major component of the "Arsenal of Democracy
Arsenal of Democracy
"The Arsenal of Democracy" was a propaganda slogan coined by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a radio broadcast delivered on December 29, 1940. Roosevelt promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by giving them military supplies while the United States stayed out of the actual...

." Following a series of strokes in the late 1930s he became increasingly senile and was more of a figurehead; other people made the decisions in his name. After Edsel Ford
Edsel Ford
Edsel Bryant Ford , son of Henry Ford, was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He was president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 until his death in 1943.-Life and career:...

's death, Henry Ford nominally resumed control of the company in 1943, but his mental strength was fading fast. In reality the company was controlled by a handful of senior executives led by Charles Sorensen and Harry Bennett
Harry Bennett
Harry Bennett , a former boxer and ex-Navy sailor, was an executive at Ford Motor Company during the 1930s and 1940s. He was best known as the head of Ford’s Service Department, or Internal Security. While working for Ford, his union busting tactics, of which The Battle of the Overpass was a prime...

; Sorensen was forced out in 1944. Ford's incompetence led to discussions in Washington about how to restore the company, whether by wartime government fiat or by instigating some sort of coup among executives and directors. Nothing happened until 1945, with bankruptcy a serious risk, Edsel's widow led an ouster and installed her son, Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II , commonly known as "HF2" and "Hank the Deuce", was the son of Edsel Ford and grandson of Henry Ford...

, as president; the young man fired Bennett and took full control.

The Dearborn Independent

Ford in the early 1920s sponsored a weekly newspaper that published (among many non-controversial articles) strongly anti-semitic views. At the same time Ford had a reputation as one of the few major corporations actively hiring black workers; he was not accused of discrimination against Jewish workers or suppliers.

In 1918, Ford's closest aide and private secretary, Ernest G. Liebold, purchased an obscure weekly newspaper for Ford, The Dearborn Independent
The Dearborn Independent
The Dearborn Independent, a/k/a The Ford International Weekly, was a weekly newspaper established in 1901, but published by Henry Ford from 1919 through 1927. It was notorious for its antisemitic content , and its publication in English of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion...

. The Independent ran for eight years, from 1920 until 1927, during which Liebold was editor.

The newspaper published The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a fraudulent, antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for achieving global domination. It was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the twentieth century...

, which was discredited by The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 of London as a forgery during the Independents publishing run. The American Jewish Historical Society
American Jewish Historical Society
The American Jewish Historical Society was founded in 1892 with the mission to foster awareness and appreciation of the American Jewish heritage and to serve as a national scholarly resource for research through the collection, preservation and dissemination of materials relating to American...

 described the ideas presented in the magazine as "anti-immigrant
Nativism (politics)
Nativism favors the interests of certain established inhabitants of an area or nation as compared to claims of newcomers or immigrants. It may also include the re-establishment or perpetuation of such individuals or their culture....

, anti-labor, anti-liquor, and anti-Semitic
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

." In February 1921, the New York World
New York World
The New York World was a newspaper published in New York City from 1860 until 1931. The paper played a major role in the history of American newspapers...

 published an interview with Ford, in which he said: "The only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on." During this period, Ford emerged as "a respected spokesman for right-wing extremism and religious prejudice," reaching around 700,000 readers through his newspaper. The 2010 documentary film Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story
Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story
Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story is a 2010 American documentary film narrated by Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Ira Berkow, and directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Peter Miller...

 (written by Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

 winner Ira Berkow
Ira Berkow
Ira Berkow is an American Pulitzer Prize winning sports reporter, columnist and writer.-Life:Berkow earned his BA in English Literature at Miami University, and his MA from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University...

) noted that Ford wrote on May 22, 1920: “If fans wish to know the trouble with American baseball they have it in three words—too much Jew.”

In Germany, Ford's anti-Jewish articles from The Dearborn Independent were issued in four volumes, cumulatively titled The International Jew, the World's Foremost Problem
The International Jew
The International Jew is a four volume set of booklets or pamphlets originally published and distributed in the early 1920s by Henry Ford, an American industrialist and automobile manufacturer....

 published by Theodor Fritsch
Theodor Fritsch
Theodor Fritsch, originally Emil Theodor Fritsche , was a German publisher and pundit. His anti-semitic writings did much to influence popular German opinion against Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries...

, founder of several anti-semitic parties and a member of the Reichstag. In a letter from 1924, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 described Ford as "one of our most valuable, important, and witty fighters." Ford is the only American mentioned in Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf is a book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926...

. Speaking in 1931 to a Detroit News reporter, Hitler said he regarded Ford as his "inspiration", explaining his reason for keeping Ford's life-size portrait next to his desk. Steven Watts wrote that Hitler "revered" Ford, proclaiming that "I shall do my best to put his theories into practice in Germany," and modeling the Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

, the people's car, on the model T.
On February 1, 1924, Ford received Kurt Ludecke
Kurt Ludecke
Kurt Ludecke was an ardent German nationalist, a playboy and international traveler who joined the Nazi party in the early 1920s and who used his social connections to raise money for the NSDAP...

