The Most Significant Person Of The 20th Contury: Henry Ford

1036 words - 4 pages

Henry Ford, born on July 30, 1863, is the most significant person in the 20th century. The main reason for this is his inventing, developing, and processing of the world famous Model T. The Model T was an innovation for its time, not only was it durable and dependable it was also affordable by the common working household. At one time more than half the automobiles on the streets of America were Model Ts and a total of 15 million, exactly, were sold.Henry Ford grew up a farm boy in Springwells township (now part of Dearborn), Michigan. He lived there for seventeen years working on the farm for his parents. He later said that he hated farm work but he loved mechanics. In his spare time he would tinker around in their tool shed for hours thinking of new ways to do things and this and that. When Ford was seventeen he left his family farm to work in Detroit as an apprentice at the Flower Machine Shop. He quickly grew tired of working there and found a job at the Detroit Docking Company where he helped fix ship engines. By 1882 he was a certified mechanic and was hired by the Westinghouse Company to set up and fix steam engines in southern Michigan. In 1888, Ford went back to his family farm to marry Clara Bryant. They settled down on a 40-acre farm given to him by his father. It was in 1891 that Ford finally designed a small internal-combustion engine, powered by gasoline. With his job that he acquired at the Edison Illuminating Company as chief engineer he constructed his first engine in 1893. He attached the motor to a four-wheeled cart and rode it around, he began selling them soon after. He quit his job at Edison Illuminating and devoted his time to building his second car that he showed to a Detroit business man who was very impressed. They created the Detroit Automobile Company which, unfortunately, went out of business in just one year because his products were 'unsallable.'Ford, undaunted by earlier failed attempts, built a racing car in 1901 that went on to win a race, attracting investors. One such was Alexander Malcomson whom Ford would work with to create the Ford and Malcomson Company, later re-named the Ford Motor Company. Their first car was the well-known Model A, a practical, $850 car that by July 1903 he was selling 15 cars a day. In 1905 Ford had overgrown its factory so they built a factory 10 times a large to keep up with demand.Unknown to most people, Ford, in fact, was against Jews. Although it never showed through he did dislike Jewish people.During the era of the Model A most cars were priced around the same amount as the Model A. Unfortunately, most common families could not afford cars at this price. To fix this Ford came out with the Model T in 1908. The Model T was a marvel for its day, with a top speed of 45 MPH, 20 miles to the gallon, and a price tag...

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