Henry Ford and the Assembly Line

Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry when he innovated the assembly line. Previously cars were assembled piece by piece, by moving workers along lines of parts. Ford had the vision to move the parts past the workers instead. Ford had developed the idea after witnessing the Meat Packing industry of Chicago. After seeing a meat factory that moved meat past its workers, Ford had the idea to do the same. He effectively diminished both the time it took to produce one car and the cost of each unit. Because of this, Ford was able to give workers 5$ days! This was revolutionary at the time, and workers flocked to Detroit to have the opportunity to make five dollars a day. Ford effectivley reduced the time it took to build one car from 12 hours to around 1.5 hours. The assembly line moved and worked so efficiently, paint became a bottleneck. At the time paint took many hours to cool and dry, but black paint dried relatively quickly. As a result, Ford chose to use only black on his initial Ford Model T’s in order to speed up the process. Although the character of Henry Ford was constantly called into questions (SEE HERE), his legacy as an American innovator and father of industry will forever live on.

Aside:
Poem published in a Ford Company Magazine in 1940

We have sworn to you once,
But now we make our allegiance permanent.
Like currents in a torrent lost,
We all flow into you.
Even when we cannot understand you,
We will go with you.
One day we may comprehend,
How you can see our future.
Hearts like bronze shields,
We have placed around you,
And it seems to us, that only
You can reveal God’s world to us.

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