, a representative of Hitler, at his home. Ludecke was introduced to Ford by Siegfried Wagner
Siegfried Wagner
Siegfried Wagner was a German composer and conductor, the son of Richard Wagner. He was an opera composer and the artistic director of the Bayreuth Festival from 1908 to 1930.-Life:...

 (son of the famous composer Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

) and his wife Winifred
Winifred Wagner
Winifred Wagner was an English woman married to Siegfried Wagner, Richard Wagner's son. She was the effective head of the Wagner family from 1930 to 1945, and a close friend of German dictator Adolf Hitler....

, both Nazi sympathizers and anti-Semites. Ludecke asked Ford for a contribution to the Nazi cause, but was apparently refused.

While Ford's articles were denounced by the Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as "the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency", the ADL states that it "fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects...

 (ADL), the articles explicitly condemned pogroms and violence against Jews (Volume 4, Chapter 80), but blamed the Jews for provoking incidents of mass violence. None of this work was written by Ford, but he allowed his name to be used as author. According to trial testimony, he wrote almost nothing. Friends and business associates have said they warned Ford about the contents of the Independent and that he probably never read the articles. (He claimed he only read the headlines.) But, court testimony in a libel suit, brought by one of the targets of the newspaper, alleged that Ford did know about the contents of the Independent in advance of publication.

A libel lawsuit brought by San Francisco lawyer and Jewish farm cooperative organizer Aaron Sapiro
Aaron Sapiro
Aaron Leland Sapiro was a Jewish American cooperative activist and lawyer and major leader of the farmers' movement during the 1920s...

 in response to anti-Semitic remarks led Ford to close the Independent in December 1927. News reports at the time quoted him as saying he was shocked by the content and unaware of its nature. During the trial, the editor of Ford's "Own Page," William Cameron, testified that Ford had nothing to do with the editorials even though they were under his byline. Cameron testified at the libel trial that he never discussed the content of the pages or sent them to Ford for his approval. Investigative journalist Max Wallace
Max Wallace
-Who Killed Kurt Cobain?:Wallace coauthored the international bestseller Who Killed Kurt Cobain? with Ian Halperin in 1998, .-Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain:...

 noted that "whatever credibility this absurd claim may have had was soon undermined when James M. Miller, a former Dearborn Independent employee, swore under oath that Ford had told him he intended to expose Sapiro."

Michael Barkun observed,
That Cameron would have continued to publish such controversial material without Ford's explicit instructions seemed unthinkable to those who knew both men. Mrs. Stanley Ruddiman, a Ford family intimate, remarked that 'I don't think Mr. Cameron ever wrote anything for publication without Mr. Ford's approval.'

According to Spencer Blakeslee,
The ADL mobilized prominent Jews and non-Jews to publicly oppose Ford's message. They formed a coalition of Jewish groups for the same purpose and raised constant objections in the Detroit press. Before leaving his presidency early in 1921, Woodrow Wilson joined other leading Americans in a statement that rebuked Ford and others for their antisemitic campaign. A boycott against Ford products by Jews and liberal Christians also had an impact, and Ford shut down the paper in 1927, recanting his views in a public letter to Sigmund Livingston
Sigmund Livingston
Sigmund G. Livingston was a Jewish attorney working in Chicago, Illinois. Livingston was the founder and first president of the Anti-Defamation League, and the author of the book Must Men Hate...

, ADL.


Ford's 1927 apology was well received. "Four-Fifths of the hundreds of letters addressed to Ford in July of 1927 were from Jews, and almost without exception they praised the Industrialist." In January 1937, a Ford statement to the Detroit Jewish Chronicle disavowed "any connection whatsoever with the publication in Germany of a book known as the International Jew."

In July 1938, prior to the outbreak of war, the German consul at Cleveland gave Ford, on his 75th birthday, the award of the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal Nazi Germany could bestow on a foreigner. James D. Mooney, vice-president of overseas operations for General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

, received a similar medal, the Merit Cross of the German Eagle, First Class.

Distribution of International Jew was halted in 1942 through legal action by Ford, despite complications from a lack of copyright. It is still banned in Germany. Extremist groups often recycle the material; it still appears on antisemitic and neo-Nazi websites.

One Jewish public figure who was said to have been friendly with Ford was Detroit Judge Harry Keidan. When asked about this connection, Ford replied that Keidan was only half-Jewish. A close collaborator of Ford during World War II reported that Ford, at the time over 80 years old, was shown a movie of the Nazi concentration camps
Nazi concentration camps
Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled. The first Nazi concentration camps set up in Germany were greatly expanded after the Reichstag fire of 1933, and were intended to hold political prisoners and opponents of the regime...

 and was ill stricken by the atrocities.

