I knew that Ford invented the car, but did you know that he also invented a plane?
Henry Ford is undoubtedly one of the most prominent inventors and innovators in American history and one of the true greatest names in the car industry.
At Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA we are indebted to Henry Ford as the creator of the automobile and that’s why we’re giving him much respect in this blog. Every time we work on a Ford, we should give them a moment of respect.
Ford began his career as a machinist in Michigan and eventually moved on to work with Thomas Edison as an Engineer.
Quadricycle: Ford’s job with Edison had grueling hours as he was on call 24/7, but Ford still found enough time to work on his own projects during those downtimes. He was designing a horseless carriage that was powered by a gasoline engine. Ford wasn't the first person to think of this idea, but utilizing his engineering skills he designed a vehicle and named it the Quadricycle. The vehicle was made out of a light metal frame that rode on 4 bicycle wheels.
Model A: Following the invention of the Quadricycle, Ford wanted to enhance the original design, but he needed money first. He built and sold Quadricycles to make enough cash to work on the development of his other vehicles. Over the course of 7 years, he received backing from a wide range of prominent investors and formed the Detroit Automobile Company back in 1899. Ford’s Detroit Automobile Company later became the Ford Motor Company, and the first car Ford produced was the Model A.
Assembly Line: The demand for the Model A skyrocketed and Ford needed a new set of efficient processes to keep up with production. While Ford didn't invent the concept of an assembly line, he was one of the most very prominent people to implement it in his factories on a wide scale.
Model T: As Ford refined his implementation of the production line in his factories, Ford also designed a new model of vehicle, the Model T. Debuted in 1908, the Model T was an immediate success nationwide. The main goal of the Model T was to be much more accessible to the general public than the pricey Model A was. As Ford developed this car and improved manufacturing methods, each year he lowered the price of the car to make it as cheap as possible for the general public.
$5 Wage: While Ford had engineering prowess and prominence, he was a notable businessman as well. He was the pioneer of a concept called "welfare capitalism" that was meant to improve the quality of life for his workers. In many cases, he hired 3 times as many people each year as there were jobs simply because turnover in his factories was very bad. By paying workers more, Ford Motor Company also had a trick up his sleeve – it meant his workers could afford the vehicles they were producing.
The Trimotor Plane: In WWI, the Ford Motor Company entered the aviation business as many carmakers did at the time. When the war ended, the company acquired the Stout Metal Airplane Company and started designing and producing even more planes. William Bushnell Stout became an executive at Ford motor company and developed the Ford Trimotor, that Henry Ford helped produce.
Sources: Autobody News and Wikipedia