Motoring History: Henry Ford (Part I)

HenryFord_youngHenry Ford was a lot of things: industrialist, self-made man, wealthy and successful, maker of men (as he liked to say).  His business philosophy became known as “Fordism” – mass produce inexpensive goods and pay high wages.  It seemed he had an opinion on just about everything in the world.  After he became successful, he printed his own newspaper espousing those (often controversial) views and opinions.

Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 to parents William and Mary (Litogot) Ford in Wayne County, Michigan not far from Detroit.  His father was born in Cork County, Ireland and his mother was the daughter of Belgian immigrants.  Henry was their eldest and four children followed him.  William, a farmer, expected his children would contribute by working on the family farm.  But, Henry was different – he was a tinkerer.

Rather than forcing him to perform chores he despised, his parents instead set up a work bench in the kitchen.  He repaired watches and studied every piece of machinery he encountered.  His ideas centered around making machinery that would make farm work easier.  After his mother died in 1876, farm life became even more tedious and tiresome.

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