The damage, however, had been done. Testifying at Nuremberg
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

, convicted Hitler Youth
Hitler Youth
The Hitler Youth was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party. It existed from 1922 to 1945. The HJ was the second oldest paramilitary Nazi group, founded one year after its adult counterpart, the Sturmabteilung...

 leader Baldur von Schirach
Baldur von Schirach
Baldur Benedikt von Schirach was a Nazi youth leader later convicted of being a war criminal. Schirach was the head of the Hitler-Jugend and Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter of Vienna....

 who, in his role as military governor of Vienna deported 65,000 Jews to camps in Poland, stated,
The decisive anti-Semitic book I was reading and the book that influenced my comrades was [...] that book by Henry Ford, "The International Jew." I read it and became anti-Semitic. The book made a great influence on myself and my friends because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success and also the representative of a progressive social policy.

International business

Ford's philosophy was one of economic independence for the United States. His River Rouge Plant became the world's largest industrial complex, pursuing vertical integration
Vertical integration
In microeconomics and management, the term vertical integration describes a style of management control. Vertically integrated companies in a supply chain are united through a common owner. Usually each member of the supply chain produces a different product or service, and the products combine to...

 to such an extent that it could produce its own steel. Ford's goal was to produce a vehicle from scratch without reliance on foreign trade. He believed in the global expansion of his company. He believed that international trade and cooperation led to international peace, and he used the assembly line process and production of the Model T to demonstrate it.

He opened Ford assembly plants in Britain and Canada in 1911, and soon became the biggest automotive producer in those countries. In 1912, Ford cooperated with Agnelli
Agnelli
Agnelli is a surname, and can refer to:*Members of the Agnelli family of Italy, including:**Giovanni Agnelli , Italian manufacturer and founder of Fiat***Edoardo Agnelli , Italian industrialist, son of Giovanni...

 of Fiat
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 to launch the first Italian automotive assembly plants. The first plants in Germany were built in the 1920s with the encouragement of Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 and the Commerce Department, which agreed with Ford's theory that international trade was essential to world peace. In the 1920s, Ford also opened plants in Australia, India, and France, and by 1929, he had successful dealerships on six continents. Ford experimented with a commercial rubber plantation in the Amazon
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest , also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America...

 jungle called Fordlândia
Fordlândia
Fordlândia is a now-abandoned, prefabricated industrial town established in the Amazon Rainforest in 1928 by American industrialist Henry Ford to secure a source of cultivated rubber for the automobile manufacturing operations of the Ford Motor Company in the United States...

; it was one of his few failures. In 1929, Ford accepted Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's invitation to build a model plant (NNAZ, today GAZ
GAZ
GAZ or Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod , translated as Gorky Automobile Plant , started in 1932 as NAZ, a cooperation between Ford and the Soviet Union. It is one of the largest companies in the Russian automotive industry....

) at Gorky, a city now known under its historical name Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny Novgorod , colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is, with the population of 1,250,615, the fifth largest city in Russia, ranking after Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and Yekaterinburg...

. He sent American engineers and technicians to the Soviet Union to help set it up, including future labor leader Walter Reuther
Walter Reuther
Walter Philip Reuther was an American labor union leader, who made the United Automobile Workers a major force not only in the auto industry but also in the Democratic Party in the mid 20th century...

.

The Ford Motor Company had the policy of doing business in any nation where the United States had diplomatic relations. It set up numerous subsidiaries that sold cars and trucks and sometimes assembled them:
  • Ford of Australia
  • Ford of Britain
    Ford of Britain
    Ford of Britain is a British wholly owned subsidiary of Ford of Europe, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. Its business started in 1909 and has its registered office in Brentwood, Essex...

  • Ford of Argentina
  • Ford of Brazil
  • Ford of Canada
  • Ford of Europe
  • Ford India
  • Ford South Africa
  • Ford Mexico
  • Ford Philippines

By 1932, Ford was manufacturing one third of all the world’s automobiles. Ford's image transfixed Europeans, especially the Germans, arousing the "fear of some, the infatuation of others, and the fascination among all". Germans who discussed "Fordism" often believed that it represented something quintessentially American. They saw the size, tempo, standardization, and philosophy of production demonstrated at the Ford Works as a national service—an "American thing" that represented the culture of United States. Both supporters and critics insisted that Fordism epitomized American capitalist development, and that the auto industry was the key to understanding economic and social relations in the United States. As one German explained, "Automobiles have so completely changed the American's mode of life that today one can hardly imagine being without a car. It is difficult to remember what life was like before Mr. Ford began preaching his doctrine of salvation". For many Germans, Ford embodied the essence of successful Americanism.

