Monday, September 14, 2009


Henry Ford
From the collections of The Library of Congress

1896 Ford, Henry Ford's First Car
The Car That Started it All
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Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 - April 7, 1947) was the founder of the Ford Motor Company and one of the first to apply assembly line manufacturing to the mass production of affordable automobiles. This achievement not only revolutionized industrial production, it had such tremendous influence over modern culture that many social theorists identify this phase of economic and social history as "Fordism."
Ford was born on a prosperous farm owned by his parents, William and Mary Ford, immigrants from County Cork, Ireland. He was the eldest of six children. As a child, Henry was passionate about mechanics. At 12, he spent a lot of time in a machine shop, which he had equipped himself. By 15, he had built his first internal combustion engine.
In 1879 he left home for the nearby city of Detroit to work as an apprentice machinist, first with James F. Flower & Bros., and later with the Detroit Dry Dock Co. After completion of his apprenticeship, Ford got a job with the Westinghouse company working on gasoline engines. Upon his marriage to Clara Bryant in 1888 Ford supported himself by running a sawmill.
In 1891 Ford became an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company, and after his promotion to Chief Engineer in 1893 he had enough time and money to devote attention to his personal experiments on internal combustion engines. These experiments culminated in 1896 with the completion of his own self-propelled vehicle named the Quadricycle.
(Knowledgerush © 2009)

Henry Ford with his first car, The 1896 Quadricycle
From The collections of Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village
and Ford Motor Company

Ford ads and period pictures
1896 Ford Motor Carriage Sv (Henry Ford)
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After this initial success, Ford left Edison Illuminating and, with other investors, formed the Detroit Automobile Company. The Detroit Automobile Company, however, went bankrupt soon afterward because Ford continued to improve the design instead of selling cars. Ford raced his vehicles against those of other manufacturers to show the superiority of his designs. With the interest in his race cars, he formed a second company, the Henry Ford Company. During this period, he personally drove his Quadricycle to victory in a race against Alexander Winton, a well-known driver and the heavy favorite on October 10, 1901. Ford was forced out of the company by the investors, including Henry Leland in 1902, and the company was reorganized as Cadillac.
Henry Ford, with eleven other investors and $28,000 in capital, incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903. In a newly-designed car, Ford drove an exhibition in which the car covered the distance of a mile on the ice of Lake St. Clair in 39.4 seconds, which was a new land speed record. Convinced by this success, the famous race driver Barney Oldfield, who named this new Ford model "999" in honor of a racing locomotive of the day, took the car around the country and thereby made the Ford marque well-known throughout the U.S. Henry Ford was also one of the early backers of the Indianapolis 500.
(Knowledgerush © 2009)

Henry Ford, posing with a Model T Buffalo NY, 1921
envisioned powering his vehicles with gasoline or ethanol
or a combination of both
Image Credits: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company Final Production Line
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Standardized interchangeable components
in auto assembly process
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“A-Bomber an Hour” at Willow Run Plan
mass production methods during WWII for USAF
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In 1910 Henry Ford laid the foundation of first highly organized assembly line system of automobile manufacturing. He organized all the elements of a manufacturing system-people, machines, tooling, and products– and arranged them in a continuous system called conveyor belt system. Ford was so incredibly successful that he quickly became one of the world’s richest men and put the world on wheels.
Ford Motor Company also assembled aircraft using mass production techniques. This mass production success was known as “A-Bomber an Hour” production during WWII when Henry Ford, upon request from US government, produced bomber air crafts for USAF. Before Henry Ford’s take over, the same plant was producing only one bomber a day.
It has never been proven that Henry Ford ever said, "You can paint it any color so long as it's black," but the phrase has survived for 3/4 of a century and does indicate something about America's beloved Model T: its "steadfastness," its enduring and endearing "sameness." The first production Model T Ford was assembled at the Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit on October 1, 1908. Over the next 19 years, Ford would build 15,000,000 automobiles with the Model "T" engine, the longest run of any single model apart from the Volkswagen Beetle. From 1908-1927, the Model T would endure with little change in its design. Henry Ford had succeeded in his quest to build a car for the masses.
(copyright © and design copyright 1991 and 2007 Electrick Publications and NJK)

