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.
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 Margeret, 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...