In My Life and Work, Ford predicted that if greed, racism, and short-sightedness could be overcome, then economic and technological development throughout the world would progress to the point that international trade would no longer be based on (what today would be called) colonial or neocolonial
Neocolonialism
Neocolonialism is the practice of using capitalism, globalization, and cultural forces to control a country in lieu of direct military or political control...

 models and would truly benefit all peoples. His ideas in this passage were vague, but they were idealistic.

Racing

Ford maintained an interest in auto racing from 1901 to 1913 and began his involvement in the sport as both a builder and a driver, later turning the wheel over to hired drivers. He entered stripped-down Model Ts in races, finishing first (although later disqualified) in an "ocean-to-ocean" (across the United States) race in 1909, and setting a one-mile (1.6 km) oval speed record at Detroit Fairgrounds in 1911 with driver Frank Kulick. In 1913, Ford attempted to enter a reworked Model T in the Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, also known as the Indianapolis 500, the 500 Miles at Indianapolis, the Indy 500 or The 500, is an American automobile race, held annually, typically on the last weekend in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana...

 but was told rules required the addition of another 1,000 pounds (450 kg) to the car before it could qualify. Ford dropped out of the race and soon thereafter dropped out of racing permanently, citing dissatisfaction with the sport's rules, demands on his time by the booming production of the Model Ts, and his low opinion of racing as a worthwhile activity.

In My Life and Work Ford speaks (briefly) of racing in a rather dismissive tone, as something that is not at all a good measure of automobiles in general. He describes himself as someone who raced only because in the 1890s through 1910s, one had to race because prevailing ignorance held that racing was the way to prove the worth of an automobile. Ford did not agree. But he was determined that as long as this was the definition of success (flawed though the definition was), then his cars would be the best that there were at racing. Throughout the book, he continually returns to ideals such as transportation, production efficiency, affordability, reliability, fuel efficiency, economic prosperity, and the automation of drudgery in farming and industry, but rarely mentions, and rather belittles, the idea of merely going fast from point A to point B.

Nevertheless, Ford did make quite an impact on auto racing during his racing years, and he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is a Hall of Fame and museum for American motorsports legends. It was originally located in Novi, Michigan and it moved to the Detroit Science Center in 2009.-Museum:...

 in 1996.

Later career

When Edsel, president of Ford Motor Company, died of cancer in May 1943, the elderly and ailing Henry Ford decided to assume the presidency. By this point in his life, he had had several cardiovascular events (variously cited as heart attack or stroke) and was mentally inconsistent, suspicious, and generally no longer fit for such a job.

Most of the directors did not want to see him as president. But for the previous 20 years, though he had long been without any official executive title, he had always had de facto control over the company; the board and the management had never seriously defied him, and this moment was not different. The directors elected him, and he served until the end of the war. During this period the company began to decline, losing more than $10 million a month ($ a month today). The administration of President Franklin Roosevelt had been considering a government takeover of the company in order to ensure continued war production, but the idea never progressed.

Death

In ill health, Ford ceded the presidency to his grandson Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II , commonly known as "HF2" and "Hank the Deuce", was the son of Edsel Ford and grandson of Henry Ford...

 in September 1945 and went into retirement. He died in 1947 of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 83 in Fair Lane
Fair Lane
Fair Lane was the name of the estate of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford and his wife Clara Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, in the United States. It was named after an area in County Cork in Ireland where Ford's adoptive grandfather, Patrick Ahern, was born...

, his Dearborn estate. A public viewing was held at Greenfield Village where up to 5,000 people per hour filed past the casket. Funeral services were held in Detroit's Cathedral Church of St. Paul
Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit
The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit is the cathedral church of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. The cathedral is located at 4800 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, adjacent to the campus of Wayne State University. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in...

 and he was buried in the Ford Cemetery in Detroit.

Interest in materials science and engineering

Henry Ford long had an interest in materials science and engineering
Materials science
Materials science is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates...

. He enthusiastically described his company's adoption of vanadium steel alloys and subsequent metallurgic R&D work.

Ford long had an interest in plastics developed from agricultural products, especially soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

s. He cultivated a relationship with George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver , was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he is believed to have been born into slavery in Missouri in January 1864....

 for this purpose. Soybean-based plastics were used in Ford automobiles throughout the 1930s in plastic parts such as car horns, in paint, etc. This project culminated in 1942, when Ford patented an automobile made almost entirely of plastic
Soybean Car
The Soybean car was a plastic car made by the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, introduced to the public on August 13, 1941. It was the first car bodied entirely in plastic. Anzovin, p. 189 The first plastic car was manufactured by the Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Mi, USA, in August 1941...

