Biographies > Inventors and Scientists
- Occupation: Businessman and Inventor
- Best known for: Founder of the Ford Motor Company and helped develop the assembly line for mass production
Henry Ford is most famous for founding the Ford Motor Company. Ford is still one of the world’s largest producers of cars including brands such as Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Mazda, and Land Rover. Ford was a pioneer in manufacturing using the assembly line. This enabled his company to manufacture cars on a large scale at a cheap price. For the first time, cars were affordable for the average American family.
Where did Henry Ford grow up?
Henry grew up in Greenfield Township, Michigan. His father was a farmer and wanted Henry to take over the family farm, but Henry had no interest in farming. He was much more interested in machines and building things. He left home at the age of 16 and went to Detroit to become an apprentice machinist. Ford had two brothers and two sisters.
What did Henry Ford invent?
The Assembly Line – It is often stated that Henry Ford invented the assembly line. This is where a large number of products are made one step at a time as they pass down a line. Using an assembly line allows for the mass production of products at a cheaper price than trying to build an entire product one at a time. What Henry Ford did was apply this concept to the automobile and perfect it for the mass production of cars at a much lower price than current production methods. Ford’s work in streamlining the assembly line for cars was an example of just how powerful an assembly line could be in mass producing products.
1908 Ford Model T
by Ford Motor Company
The Model T Ford – This was the original car that Ford manufactured using the assembly line process. It was revolutionary in many ways, but primarily in its cost. It was very cheap compared to competitive cars and it was easy to drive and to repair. These features made it perfect for the middle class American. Over 15 million Model T cars were made and, by 1918, over 50% of the cars in America were Model Ts.
Mr and Mrs Henry Ford in his first car
Fun facts about Henry Ford
- Henry worked as an engineer at the Edison Illumination Company where he met Thomas Edison.
- His first try at an automobile company was in collaboration with Thomas Edison and was called the Detroit Automobile Company.
- Ford had Edison’s last breath saved in a test tube and you can still see the test tube at the Henry Ford Museum.
- He was a race car driver early in his career.
Other Inventors and Scientists: