41 Interesting Facts About Henry Ford

Last updated on April 21st, 2018

22. 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 he could have a significant impact on the world.

23. 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.

24. Ford worked relentlessly to bring industrial production costs down and improve efficiency. He established the first moving assembly line in 1913. The first person to make use of stationary assembly lines was Ransom E. Olds. 

25. Reduction in production time: With the help of these lines, he turned many different parts into a complete chassis in just 93 minutes. Earlier the same process took 728 minutes.

26. With the help of mass production techniques, he eventually brought down the time to produce a Model T to a mere 24 seconds. The Ford Motor Company did not just revolutionize the US automobile market but it also ushered the country’s infrastructural and technological development.

27. Without the moving assembly line: Initially, Ford’s cars would sat on the ground throughout the building process, and mechanics would source parts and build the car from the chassis upwards. The moving assembly line also had feeder lines that would supply the right parts at the right time. This was crucial for the success of the whole idea of moving assembly lines.

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28. Ford dominated the U.S. automobile market in the early 1900s with half of all automobiles produced.

29. 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.

30. 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.

31. 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.

32. Ford believed in reincarnation.

33. Ford was against cigarette smoking, and also published a book highlighting the health hazards of smoking, which was considered normal at the time.

34. Interestingly, Ford was never officially an executive of his own company. He had de facto control of the business, and no one in the company dared to go against him.

35. Ford hated car racing; however, he was a car racer for some time during his career. He pursued the task only to promote his cars and the company, and not as a hobby or out of any natural passion for car racing. In 1996, Ford was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

36. The famous ‘999’: Ford also built many racing cars during his career, one of which is the “999”.

37. The Ford Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century, and with 16.5 million sold, it still makes the top-ten list of most-sold cars of all time (ranked eighth) as of 2012. These cars were produced between 1908 and 1927.

Ford's Model T Automobile
Ford’s Model T Automobile. Image Credit

38. Ford also owned a controversial newspaper, The Dearborn Independent.

39. Ford also had a museum known as The Henry Ford. Items representing American experience and American ingenuity are preserved in the museum.

40. Ford also shared his company’s profits with those employees who stayed with the company for more than six months and conducted their lives in a respectable manner. However, this move was later seen as his interference in the lives of so-called employees. Ultimately, this practice of profit sharing was abandoned.

41. He died of cerebral hemorrhage on April 7, 1947, long after contributing to the development of the American economy and starting one of the most successful companies of his time or any other. He will surely be remembered for centuries to come.

10 Inspiring thoughts by Henry Ford

1. “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

2. “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”

3. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

4. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

5. “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

6. “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”

7. “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.”

8. “The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”

9. “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”

10. “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”

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Quick facts about Henry Ford

BornJuly 30, 1863
Greenfield Township, Michigan, U.S.
DiedApril 7, 1947 (aged 83)
Fair Lane, Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
Languages KnownEnglish
Age At the time of death83 years
Field of WorkScience, Industrialization, Automobiles
AwardsOrder of the German Eagle, 1938 and Elliot Cresson Medal,1928.
ContributionsScience, Automobiles, Assembly Line, Industrialization
SpouseClara Jane Bryant (m. 1888)
ChildrenEdsel Ford
SignatureHenry Ford Signature
"Workers on the first moving assembly line put together magnetos and flywheels for 1913 Ford autos" Highland Park, MichiganFord assembly line 1913