Henry Ford

Biography project for Mrs. Hemry's 8th grade language arts class
Made by: MS 6th hour

Place/date of birth: Wayne County, Michigan July 30,1863

Place/date of death: Dearborn, MI April 7,1947

Significant Events in History that Affected Henry Life

Who was Henry Ford

Henry Ford became an icon of a self-made man. He began life as a farmer's son and quickly became rich and famous. Although an industrialist, Ford remembered the common man. He designed the Model T for the masses, installed a mechanized assembly line to make production cheaper and faster, and instituted the $5 per day pay rate for his workers.

Henry Fords childhood

Henry Ford spent his childhood on his family's farm, located just outside of Detroit, MI. When Henry was twelve, his mother died during childbirth. For the rest of his life, Henry tried to live his life as he believed his mother would have wanted, often citing lessons she had taught him before her death. Although close to his mother, Henry had a strained relationship with his father. While his father hoped Henry would someday take over the family farm, Henry preferred to tinker.

The Model T.

In 1908, Ford designed the Model T, specifically designed to appeal to the masses. It was light, fast, and strong. Henry had found and used Vanadium steel within the Model T which was much stronger than any other steel available at the time. Also, all Model T's were painted black because that paint color dried the fastest.

Henry ford's death

For decades, Henry Ford and his only child, Edsel, worked together at the Ford Motor Company. However, friction between them steadily grew, based nearly entirely on differences of opinion over how the Ford Motor Company should be run. In the end, Edsel died from stomach cancer in 1943, at age 49. In 1938 and again in 1941, Henry Ford suffered strokes. On April 7, 1947, four years after Edsel's death, Henry Ford passed away at the age 83.

Ford the Tinkerer

From an early age, Henry loved to take things apart and put them back together again just to see how they worked. Especially adept at doing this with watches, neighbors and friends would bring him their broken watches to fix. Although good with watches, Henry's passion was machines. Henry believed that machines could ease the life of a farmer by replacing farm animals. At age 17, Henry Ford left the farm and headed to Detroit to become an apprentice.

Steam Engine

In 1882, Henry finished his apprenticeship and was thus a full-fledged machinist. Westinghouse hired Henry to demonstrate and operate their steam engines on nearby farms during the summers. During the winters, Henry stayed on his father's farm, diligently working on building a lighter steam engine. It was during this time that Henry met Clara Bryant. When they married in 1888, Henry's father gave him a large piece of land on which Henry built a small house, a sawmill, and a shop to tinker in.

Comment Stream