, attached to a tubular welded frame. It weighed 30% less than a steel car and was said to be able to withstand blows ten times greater than could steel. Furthermore, it ran on grain alcohol (ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

) instead of gasoline. The design never caught on.

Ford was interested in engineered wood
Engineered wood
Engineered wood, also called composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board; includes a range of derivative wood products which are manufactured by binding the strands, particles, fibers, or veneers of wood, together with adhesives, to form composite materials...

s ("Better wood can be made than is grown") (at this time plywood and particle board were little more than experimental ideas); corn as a fuel source
Biofuel
Biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases...

, via both corn oil and ethanol; and the potential uses of cotton. Ford was instrumental in developing charcoal briquets
Briquette
A briquette is a block of flammable matter used as fuel to start and maintain a fire. Common types of briquettes are charcoal briquettes and biomass briquettes.-Constituents of charcoal briquettes:...

, under the brand name "Kingsford
Kingsford (charcoal)
Kingsford is a brand of charcoal used for grilling, along with related products. The brand is owned by The Clorox Company.The Kingsford Company was formed by Henry Ford and E.G. Kingsford during the early 1920s. Charcoal was developed from Ford Motor Company's factory waste wood scrap. The...

". His brother in law, E.G. Kingsford, used wood scraps from the Ford factory to make the briquets.

Ford was a prolific inventor and was awarded 161 U.S. patents.

Georgia residence and community

Ford maintained a vacation residence (known as the "Ford Plantation") in Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill, Georgia
Richmond Hill is a city in Bryan County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,959 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Richmond Hill is located at ....

, Georgia. He contributed substantially to the community, building a chapel and schoolhouse and employing numerous local residents.

Preserving Americana

Ford had an interest in "Americana
Americana
Americana refers to artifacts, or a collection of artifacts, related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States. Many kinds of material fall within the definition of Americana: paintings, prints and drawings; license plates or entire vehicles, household objects,...

". In the 1920s, Ford began work to turn Sudbury
Sudbury, Massachusetts
Sudbury is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, population 17,659. The town was incorporated in 1639, with the original boundaries including what is now Wayland. Wayland split from Sudbury in 1780. When first incorporated, it included and parts of Framingham, Marlborough, Stow...

, Massachusetts, into a themed historical village. He moved the schoolhouse supposedly referred to in the nursery rhyme, "Mary had a little lamb", from Sterling
Sterling, Massachusetts
Sterling is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA. The population was 7,808 at the 2010 census.- History :Sterling was first settled by Europeans in 1720 and was officially incorporated in 1781....

, Massachusetts, and purchased the historic Wayside Inn
Wayside Inn
The Wayside Inn is an historic landmark inn located in Sudbury, Massachusetts, in the USA. The inn is still in operation, offering a restaurant, historically accurate guest rooms, and hosting for small receptions. It is reputedly the oldest operating inn in the country, opening as Howe's Tavern in...

. This plan never saw fruition. Ford repeated the concept of collecting historic structures with the creation of Greenfield Village in Dearborn
Dearborn, Michigan
-Economy:Ford Motor Company has its world headquarters in Dearborn. In addition its Dearborn campus contains many research, testing, finance and some production facilities. Ford Land controls the numerous properties owned by Ford including sales and leasing to unrelated businesses such as the...

, Michigan. It may have inspired the creation of Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village is a living museum located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in the United States, which re-creates life in rural New England during the 1790s through 1830s. It is the largest living museum in New England, covering more than 200 acres . The Village includes 59 antique...

 as well. About the same time, he began collecting materials for his museum, which had a theme of practical technology. It was opened in 1929 as the Edison Institute. Although greatly modernized, the museum continues today.

On the idea that he invented the automobile

Henry Ford did not invent the automobile, as is occasionally believed. Indeed, he began as a race driver of other people's cars. As Ford himself noted, by the 1870s, the notion of a "horseless carriage was a common idea". Many people worked toward the idea, as the history of steam road vehicles
History of steam road vehicles
The history of steam road vehicles describes the development of vehicles powered by a steam engine for use on land and independent of rails; whether for conventional road use, such as the steam car and steam waggon, or for agricultural or heavy haulage work, such as the traction engine.The first...

 and of automobiles
History of the automobile
The history of the automobile begins as early as 1769, with the creation of steam engined automobiles capable of human transport. In 1806, the first cars powered by an internal combustion engine running on fuel gas appeared, which led to the introduction in 1885 of the ubiquitous modern gasoline-...

 shows. Ford was, however, more influential than any other single person in changing the paradigm of the automobile from a very expensive, heavy, hand-built toy for rich people into a lightweight, reliable, affordable, mass-produced mode of transportation for working-class people.