1912 Brass Model T Touring
This car is owned by David Allen
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1912 Model T Ford Speedster
Author: Mircea Ursache
Vice president CVE
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Racing was, by 1913, no longer necessary from a publicity standpoint because the Model T was already famous and ubiquitous on American roads.
(copyright © 1995 - 2006 Electric Foundry, LLC)

Henry Ford: Putting the World on Wheels
by Editors of Time for kids with Dina El Nabli
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Clara Ala Bryant, Mrs Henry Ford - Free Pictures at Historical Stock
Clara Bryant Ford, Mrs Henry Ford,
seated in a dress, looking front, 1915
Free Historical Stock Photos

1915 MODEL "T" "The Duchess"
Owned & Operated by Fred G. Hoss
Hawthorne, (L.A. area) California
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1915 Ford Model T Touring Car
(Canadian Model with rocky road pack)
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1916 Model T Ford
Author: Mike Brown from Northern California

1916 Ford Model TT Oak Bodied Pickup Truck
This truck is owned by Gerhard Huber
from Huber Schriften Muntlix GesmbH & Co KG
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Portrait of Henry Ford (ca. 1919)
Author: Hartsook
Source: Library of Congress
From Wikimedia Commons

By 1918, half of all cars in America were Model Ts. The design, fervently promoted and defended by Henry Ford, would continue through 1927 (well after its popularity had faded), with a final total production of fifteen million vehicles. This was a record which would stand for the next 45 years. Ford said, "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black."
On January 1, 1919, after unsuccessfully seeking a seat in the United States Senate, Henry Ford turned the presidency of Ford Motor Company over to his son Edsel, although still maintaining a firm hand in its management—few company decisions under Edsel's presidency were made without approval by Henry, and those few that were, Henry often reversed. Also at this time, Henry and Edsel purchased all remaining stock from other investors, thus becoming sole owners of the company. The company remained privately held by the family until 1956, when the family allowed a public offering of a portion of the company without ceding control.
(copyright © 1995 - 2006 Electric Foundry, LLC)

1919 Ford Model T Touring Car
Author: Anthony Hazelaar of the Netherlands
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1919 Ford Model T Center Door
Author: Anthony Hazelaar of the Netherlands
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Henry Ford's seven-Year hate campaign against the Jews
Copyright © 2009, A. Orange

Henry Ford, miracle maker
Source:Independent Corporation magazine cover, 1920
Author: Christos Varsos
From Wikimedia Commons

L to R, inventors and magnates Henry Ford and
Thomas Edison, President of United States Warren G. Harding
and businessman Harvey C. Firestone, 1921
Source The New York Times photo archive
From Wikimedia Commons

By the mid 1920's, 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. The Model T's key to success was the fact that it had been made in the assembly line, which allowed for many different cars to be made consecutively, identically and much faster than other hand made vehicles. The cars sales triggered the modern era of vehicles. For the first time everyone could own a car, the downside was that every Model T produced after 1913, (the year the assembly line was created) was painted black because the paint dried a lot faster than any other color. The Model T was a very simple car, as simple as it could be made. One screw held 10 or 20 parts. But that's what made it unique. Henry Ford's assembly line was so unique that it turned the Ford Motor Company into a Giant, (and became a tool for every other industry that creates merchandise in the assembly line, of course the assembly line does not use people anymore, but uses robots) while the other car companies were still stuck with the technologies of the earlier days. By 1928 there were about 30 million cars world wide. Half of these were Ford Model Ts.
(copyright © 1995 - 2006 Electric Foundry, LLC)

1923 Model T Ford Truck
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This 1923 Ford Model T, original laundry truck for the Hotel del Coronado that operated the streets of Tent City and Coronado during the Roaring Twenties. Now owned by the Coronado Museum and driven in local parades.

