Ford’s Innovations still reverberate throughout our Culture today.
from USA Today 30 July 13 enhanced by Peter/CXO. Born & Raised in Detroit.
The Motor City, Detroit will have to live with the “notoriety” of having recently filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, but the can still claim pride in the fact that what Henry Ford started there, still impacts the country today. In my 10 years of giving Tours as a Model T driver at The Henry Ford Museum,
I’ve had my share of Unique Questions thru my 10 years. Last summer one young man was especially curious.
“So, this is the first car ever made?” “No,” I replied, “Ford did not invent the automobile.” “Yeah, but he invented the assembly line, right?”
“Well, no, that was Ransom Old (Oldsmobile) in 1901.” The young man looked perplexed. “Well, what in the heck did he invent?” I smiled at the young man.
“Ford invented the Traffic Jam,” which is pretty much the truth. Today marks the 150 anniversary of Ford’s birth, an appropriate time to reflect upon the impact that modern culture still feels from Ford’s Innovations. Starting out as a simple farm boy’s dream, Ford’s most popular car – the Model T – would clog our streets, create cities & suburbs, employ thousands and put America on a never-ending road trip.
Start of Assembly Line. When Ford’s Model T first hit the streets in 1908, America was a rural society, a nation powered by horses & steam locomotives (& a few steam cars). In 1914, with Ford’s adaptation of the first continuously moving Automobile Assembly Line (Old’s assembly line entailed men pulling chassis with ropes), a Model T rolled off the line every 24 seconds. By 1927, when the last Model T came off the assembly line, 15 million had been manufactured, ending 19 years of automotive domination in the automotive field [Market Share of » 50% – having reduced the Competition from 450 to 44 in this time period]. Ford left behind a concrete & steel world where industrial smokestacks replaced by grain silos along city horizons.
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