On the idea that he invented the assembly line

Both Ford and Ransom E. Olds
Ransom E. Olds
Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer of the American automotive industry, for whom both the Oldsmobile and REO brands were named. He claimed to have built his first steam car as early as 1894, and his first gasoline powered car in 1896...

 are sometimes credited with the invention of the assembly line
Assembly line
An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned logistics to create a finished product much faster than with handcrafting-type methods...

, although (as is the case with many inventions) the assembly line's development included many inventors. It combined the idea of interchangeable parts
Interchangeable parts
Interchangeable parts are parts that are, for practical purposes, identical. They are made to specifications that ensure that they are so nearly identical that they will fit into any device of the same type. One such part can freely replace another, without any custom fitting...

 (another gradual technological development that is often mistakenly attributed to one individual or another). After 5 years of empirical development, Ford's first moving assembly line (employing conveyor belts) began mass production on or around April 1, 1913. The concept was first applied to subassemblies, and shortly after to the entire chassis. Although it is inaccurate to say that Ford personally invented the assembly line, his sponsorship of its development and use was central to its explosive success in the 20th century.

Miscellaneous

Ford was the winner of the award of Car Entrepreneur of the Century
Car Entrepreneur of the Century
The Car Entrepreneur of the Century was an international award given to the most influential car designer of the 20th century. The election process was overseen by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation....

 in 1999.

Ford published a book, circulated to youth in 1914, called "The Case Against the Little White Slaver" which documented many dangers of cigarette smoking attested to by many researchers and luminaries.

Ford dressed up as Santa Claus
Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

 and gave sleigh rides to children at Christmas time on his estate.

A compendium of short biographies of famous Freemasons
Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

, published by a Freemason lodge, lists Ford as a member.

Ford was especially fond of Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

, and on Edison's deathbed, he demanded Edison's son catch his final breath in a test tube. The test tube can still be found today in Henry Ford Museum.

In 1923, Ford's pastor, and head of his sociology department, Episcopal minister Samuel S. Marquis, claimed that Ford believed, or "once believed" in reincarnation
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

. Though it is unclear whether or how long Ford kept such a belief, the San Francisco Examiner from August 26, 1928, published a quote which described Ford's beliefs:

I adopted the theory of Reincarnation when I was twenty six. Religion offered nothing to the point. Even work could not give me complete satisfaction. Work is futile if we cannot utilise the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered Reincarnation it was as if I had found a universal plan I realised that there was a chance to work out my ideas. Time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock. Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives. Some are older souls than others, and so they know more. The discovery of Reincarnation put my mind at ease. If you preserve a record of this conversation, write it so that it puts men’s minds at ease. I would like to communicate to others the calmness that the long view of life gives to us.

Popular culture

  • In Aldous Huxley's
    Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

     Brave New World
    Brave New World
    Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

     (1932), society is organized on 'Fordist' lines and the years are dated A.F. or Anno Ford ('In the Year of our Ford') - a reference to A.D., Anno Domini
    Anno Domini
    and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

     ("in the year of our Lord"); and the expression 'My Ford' is used instead of 'My Lord.'
  • Symphonic composer Ferde Grofe
    Ferde Grofé
    Ferde Grofé was a prominent American composer, arranger and pianist. During the 1920s and 1930s, he went by the name Ferdie Grofé.-Early life:...

     composed a tone poem in Henry Ford's honor (1938).
  • Ford is treated as a character in several historical novels, notably E. L. Doctorow
    E. L. Doctorow
    Edgar Lawrence Doctorow is an American author.- Biography :Edgar Lawrence Doctorow was born in the Bronx, New York City, the son of second-generation Americans of Russian Jewish descent...

    's Ragtime
    Ragtime (novel)
    Ragtime is a 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow. This work of historical fiction is primarily set in the New York City area from about 1900 until the United States entry into World War I in 1917...

     (1975), and Richard Powers
    Richard Powers
    Richard Powers is an American novelist whose works explore the effects of modern science and technology.- Life and work :...

    ' novel Three Farmers on the Way to a Dance (1985).
  • Ford, his family, and his company were the subjects of a 1986 biography by Robert Lacey
    Robert Lacey
    Robert Lacey is a British historian and biographer. He is the author of a number of bestselling biographies, including those of Henry Ford and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as works of popular history....

     entitled Ford: The Men and the Machine. The book was adapted in 1987 into a film starring Cliff Robertson
    Cliff Robertson
    Clifford Parker "Cliff" Robertson III was an American actor with a film and television career that spanned half of a century. Robertson portrayed a young John F. Kennedy in the 1963 film PT 109, and won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the movie Charly...

     and Michael Ironside
    Michael Ironside
    Michael Ironside is a Canadian-born actor. He has also worked as a voice actor, producer, film director, and screenwriter in movie and television series in various Canadian and American productions. He is best known for playing villains and "tough guy" heroes, though he has also portrayed...