1923 Model T Ford and a 1951 Ford Convertible
Author: Laurent d'Entremont
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"It is a 1923 Model T (Touring) bought new by Len Wood of Tusket Nova Scotia Canada. He put a pickup truck box on the back when new and drove it until his grand nephew Gordie Wood of Tusket owns the car and has restored it as a touring car again...he does not drive it, it is now a museum piece in Gordie's garage. The driver of the 1951 was Eric Taylor of longer living...
(Laurent d'Entremont at

1923 Model T Ford Businessman's Roadster
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1924 Model T Ford C Cab
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This 1924 Model T truck was originally a ranch truck in Colorado, now the company truck for the Coronado Brewing Company and Tent City Restaurant in Coronado, CA. The little green truck still boasts her original engine, and operates daily on the island of Coronado running errands and promoting business. This truck has been nicknamed "Olive Oyl," because she is tall and skinny, spinach green, and her shrill horn sounds like Olive yelling for Popeye.

1924 Model T Ford 1924 Model T Ford
The museum quality owned by Nathan Robertson
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1926 Ford Model T Roadster
Owned by L. J. Mallicote, Sr. Bristol,TN
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1926 Ford Model T Touring Car
Owned by Fred I Nordhov of Skien Norway
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It was the same under the skin. Henry's son Edsel was pushing to move ahead and design and build a completely "NEW FORD". Finally on July 20th, 1926 the order was given to to start work on a new Ford which was to become the MODEL A, a name Ford lovers would never forget. The last of the Model T's was built on May 26th, 1927. It was car No. 15,000,000. It is said Ford spent $100,000,000 on the new car design and for retooling of the Rouge plant to build the new Model A. That was 1927 dollars. The car contained over 1800 more parts then the Model T 6800 compared to 5000.
The first Model A rolled off the production line on Oct. 20th, 1927 but it was not released to the public until Dec. 2nd, 1927. The Model A came in seven body styles and an amazing four colors!
The engine had a displacement of 200.5 cubic inches and produced a 40 HP at 2200 rpm.
It had a 3 speed sliding gear transmission with 1 speed reverse. The Model A had 4 wheel mechanical brakes and double action hydraulic shock absorbers with semi-elliptic front and rear transverse springs. Top Speed was around 65 mph.

Ford, full-length portrait standing, 1927
leaving the White House after calling on the president
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Henry Ford, 1928
Keystone View photograph
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Literary Digest Henry Ford Interview, 1928
Henry Ford on his plans and his philosophy
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1928 Model AR Ford Tourer
What 'A' people call an 'AR'
It is an early one, built in June 1928.
The 'AR' type finished in February 28 in the USA
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1928 Model A Ford 4 Door Phaeton
Owned by Alan DalMaso, Redwood City, CA
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Henry Ford, Thomas Alva Edison and
Harvey Samuel Firestone, 11 February 1929
Images of American Political History
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1929 Model A Cabriolet
Owned by L. J. Mallicote, Sr. Bristol,TN
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1929 Model A Fordor 60C

The Model 60c (above) was made by Briggs body company known as the "steel back fordor". Briggs made the 60 A ,B & C. The C had the horse shoe metal on the top and sold new for $600.00.

1929 Model A Ford CC Pickup
Owned by Eugene Buckner, Monterey,Tn
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1929 Model A Tudor
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1930 Ford Model A Deluxe Phaeton type 180-A
Built in Canada with the the owner Dick Brussee
doing some work on the radiator shell
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1931 Model A Ford Tudor
Owned by Kevin Snow, Ontario, Canada
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L to R: 1931 Model a Ford 5 Window Coupe
1931 Model A Ford Fordor
with a slant windshield
1931 Model A Ford Roadster
Image from

This picture (above) was submitted by Richard Jankowski, Clark, NJ . His late brother inlaw, Matt Hirsch, Garwood NJ owed these car. Richard is now the owner of the Roadster shown below. The first car that Matt restored was the 5 window coupe. He got this one around 1964, and it took several years to complete. It is chicle drab and copra drab with straw stripe and wheels. The second one was the Fordor and it was finished in the 1980's. It is painted Ford maroon and black with vermilion red stripe and wheels. The last one is the roadster. It was completed around 1999. It is stone brown and stone deep gray with Tacoma cream stripe and wheels. All 3 are correct original colors and all model A's had black fenders.

