Friday, October 8, 2010

Henry Ford -The Inspirational Inventor

''Be the change you want to see in the world.'' - Mahatma Gandhi.

Friends here i start with a famous saying of Mahatma Gandhi.
Let all of us know great inspirational stories of the people who motivated many people around the world.

 Friends now i'm back with an inspirational story of Henry Ford who is the great inventor of 'mass production' and founder of the great motor company 'Ford'. He inspired many and many around the world. Adolf Hitler was also one among the inspired people. Not only in the past, even in the present world he is an inspirational person for many entrepreneurs. 

So let us begin another odyssey of the great person Henry Ford...........

His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism", that is, mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. He is none another than the great person 'Mr.Henry Ford.'


Henry Ford realized he'd need a more efficient way to mass produce cars in order to lower the price. He looked at other industries and found four principles that would further their goal: interchangeable parts, continuous flow, division of labor, and reducing wasted effort. Ford put these principles into play gradually over five years, fine-tuning and testing as he went along. In 1913, they came together in the first moving assembly line ever used for large-scale manufacturing. Ford produced cars at a record-breaking rate.

Henry Ford's parents left Ireland during the potato famine and settled in the Detroit area in the 1840s. Ford was born in what is now Dearborn, Michigan on July 30, 1863. His formal education was limited, but even as a youngster, he was handy with machinery. He constructing his first steam engine (1878) at the age of 15. He became a machinist's apprentice in Detroit at the age of 16.

In 1888, Henry Ford married Clara Bryant and moves to an 80-acre farm in what is today Dearborn. Five years later their only child Edsel Bryant Ford is born.In 1891, Ford became an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company. After his promotion to Chief Engineer in 1893, he had enough time and money to devote attention to his personal experiments on gasoline engines.These experiments culminated in 1896 with the completion of a self-propelled vehicle which he named the Ford Quadricycle. After various test-drives, Ford brainstormed ways to improve the Quadricycle.

Also in 1896, Ford attended a meeting of Edison executives, where he was introduced to Thomas Edison. Edison approved of Ford's automobile experimentation; encouraged by him, Ford designed and built a second vehicle, completing it in 1898.Backed by the capital of Detroit lumber baron William H. Murphy, Ford resigned from Edison and founded the Detroit Automobile Company on August 5, 1899. However, the automobiles produced were of a lower quality and higher price than Ford liked. Ultimately, the company was not successful and was dissolved in January 1901.

With the help of C. Harold Wills, Ford designed, built, and successfully raced a 26-horsepower automobile in October 1901. With this success, Murphy and other stockholders in the Detroit Automobile Company formed the Henry Ford Company on November 30, 1901, with Ford as chief engineer. However, Murphy brought in Henry M. Leland as a consultant and, as a result, Ford left the company bearing his name in 1902. With Ford gone, Murphy renamed the company the Cadillac Automobile Company.

Ford also produced the 80+ horsepower racer "999" which Barney Oldfield was to drive to victory in a race in October 1902.Ford received the backing of an old acquaintance, Alexander Y. Malcomson, a Detroit-area coal dealer.They formed a partnership, "Ford & Malcomson, Ltd." to manufacture automobiles.

Ford & Malcomson was reincorporated as the Ford Motor Company on June 16, 1903, with $28,000 capital.In a newly designed car, Ford gave an exhibition on the ice of Lake St. Clair, driving 1 mile (1.6 km) in 39.4 seconds, setting a new land speed record at 91.3 miles per hour (147.0 km/h).

In 1907, Henry Ford announced his goal for the Ford Motor Company: to create "a motor car for the great multitude." At that time, automobiles were expensive, custom-made machines. Ford's engineers took the first step towards this goal by designing the Model T, a simple, sturdy car, offering no factory options -- not even a choice of color. The Model T, first produced in 1908, kept the same design until the last one -- number 15,000,000 -- rolled off the line in 1927.
From the start, the Model T was less expensive than most other cars, but it was still not attainable for the "multitude." Ford realized he'd need a more efficient way to produce the car in order to lower the price. He and his team looked at other industries and found four principles that would further their goal: interchangeable parts, continuous flow, division of labor, and reducing wasted effort.

Using interchangeable parts meant making the individual pieces of the car the same every time.

o improve the flow of the work, it needed to be arranged so that as one task was finished, another began, with minimum time spent in set-up. Ford was inspired by the meat-packing houses of Chicago and a grain mill conveyor belt he had seen. If he brought the work to the workers, they spent less time moving about. He adopting the Chicago meatpackers overhead trolley to auto production by installing the first automatic conveyer belt.

