The methods Ford used to make and sell cars revolutionized American manufacturing and marketing. Consumer mobility provided by his cars and the increase of leisure time provided by his farm machinery helped create suburban sprawl and spawned roadside eateries, motels, and other consumer-oriented enterprises.
Henry Ford’s early life was spent on the family farm in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford became obsessed with machinery and ways to use it to improve people’s lives. At the age of twenty-four, he married Clara Bryant, who became a major force in his business successes by acting as a sounding board and consultant, and the couple moved to Detroit to pursue his goals.
The bicycle had become extremely popular during the late nineteenth century. Ford was disappointed that his motorized bicycle was not the first and became determined to make the fastest and most streamlined gasoline-powered version. Ford’s quadricycle, his first “
Intended to appeal to the masses rather than the wealthy, most Ford automobiles were sturdy, affordable, and of simple design. Ford created and produced cars for average people and provided the first nationally known
Ford cars were soon in huge demand, which could be satisfied only by
In addition to cars, Ford also designed and built farm machinery and airplanes that were widely used by both private and military operations. Ford’s personal and business style affected American business in the realms of workforce and labor policies and had a far-reaching impact on governmental regulation of industry.
Brinkley, Douglas. Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress, 1903-2003. New York: Penguin Books, 2004. Ford, Henry. My Life and Work. 1922. Reprint. New York: Arno Press, 1973. Marquis, Samuel S. Henry Ford: An Interpretation. Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 2007.
Automation in factories
Chrysler bailout of 1979
Ford Model T
Ford Motor Company
American Industrial Revolution