Henry Ford drives out his 20 millionth car
24th April 1931
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Henry Ford, 1934
Source: The United States Library of Congress
Author: BI; Shelf
From Wikimedia Commons

America’s INDUSTRIAL FUTURE (Dec, 1934)
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The Grand Cross of the German Eagle
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In March 1938, pro-Nazi leaders seized power in Vienna, enabling the Blumenkrieg — the War of Flowers — which quickly and bloodlessly absorbed Austria into German land. The Nazi government, flush with anticipation, issued orders for more than 3000 V-8 trucks, which they — along with Ford officials in the US — insisted were not intended for military use. In recognition of Ford’s industrial prowess and his erstwhile labors against the many realms of Jewish perfidy, the Nazi government chose 1938 to recognize one of its most revered Americans.
On 30 July 1938, Ford celebrated his 75th birthday by receiving the Grand Cross of the German Eagle,(above) the most important honor that Germany might offer a non-citizen. He received the award — a golden Maltese cross embraced by four swastikas — in his office, joined by the German consuls from Cleveland and Detroit.
A longtime admirer of Ford’s, Adolf Hitler sent a personal note of gratitude to be delivered at the ceremony. Signed on July 7, the parchment scroll warmly thanked Ford for his “humanitarian ideals” and his devotion, along with the German Chancellor, to “the cause of peace.” Contrary to legend, the note mentioned nothing about Ford’s genius in manufacturing cars; it was, rather, a gesture of ideological affinity. Stung by criticism of his acceptance of the medal, Ford once again expressed surprise, declaring in another written statement that:
"My acceptance of a medal from the German people does not, as some people seem to think, involve any sympathy on my part with naziism. Those who have known me for many years realize that anything that breeds hate is repulsive to me."
There is some evidence that Henry Ford gave Adolf Hitler financial backing when Hitler was first starting out in politics. This can in part be traced to statements from Kurt Ludecke, Germany's representative to the U.S. in the 1920s, and Winifred Wagner, daughter-in-law of Richard Wagner, who said they requested funds from Ford to aid the National Socialist movement in Germany. However, a 1933 Congressional investigation into the matter was unable to substantiate one way or the other that funding was actually sent.
The Ford Motor Company was active in Germany's military buildup prior to World War II. In 1938, for instance, it opened an assembly plant in Berlin whose purpose was to supply trucks to the Wehrmacht.
(Dearborn Independent)

Henry Ford with V8 Engine
Image Copyright Ford Motor Corporation
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Then Henry Ford shocked the automotive world by doing the impossible -- mass-producing the V-8 engine. Here he is shown with his first "production" engine which is now displayed in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn MI. A brass tag on the first engine reads: "This is V-8 No. 1 motor. Hold for Mr. H. Ford."

1939 Ford Ad
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1950 Ford Mercury Ads
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1951 Ford Victoria Hardtop Sport Coupe Street Rod
Owned by Norm & Bernice Bunko, Shelton Wa
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1954 Lincoln Cosmopolitan
Author: Jim Broderick, Tampa Bay area of Florida
Picture was taken in Clearwater, Florida
The car belongs to his grandfather
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1955 Mercury Montclair
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This picture (above) was submitted by John Evans,owner of Coventry Studios of Denvor Colorado and the car is owned by Miles Hyland of Arvada Colorado. John had the following to say, "Met an interesting older gentleman on my street several years ago who was then doing a full frame off restoration on a couple 1955 Mercury Montclair convertibles. Today, as I was driving by his garage, I noticed him working and decided to pop in for a sneak peak. What I saw was nothing less than one of the most flawless examples I've ever seen anywere. Miles Hyland is the 80+ year old Arvada Colorado car guy, who did all the beautiful work."

