Henry Ford:Detroit's innovation king!
He innovated on all fronts!
Henry Ford is a great example of an innovator because of his contributions to technology, business practices, and society and culture!
The Model T
In 1903 Ford Motor Company was incorporated and forever changed the history of Detroit.Ford had been making cars to order for interested companies or wealthy people. His cars were made like a tailor makes a suit. Each was an individual machine, and very expensive! It was the perfection of the Model T, a car that was easy and inexpensive to produce that made his company a success, and it was his innovative process that made this possible!
Perfecting the Assembly Line
Henry Ford and his staff developed mass production techniques that allowed them to make affordable automobiles in unprecedented numbers. His innovations included having the cars move on a track while workers stayed in one place adding parts as the cars moved by, using parts that were always the same, and even having these parts delivered to the workers by a conveyor system. This meant it was faster and easier, and cheaper to make the cars. At the height, factories were making up to 8,000 cars a day! This meant they were less expensive for the average consumer and established Detroit as the Motor City and transformed twentieth century America. Before Ford made Model Ts only the wealthy and privileged were able to own cars, but he changed this. It was an innovative idea that things only the rich could have would be affordable to everyone. Ford said:
“I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the he best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family….”
Changing America through a better place to work!
With the opportunity to make a living wage, workers, from the American south and Europe flocked to Detroit for this new model. The Ford Company also was one of the largest employers of African Americans, employing as many as sixteen thousand by 1925. This new work force contributed to a new innovation: the American middle class!