Henry Ford: A Giant of a Man

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Henry Ford: A Giant of a Man 1 When people hear the name Henry Ford, they often think of cars. Henry Ford was a giant in the world of automobiles. Ford built many different cars. However, his biggest achievement was in how his cars were made. The Early Years 2 Henry Ford was born in 1863, and he grew up on his family farm. But he didn’t like having to do the farm chores. Instead, Ford preferred mechanical things and spent his time trying to fix machines. He developed a strong interest in engines. A special engine, one that could power an automobile, fascinated Ford. This interest led to Ford building his own car called the Quadracycle. He also began building race cars and won many races. ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. A Business Begins 3 In 1903, Ford started his own company. He called it the Ford Motor Company. He began building cars that were more reliable so they wouldn’t break down. These cars were also easier to repair. This led to a simple car called the Model T. The Model T was a huge success, and Ford Motor Company sold more cars than all the other automakers put together. A New Process 4 The Model T was a good car, but Ford’s big success didn’t come simply because of this invention. It came from the new way he built his cars. Ford’s idea was simple, yet very smart. He developed a new way to make cars using an assembly line. While the cars were being put together, they moved along on a slow-moving belt. The first workers on the assembly line made one part of the car, starting with the frame. The car proceeded down the belt, and the second workers added the next part. The car continued moving as new parts were added. By the time the car reached the end of the line, it was completely built. 5 This assembly line approach allowed Ford to make cars both faster and cheaper. Because of this, Ford was able to pay his workers much more than any of the other companies could pay. In fact, before the assembly line, workers were paid $2.34 per day. Ford began paying his workers $5.00 per day. And, he had them work one hour less each day than they had been working before. Ford’s assembly line was also the reason so many people could afford to buy a car. The Ford Legacy 6 Ford died in 1947. Companies all over the U.S. and the world adopted his method of making cars. Before he died, he arranged for his family to keep the company. Many Fords have helped run the company, and the Ford Motor Company is still making cars today. ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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