Friday Filosophy v.12.09.2022
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, business magnate, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production. By creating the first automobile that middle-class Americans could afford, he converted the automobile from an expensive luxury into an accessible conveyance that profoundly impacted the landscape of the 20th century.
His introduction of the Ford Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the Ford Motor Company owner, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with “Fordism“, the mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout North America and major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to permanently control it.
Henry Ford was born July 30, 1863, on a farm in Springwells Township, Michigan. His father, William Ford (1826–1905), was born in County Cork, Ireland, to a family that had emigrated from Somerset, England in the 16th century. His mother, Mary Ford (née Litogot; 1839–1876), was born in Michigan as the youngest child of Belgian immigrants; her parents died when she was a child and she was adopted by neighbors, the O’Herns. Henry Ford’s siblings were Margaret Ford (1867–1938); Jane Ford (c. 1868–1945); William Ford (1871–1917) and Robert Ford (1873–1934). Ford finished eighth grade at a one room school, Springwells Middle School. He never attended high school; he later took a bookkeeping course at a commercial school.
His father gave him a pocket watch when he was 12. At 15, Ford dismantled and reassembled the timepieces of friends and neighbors dozens of times, gaining the reputation of a watch repairman. At twenty, Ford walked four miles to their Episcopal church every Sunday.
Ford was devastated when his mother died in 1876. His father expected him to take over the family farm eventually, but he despised farm work. He later wrote, “I never had any particular love for the farm—it was the mother on the farm I loved.”
In 1879, Ford left home to work as an apprentice machinist in Detroit, first with James F. Flower & Bros., and later with the Detroit Dry Dock Co. In 1882, he returned to Dearborn to work on the family farm, where he became adept at operating the Westinghouse portable steam engine. He was later hired by Westinghouse to service their steam engines.
Ford stated two significant events occurred in 1875 when he was 12. He received the watch, and he witnessed the operation of a Nichols and Shepard road engine, “…the first vehicle other than horse-drawn that I had ever seen”. In his farm workshop, Ford built a “steam wagon or tractor” and a steam car, but thought “steam was not suitable for light vehicles,” as “the boiler was dangerous.” Ford also said that he “did not see the use of experimenting with electricity, due to the expense of trolley wires, and “no storage battery was in sight of a weight that was practical.” In 1885, Ford repaired an Otto engine, and in 1887 he built a four-cycle model with a one-inch bore and a three-inch stroke. In 1890, Ford started work on a two-cylinder engine.
Ford stated, “In 1892, I completed my first motor car, powered by a two-cylinder four horsepower motor, with a two-and-half-inch bore and a six-inch stroke, which was connected to a countershaft by a belt and then to the rear wheel by a chain. The belt was shifted by a clutch lever to control speeds at 10 or 20 miles per hour, augmented by a throttle. Other features included 28-inch wire bicycle wheels with rubber tires, a foot brake, a 3-gallon gasoline tank, and later, a water jacket around the cylinders for cooling. Ford added that “in the spring of 1893 the machine was running to my partial satisfaction and giving an opportunity further to test out the design and material on the road.” Between 1895 and 1896, Ford drove that machine about 1000 miles. He then started a second car in 1896, eventually building three of them in his home workshop.
- When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.
- If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
- Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
- If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.
- Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.
- You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
- Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.
- I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn’t need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about.
- Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.
- It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.
- Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
The Time is Now