Early Years Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863, on a farm in Dearborn, Michigan. The Ford farm of ninety acres included many different wildlife such as "bobolinks", foxes, and much more (Harris 7). Like most other farms, the Ford's had cows, horses, and orchards. Being open to such nature, Henry Ford came to "know and love it" (Harris 7).
In Henry's younger days, it was usual for farmers to make things they needed. The ford farm had a gristmill, a sawmill, a blacksmith shop, and a weaving machine. As Henry grew older, he was expected to help with the farm work. Henry hated to plow, to plant, and milk cows; all he enjoyed was the machinery. Henry started school at Scotch Settlement School at the age of seven. Since his mother had previously taught him to read, he was ahead of the class.
Henry also had a natural talent in mathematics. Unfortunately, he did poorly in penmanship, and spelling. Henry's father's name was William. Henry was named after William's brother. William married Mary Litogot O'Hern in 1861; who was Henry's mother. Mary's first child died at birth in 1862.
Her next pregnancy, and her first born, included the " born mechanic", Henry Ford (Collier 21). When Mary ford became pregnant for the ninth time, she became sick and died a few days later. At the time, Henry Ford was twelve. Without his mother, "the house was like a watch without a mainspring" (Harris 10). Henry spent most of his time with his only friend, Edsel Ruddiman, when he wasn't taking solitary walks. Henry began his first job in 1880 a little after turning 17 - working for the Michigan Car Company.
Although it was a high paying job of $1.10 a day, he soon got fired for quickly solving a problem that embarrassed several employees. Henry's next job was with the Flower Brothers getting paid $2.50 a week. Since that wasn't enough, he took on a job at night for 50 cents a night. The Flower Brothers moved on to Detroit Dry Dock Engine Works building ships. Though the steam engine had already been developed, Henry had an interest with the combustion engine. After two years on his own, he returned to the fair in 1882.
He didn't return to become a farmer as his father had hoped. Henry took on a job at Westinghouse Engine Company as an expert engineer. Henry also took night courses at Goldsmith Business College twice a week to study accounting and typing. Clara Bryant Henry Ford took dancing lessons on the waltz and the polka to improve his prospects.
One night at a harvest moon dance, late in 1884, Henry met Clara Bryant. Clara was a close friend of Henry's sister Margaret, but he never noticed her. Henry "realized after 30 seconds of conversation that Clara Bryant was the girl for him" (Collier 26). Since Henry's mother's death, Clara was the first to have confidence in Henry, so he called her "the believer" (Harris 15). When William Ford saw his son falling in love, William offered an acre parcel to Henry called "the Moir place", as a wedding gift.
The two lovebirds married on April 11, 1888 and settled down. On September 25, 1888, henry and Clara packed their things and moved to a house on John R Street. Henry worked a few hours from home at Detroit Edison Illuminating Company. Henry was soon making $1000 a year as chief engineer. On November 6, 1893, Clara gave birth to her first child, which Henry named Edsel after a friend from high school. By Christmas Eve 1893, Henry completed his first gasoline engine.
In the spring of 1896, Henry axed down a hole in the wall and rode the gas buggy. Ford Motor Company On October 10, 1901, Henry raced his twenty-six horsepower racer against the famous Winton. After beating Winton, Henry got much publicity for the Ford Motor Company. The Ford Motor Company developed in 1903. Henry organized partnership with James Cozens and the Dodge brothers. The Ford Motor Company plant was located on Mack Avenue in Detroit.
Ten men were hired to work for $1.50 a day. Henry's first Model A established the Ford Motor Company as a leading automobile manufacturer. The Model A was equipped with a two-cylinder engine, and eight horsepower. The Model A's sold for $850. Other cars were also being made at the same time. The Model C's sold for $800.
The Model F sold for $1000, and the more luxurious Model B was sold for $2000. A couple of years passed and business was doing extremely well. The Ford Motor Company was doing so well that they needed more room. "A new building was constructed on Paquette Avenue; this building was ten times as big as the Mack Avenue building" (Harris 29). Henry, being very closed-minded, paid most attention to the Model A and C. Malcomson, a partner, in the Ford Motor Company business - had his eyes on the six-cylinder Model K. Since conflict came about, Malcomson decided to sell 255 shares to Ford for $175,000.00.
Henry saw this as "a great day" (Collier 49). Henry Ford was making $36,000 a year by 1907. Henry modified the Model N and called them Models, R and S. Since Malcomson didn't agree with Ford's ideas, a lot happened before the Model T could roll. "The model T was the first car to capture the national imagination" (Collier 52).
The Model adopted the nicknames "Tin Lizzie" and "Flivver" nationally. The Model T was coupled with a four-cylinder engine which produced 20 horsepower. As the wants for Model T's came, Henry noticed that the factory didn't have enough room. Model T In Highland Park, at a racetrack, Ford selected a 60-acre, one-sixth of a mile area.
Here, they began the assembly line. The assembly took shape from 1912-1914. As the cars moved passed the workers, the men fastened parts on the frame. The point of the assembly line was to help increase the production of Model T's. "The man who puts on a nut does not tighten it" (Harris 44). By early 1914, a Model T was made every 93 minutes.
By the end of 1913, the Ford Motor Company, was selling over 200,000 cars a year. As the workers of the Ford Motor Company were pushed to work long hours, Henry made a change. Henry Ford announced they'd be getting paid $5.00 an 8/hr day. This changed the happy life on Edison Avenue.
Men literally fought to get a job with Ford Motor Company. Later Years Henry Ford entered the war as leading producer of: ambulances, munitions, airplanes, tanks, and submarine chasers. In 1918, Henry unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate. In 1919, Henry retired from Ford Motor Company and Edsel took over.
Edsel died in 1943 and Henry had to take over until his death on April 7, 1947, of a fatal stroke. Other Accomplishments Henry Ford donated $7.5 million to the Ford Hospital in Detroit. Ford donated $5 million for the museum in Rear born. Ford also wrote in collaboration with Samuel Crowther: My Life and Work in 1923, Today and Tomorrow in 1926, Moving Forward in 1931, and Edison as I Knew Him in 1930. Though Ford had a major dislike for the Jewish race, he was the most important person in car history.