Henry Ford is a name that you probably know or at least have heard about the brand Ford and the cars they produce. But what many people don’t know that Henry Ford can be called the father of the modern auto industry, because he was the man that at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century molded car manufacturing and car industry into the heavy weight it is now.

Henry Ford was borne in July 30 of 1863 in a simple farmer family living in Greenfield Township in Michigan. His father was William Ford an immigrant from England, but his mother Mary was the first generation American from Belgian immigrant family. He was the eldest of the living Ford siblings. From a very early age Henry was fascinated by technologies more importantly by different mechanisms, so although his father wanted Henry to take over his family farm, he decided to peruse the carrier of an engineer. At first Henry worked as apprentice machinist in couple of firms in Detroit, but after a few years he moved back home where he started operating the Westinghouse portable steam engine, where his real love for engines was sparked.

In April 11 of 1888 Henry married Clara Jane Bryant and kept working on the farm until in 1891 he took a job at the Edison Illuminating Company, where in just two years he was promoted to Chief Engineer, allowing him to start working on his own experiments and ambitions to create a gasoline engine. Interestingly enough the peak of his engineer’s carrier came only when Ford was about 33 years old, when his experiments resulted into self-propelled vehicle that was called Ford-Quadricycle that had Fords first combustion engine and that was the start of Ford becoming the father of modern automobiles.

Following his invention he tweaked the design and in 1899 opened his own company to produce them commercially called Detroit automobile Company, however his business wasn’t as successful as he liked because they were able to produce only low quality and very expensive automobiles therefore just 2 years later his company was dissolved.

However Ford didn’t give in to human nature and didn’t give up, the same year building 26-horsepower automobile that he used to race on October of 1901. This success gave him the ability to make his investors trust him again and that November Henry Ford Company was borne, where he himself worked as the chief engineer. But even despite his name being in the company’s name, Ford wasn’t satisfied that William H. Murphy, one of the investors, brought in another consultant that resulted into Ford resigning the company and it becoming Cadillac Automobile Company.

Finally a year later Henry Ford got lucky and after meeting former racing cyclist Tom Copper and together producing 80 plus horsepower race car, Ford and Copper created Ford & Malcimson, Ltd. That was automobile manufacturing company financed by Fords old friend Alexander Y. Malcomson. Finally Ford and Copper was able to design an inexpensive automobile model and later, thanks to the pressure of the investors, reincorporated their company as Ford Motor Company and produced their first car model the “999”. Four years later came out the second model of their company – the Model T and so began the success of Ford Motor Company.

So many people think that Ford is now a well know figure only because he produced the world’s best car, but there actually is more to the name of Henry Ford than that. Henry Ford beat all odds and didn’t stop when something didn’t go as planned. On top of that Henry Ford was one of the best salesmen in his area and had a knack for marketing, which allowed him to make more than other automobile companies and establish the Ford name, because more than half of all cars in the US were Ford cars at the beginning of 20th century.

One mistake Henry Ford made is that even after the success he continued to stubbornly produce one style cars and only in black color, which let those car manufacturers that didn’t shy away from change and innovation beat them in sales later on. But no matter what, Henry continued to treat his workers with respect by increasing their salaries, which allowed him to go into history as one of the best known American industrialists and created a company that now is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the US.

Billy Miller
Latest posts by Billy Miller (see all)