Henry Ford was the industrialist founder of the Ford Motor Company, and innovator of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. He was born in the American state of Michigan to William and Mary Ford.
He was not the inventor of automobile, which is generally accredited wrongly to him. However, he manufactured an affordable automobile for many middle-class Americans. He and his company famously introduced the ‘Model T’ automobile, which revolutionized American industry and transportation.
Here are 28 interesting facts about Henry Ford that will inspire you to do some things that might make a difference to the world.
1. The Ford Motor Company made Henry Ford one of the richest and well-known people of his time.
2. He is considered to be the inventor of mass production. He made use of this concept in his motor company, which drastically brought down the cost of automobile ownership in America at the time.
3. Ford was gifted a pocket watch by his father during his early teens. During that time, he dismantled and reassembled the watch, as well as the watches of several of his friends and relatives. Through these efforts, he gained quite a reputation as a watch repairman.
4. After the sad loss of his mother in 1876, his father wanted Henry to take responsibility and work on the farm. However, Henry disapproved of this and said that he was not interested in farm work. In his earlier years, he was willing to perform farm work due to the fact that his mother was present. However, he had no interest in the farm apart from his mother.
5. He disliked working on the farm, but turned to farming at the age of 25, once he was married. He had to do it to support his family.
Note: read 10 life changing quotes by Henry Ford after fact no. 28.
6. In 1891, Ford joined Edison Illuminating Company and got promoted as a Chief Engineer in 1893. At this time, he had enough money and time to pursue his curiosity and talent, and started working on gasoline engines.
7. He was inspired by Edison to build cars. In 1896, Ford had a meeting with Thomas Edison, where Edison approved of his automobile experimentation.
8. In 1918, Ford was convinced by President Woodrow Wilson to compete for the seat of senate as a Democrat. However, he disapproved of spending money for the election campaigns and lost by only 4500 votes, which was still a remarkable achievement.
9. In 1928, during an interview with the Detroit Times, Ford revealed that the source of his inspiration and the work he had done was somewhat mysterious. He dedicated his brilliance to a ‘Master Mind’. He further stated that: “Somewhere is a Master Mind sending brain wave messages to us. There is a Great Spirit. I never did anything by my own volition. I was pushed by invisible forces within and without me.”
10. Ford also founded the Ford Airline Company during World War I due to his interest in the aviation industry. However, lackluster sales prevented the company from becoming successful.
11. Henry ford did not just build cars. He performed various jobs before eventually pioneering the automobile industry. He was a farmer, a watch repairman and a race car driver.
12. Ford’s third automobile company eventually bought success to him. His other two automobile companies were the Detroit Automobile Company and the Henry Ford Company.
13. Ford has 161 unique patents to his name. He was fascinated by science and inventions, in particular. And he never stopped being a scientist; as an inventor, he believed could have a significant impact on the world.
14. Ford attempted to build a city in the middle of the Amazon, but got defeated in his efforts. The concept was to build an entire city to obtain a supply of rubber. It was called Fordlandia, and the town is still empty to this day.
15. Ford worked relentlessly to bring industrial production costs down and improve efficiency. He established the first moving assembly line in 1913.
16. Ford dominated the U.S. automobile market in the early 1900s with half of all automobiles produced.
17. Ford was a promoter of peace, and embarked on a peace mission in 1915. Taking a sea route to Europe, his ship was dubbed the “Ship of Fools” by the media.
18. Ford believed in the potential of his working staff and offered them handsome salaries. His idea was to keep the workers satisfied and content with their jobs by paying them handsome wages. At that time, he was paying almost double the standard wages, which attracted a lot of talent and skill to his company. This leveraged the production and quality of the overall work performed at the company, making it hugely successful.
19. Ford is the only American mentioned favorably in Adolf Hitler’s semi-autobiographical ‘Mein Kampf.’ In 1931, Adolf Hitler also called Ford an “inspiration,” publicly.
20. Ford believed in reincarnation.