Then he divided the labor by breaking the assembly of the Model T into 84 distinct steps. Each worker was trained to do just one of these steps.

Ford called in Frederick Winslow Taylor, the creator of "scientific management," to do time and motion studies to determine the exact speed at which the work should proceed and the exact motions workers should use to accomplish their tasks. There by reducing wasted effort.

Ford's solution was to invent a moving industrial production line. By installing a moving belt in his factory, employees would be able to build cars one piece at a time, instead of one car at a time. This principle, called "division of labor," allowed workers to focus on doing one thing very well, rather than being responsible for a number of tasks.

Ford gradually adapted the production line until in 1913, his plant incorporated the first moving assembly line. Demand for the affordable car soared even as production went up: before Ford stopped making the model T in 1927, 15 million had been sold, and Ford had become the leading auto manufacturer in the country. In addition to the moving assembly line, Ford revolutionized the auto industry by increasing the pay and decreasing the hours of his employees, ensuring he could get enough and the best workers. During the Model T era, Ford bought out his shareholders so he had complete financial control of the now vast corporation. He continued to innovate, but competitors (growing more powerful though fewer in number) began to cut into Ford's market share.

Henry Ford was a pioneer of "welfare capitalism", designed to improve the lot of his workers and especially to reduce the heavy turnover that had many departments hiring 300 men per year to fill 100 slots. Efficiency meant hiring and keeping the best workers.

Ford had another notion, rather original in its time: the workers were also potential consumers! In 1914, Ford workers' wages were raised to $5 a day -- an excellent wage -- and they soon proved him right by buying their own Model Ts. Ford was called "a traitor to his class" by other industrialists and professionals, but he held firm in believing that well-paid workers would put up with dull work, be loyal, and buy his cars.

Ford's manufacturing principles were adopted by countless other industries. The process was so revolutionary that the term "to Fordize" meant to standardize a product and manufacture it by mass means at a price so low that the common man could afford to buy it. Henry Ford went beyond his 1907 goal of making cars affordable for all; he changed the habits of a nation, and shaped its very character.

Henry Ford opposed war, which he thought was a waste of time. Ford became highly critical of those who he felt financed war, and he tried to stop them. He believed effort was better spent making things.

Ford and Adolf Hitler admired each other's achievements. Adolf Hitler kept a life-size portrait of Ford next to his desk.[39] "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration," Hitler told a Detroit News reporter two years before becoming the Chancellor of Germany in 1933.In July 1938, four months after the German annexation of Austria, the Nazi government awarded Ford the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal for foreigners.

Ford disliked the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and did not approve of U.S. involvement in the war. From 1939 to 1943, the War Production Board's dealings with the Ford Motor Company were with other officials in the organization, such as Edsel Ford and Charles Sorensen, much more than with Ford. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ford initially refused to convert his factories to war work. During this time, Ford did not stop his executives from cooperating with Washington, but he did not get deeply involved. Focusing on his pet projects, he watched as the work progressed. After Edsel Ford's passing(death), Henry Ford resumed control of the company in 1943.

After years of the Great Depression, labor strife, and New Deal, Ford suspected people in Washington were conspiring to wrest the company from his control.His attitude inspired background chatter in Washington about how to undermine his control of the company, whether by wartime government fiat or by instigating some sort of coup among executives and directors. In 1945, "with the company teetering on the brink of bankruptcy,"Edsel's widow led an ouster and installed her son, Henry Ford II, as president of the Ford Motor Company.

In ill health, Ford ceded the presidency to his grandson Henry Ford II in September 1945 and went into retirement. He died in 1947 of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 83 in Fair Lane, his Dearborn estate, and he is buried in the Ford Cemetery in Detroit.
So friends, I hope that you will be inspired by his story. Even though without a good education he challenged every thing which opposed him. He even inspired the great Adolf Hitler. 

Here i give a few more words about Henry Ford.

''The story of Henry Ford is not of a prodigy entrepreneur or an overnight success. Ford grew up on a farm and might easily have remained in agriculture. But something stronger pulled at Ford's imagination: mechanics, machinery, understanding how things worked and what new possibilities lay in store. As a young boy, he took apart everything he got his hands on. He quickly became known around the neighborhood for fixing people's watches.''

Friends let any one of us try to be one of  greats in the world. Let we also be a change in which we want to see in the world as Mahatma said. Let us all try to utilize all the things to the maximum extent. Let us all fill up our parent's hopes on us. 

So friends thanks for being with me. I hope you all like this post.
Friends if any queries then please comment on my post. thanks for reading my post. So shall i leave now? Ok friends i'm leaving bye. Take care.

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