    .
  • In the 2005 alternative history novel The Plot Against America
    The Plot Against America
    The Plot Against America is a novel by Philip Roth published in 2004. It is an alternate history in which Franklin Delano Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Charles Lindbergh.-Plot introduction:...

    , Philip Roth
    Philip Roth
    Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained fame with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, an irreverent and humorous portrait of Jewish-American life that earned him a National Book Award...

     features Ford as Secretary of Interior
    United States Secretary of the Interior
    The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

     in a fictional Charles Lindbergh
    Charles Lindbergh
    Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.Lindbergh, a 25-year-old U.S...

     presidential administration.
  • The British author Douglas Galbraith uses the event of the Ford Peace Ship as the center of his novel King Henry (2007).
  • Ford appears as a Great Builder in the 2008 strategy video game Civilization Revolution
    Civilization Revolution
    Civilization Revolution is a 2008 iteration of Civilization developed by Firaxis with Sid Meier as designer for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, and iOS. A Wii version was originally expected but was put on indefinite hold...

    .

Honors

  • In December 1999, Ford was among 18 included in Gallup's List of Widely Admired People of the 20th Century
    Gallup's List of Widely Admired People
    Gallup's List of People that Americans Most Widely Admired in the 20th Century is a poll published in December 1999 by The Gallup Organization to determine which people around the world Americans most admired for what they did in the 20th century....

    , from a poll conducted of the American people.
  • In 1928, Ford was awarded the Franklin Institute
    Franklin Institute
    The Franklin Institute is a museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States, dating to 1824. The Institute also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.-History:On February 5, 1824, Samuel Vaughn Merrick and...

    's Elliott Cresson Medal
    Elliott Cresson Medal
    The Elliott Cresson Medal, also known as the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, was the highest award given by the Franklin Institute. The award was established by Elliott Cresson, life member of the Franklin Institute, with $1,000 granted in 1848...

    .
  • The United States Postal Service
    United States Postal Service
    The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

     honored Ford with a Prominent Americans series
    Prominent Americans series
    The Prominent Americans series is a set of definitive stamps issued by the United States Post Office Department between 1965 and 1978....

     (1965–1978) 12¢ postage stamp
    Postage stamp
    A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

    .

See also

  • Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad
    Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad
    The Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad was a railroad that operated between its namesake cities of Detroit, Michigan and Ironton, Ohio via Toledo between 1905 and 1983.-Early history:...

  • Dodge v. Ford Motor Company
    Dodge v. Ford Motor Company
    Dodge v. Ford Motor Company, 204 Mich. 459, 170 N.W. 668. , is a case in which the Michigan Supreme Court held that Henry Ford owed a duty to the shareholders of the Ford Motor Company to operate his business to profit his shareholders, rather than the community as a whole or employees...

  • Edison and Ford Winter Estates
    Edison and Ford Winter Estates
    The Edison and Ford Winter Estates contain a historical museum and 17 acre botanical garden on the adjacent sites of the winter homes of Thomas Alva Edison and Henry Ford beside the Caloosahatchee River in southwestern Florida. It is located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, Florida, USA...

  • Fair Lane
    Fair Lane
    Fair Lane was the name of the estate of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford and his wife Clara Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, in the United States. It was named after an area in County Cork in Ireland where Ford's adoptive grandfather, Patrick Ahern, was born...

  • Ford Family Tree
    Ford family tree
    -Henry Ford's family tree:The following is the family tree of Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company.Paternal Great-Grandfather: William Ford Paternal Great-Grandmother: Rebecca Jennings Ford -Henry Ford's family tree:...

  • List of people on the cover of Time Magazine: 1920s
  • List of most wealthy historical figures
  • William B. Mayo
    William B. Mayo
    William Benson Mayo was chief power engineer for the Ford Motor Company.-Biography:Mayo was born in Chatham, Massachusetts on 7 January 1866 to Andrew Benson and Amanda Nickerson Mayo. He worked initially as a sign painter in Boston, but accepted a position as an office boy for a manufacturer of...


Memoirs by Ford Motor Company principals

| ref = harv | postscript = }}.

Biographies

  • Bak, Richard (2003). Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire. Wiley ISBN 0-471-23487-7
  • Brinkley, Douglas G. Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress (2003)
  • Halberstam, David. "Citizen Ford" American Heritage 1986 37(6): 49–64. interpretive essay
  • Jardim, Anne. The First Henry Ford: A Study in Personality and Business Leadership Massachusetts Inst. of Technology Press 1970.
  • Lacey, Robert. Ford: The Men and the Machine Little, Brown, 1986. popular biography ACLS e-book ACLS e-book ACLS e-book
  • Nye, David E. Henry Ford: "Ignorant Idealist." Kennikat, 1979.
  • Watts, Steven. The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century (2005)


