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Henry Ford Automobile Production

Most people think of Henry Ford as the man who invented the automobile, but his influence on the American society was far greater and will last for all time. Ford changed the face of the nation and set the stage for the entrepreneurs of today. He helped develop the infrastructure for automobiles, including roads and gas stations. He set a minimum wage for his workers. He shortened the workday. And, he created a successful assembly line for automobile mass production. He helped to create this nation’s middle class and acted to allow the workingman to realize some dreams. Ford was an autocrat but he believed firmly in the “little guy.”
In 1905, there were more than 50 companies each year trying to break into the automobile business; most of them did not succeed.1 Ford did. He had financial backers who believed the way to maximize the company’s profits was to build cars for the rich, but Ford had another idea — he believed the workers who built the cars should be able to afford to buy one themselves. He thought those workers should be able to take their families out for a spin in their cars on Sunday afternoons. Ford resisted his backer's demands and followed his own beliefs and eventually just bought out his investors’ interests so he could run the company exactly as he thought it should be run. That move made Ford the “father of the 20th century American industry.”2 The Model T that rolled out of the plant in 1908 was called Everyman car; it was elegant in simplicity and it was a dream for everyone.
Ford initiated industrial mass production in his auto plants but his interest was in mass consumption. Ford said: “Mass production requires mass consumption, which means higher wages.”3 His philosophy was simply this: if everyone earned a decent wage and he produced more cars in less time for less money, everyone in the country would buy his cars. One of the actions Ford took in 1913 to actualize his vision was to increase the mi…

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