A young man with 16 years skipped down the road to the shipbuilding firm of Greenfield Michigan. He had recently left his parents farm to pursue an apprenticeship as a machinist. His name was Henry Ford and had no idea his life would change the world.
Nine years later, the young man found himself working for America’s Greatest Inventor, Thomas Edison. He quickly climbed the ladder and received a promotion to ‘Chief Engineer’ just five years after he joined the company.
In a meeting with Edison, Ford pitched his idea for a new automobile. Edison approved and encouraged Ford to continue to develop the model and build a second vehicle.
Ford did not want his invention to be produced under another company so he started Ford Motor company. He started with a $28,000 investment and went to work refining his invention
Ford released the Model T in 1908. Due to its popularity, Ford needed a way to mass produce the car. So, he created the five day work week and the five dollar work day (equivalent to $120 in today’s money). This revolutionized the manufacturing industry and influenced many other industries. Ford also invented the production line as well as hand selected employees to work for his company. From this point forward, business in America started to change shifting to skilled work from agricultural blue collar work.
Just ten years after its release, the Model T was the most popular car in America with half of all Americans with cars driving Model Ts. This made Henry very proud because many more citizens were driving cars. This spurred a growth in Westward expansion making driving a cheaper option to cross the country in several days.
Around the same time, America entered World War II. Ford was adamantly against the war and started a peace movement. He created the Oscar II commonly known as the Peace Ship in an attempt to call for a peace treaty to be signed by the European countries so entangled in conflict.