Specialized studies

  • Batchelor, Ray. Henry Ford: Mass Production, Modernism and Design Manchester U. Press, 1994.
  • Bonin, Huber et al. Ford, 1902–2003: The European History 2 vol Paris 2003. ISBN 2-914369-06-9 scholarly essays in English; reviewed in * Holden, Len. "Fording the Atlantic: Ford and Fordism in Europe" in Business History Volume 47, #Jan 1, 2005 pp 122–127
  • Brinkley, Douglas. "Prime Mover". American Heritage 2003 54(3): 44–53. on Model T
  • Bryan, Ford R. Henry's Lieutenants, 1993; ISBN 0-8143-2428-2
  • Bryan, Ford R. Beyond the Model T: The Other Ventures of Henry Ford Wayne State Press 1990.
  • Dempsey, Mary A. "Fordlandia," Michigan History 1994 78(4): 24–33. Ford's rubber plantation in Brazil
  • Grandin, Greg. Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City. London, Icon, 2010. ISBN 978-1-84831-147-3
  • Jacobson, D. S. "The Political Economy of Industrial Location: the Ford Motor Company at Cork 1912–26." Irish Economic and Social History 1977 4: 36–55. Ford and Irish politics
  • Kraft, Barbara S. The Peace Ship: Henry Ford's Pacifist Adventure in the First World War Macmillan, 1978
  • Levinson, William A. Henry Ford's Lean Vision: Enduring Principles from the First Ford Motor Plant, 2002; ISBN 1-56327-260-1
  • Lewis, David L. "Ford and Kahn" Michigan History 1980 64(5): 17–28. Ford commissioned architect Albert Kahn to design factories
  • Lewis, David L. "Henry Ford and His Magic Beanstalk" . Michigan History 1995 79(3): 10–17. Ford's interest in soybeans and plastics
  • Lewis, David L. "Working Side by Side" Michigan History 1993 77(1): 24–30. Why Ford hired large numbers of black workers
  • McIntyre, Stephen L. "The Failure of Fordism: Reform of the Automobile Repair Industry, 1913–1940: Technology and Culture 2000 41(2): 269–299. repair shops rejected flat rates
  • Meyer, Stephen. The Five Dollar Day: Labor Management and Social Control in the Ford Motor Company, 1908–1921 (1981)
  • Nolan; Mary. Visions of Modernity: American Business and the Modernization of Germany (1994)
  • Roediger, David, ed "Americanism and Fordism—American Style: Kate Richards O'hare's 'Has Henry Ford Made Good?'" Labor History 1988 29(2): 241–252. Socialist praise for Ford in 1916
  • Segal, Howard P. "'Little Plants in the Country': Henry Ford's Village Industries and the Beginning of Decentralized Technology in Modern America" Prospects 1988 13: 181–223. Ford created 19 rural workplaces as pastoral retreats
  • Tedlow, Richard S. "The Struggle for Dominance in the Automobile Market: the Early Years of Ford and General Motors" Business and Economic History 1988 17: 49–62. Ford stressed low price based on efficient factories but GM did better in oligopolistic competition by including investment in manufacturing, marketing, and management.
  • Thomas, Robert Paul. "The Automobile Industry and its Tycoon" Explorations in Entrepreneurial History 1969 6(2): 139–157. argues Ford did NOT have much influence on US industry,
  • Valdés, Dennis Nodin. "Perspiring Capitalists: Latinos and the Henry Ford Service School, 1918–1928" Aztlán 1981 12(2): 227–239. Ford brought hundreds of Mexicans in for training as managers
  • Wilkins, Mira and Frank Ernest Hill, American Business Abroad: Ford on Six Continents Wayne State University Press, 1964
  • Williams, Karel, Colin Haslam and John Williams, "Ford versus `Fordism': The Beginning of Mass Production?" Work, Employment & Society, Vol. 6, No. 4, 517–555 (1992), stress on Ford's flexibility and commitment to continuous improvements


Further reading

  • Baldwin, Neil; Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate; PublicAffairs, 2000; ISBN 1-58648-163-0
  • Higham, Charles, Trading With The Enemy The Nazi–American Money Plot 1933–1949 ; Delacorte Press 1983
  • Kandel, Alan D. "Ford and Israel" Michigan Jewish History 1999 39: 13–17. covers business and philanthropy
  • Lee, Albert; Henry Ford and the Jews; Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1980; ISBN 0-8128-2701-5
  • Reich, Simon (1999) "The Ford Motor Company and the Third Reich" Dimensions, 13(2):15–17 online
  • Wallace, Max The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of the Third Reich
    The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of the Third Reich
    The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of the Third Reich is a book by the Canadian journalist and Holocaust researcher Max Wallace, published in 2003. The book discusses the anti-Semitic views of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, their connection with Nazi Germany and their...

    ; ISBN 0-312-33531-8


External links

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