1957 Ford Country Squire Wagon
Owned by Wayne Haight of Pasadena, CA. USA
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1962 Mercury Meteor S 33
This car is owned by Carl Smith
Great Village, Nova Scotia, Canada
It has a 221 cu/in V8
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1962 Ford Mustang Ad
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1963 Ford Thunderbird
Owned by Butch Daly, Blaine, Ohio
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1964 Ford Thunderbird
Author; Paul Black, Tampa, Florida
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In Forum Magazine (October, 1928) Henry Ford said: "There are two ways of making money - one at the expense of others, the other by service to others. The first method does not "make" money, does not create anything; it only "gets" money - and does not always succeed in that. In the last analysis, the so-called gainer loses. The second way pays twice - to maker and user, to seller and buyer. It receives by creating, and receives only a just share, because no one is entitled to all. Nature and humanity supply too many necessary partners for that. True riches make wealthier the country as a whole.
Most people will spend more time and energy in going around problems than in trying to solve them. A problem is a challenge to your intelligence. Problems are only problems until they are solved, and the solution confers a reward upon the solver. Instead of avoiding problems, we should welcome them and through right thinking make them pay us profits. The discerning youth will spend his time learning direct methods, learning how to make his brain and hand work in harmony with each other so that the problem in hand may be solved in the simplest, most direct way that he knows."

1863 Born July 30 in Greenfield Township, Michigan.
1879 Leaves family farm for Detroit to work in machine shops.
1888 Marries Clara Bryant of Greenfield Township and moves to 80-acre farm in what is today Dearborn.
1891 Secures position as engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company; returns to Detroit.
1893 Edsel Bryant Ford, only child of Henry and Clara Ford, born.
1896 Completes his first automobile, the Quadricycle, and drives it through the streets of Detroit.
1899 Ends eight years of employment with the Edison Illuminating Company to devote full attention to the many manufacture of automobiles. Made chief engineer and partner in the newly formed Detroit Automobile Company which produced only a few cars.
1901 Henry Ford Company organized with Ford as engineer. Ford resigns over dispute with bankers in 1902 and the company becomes the Cadillac Motor Car Co.
1903 Ford Motor Company is officially incorporated. Ford's first Model A appears on the market in Detroit.
1908 Ford begins manufacturing the famous Model T.
1910 Begins operations at factory in Highland Park, Michigan.
1913 Introduces first moving automobile assembly line at Highland Park.
1914 Announces his plan to share the Ford Motor Company's profits with workers, paying them $5.00 for an eight hour day.
1915 The Oscar II, Ford's "Peace Ship," sets sail for Norway on a pacifist expedition to end World War I.
1917 Begins construction of industrial facility on the Rouge River in Dearborn, Michigan.
1918 Loses his bid for the U.S. Senate.
1919 Edsel B . Ford, son of Henry Ford, is named president of Ford Motor Company
1921 Ford Motor Company dominates auto production with 55 percent of industry's total output.
1926 Focuses on air transportation and develops the Tri-Motor airplane.
1927 Transfers final assembly line from Highland Park plant to the Rouge. Production of the Model T ends, and the Model A is introduced.
1929 Dedicates his Edison Institute of Technology and Greenfield Village with a celebration of 50 years of the electric light.
1932 Builds first V-8 Ford car.
1933 Successfully resists first efforts to unionize workers at Ford plants.
1937 "Battle of the Overpass" occurs between Ford security staff and United Auto Workers union organizers. As a result, the court orders Ford not to interfere with union activity.
1941 Ford Motor Company signs a contract with UAW.
1943 Edsel B. Ford dies at age 49.
1947 Henry Ford dies at age 83, at Fair Lane, his Dearborn home.
1948: First F-Series pickup trucks produced.
1955: Ford Thunderbird sports car introduced.
1964: Ford Mustang launched at World's Fair.
1968: Jacques Nasser joins company.
1979: Company buys stake in Toyo Kogyo (later Mazda).
1980: Henry Ford II resigns as chairman.
1985: Ford Taurus introduced.
1986: Company buys stake in Kia Motors of Korea.
1989: Buys British luxury carmaker jaguar.
1999: William "Bill" Clay Ford Jr., great-grandson of Henry Ford, becomes chairman.
2001: Bill Ford becomes CEO and president after Nasser leaves.
2003: Ford celebrates its one-hundredth anniversary.
(1867-1912) flew their first airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
(Copyright © 2003 The Henry Ford)

Henry Ford house
Source Transferred from en.wikipedia
Author Andrew Jameson at en.wikipedia

Henry Ford
© History In Ink, L.L.C.

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