Emily MacKinnon, Executive Assistant in
On this day, October 1, 1908, the first production of the Model T is completed and shipped out to the first customer: it is painted black, made with vanadium alloy steel, has a top speed of 45 km/h, and sells for $850 (equating to roughly $25,000 today). It had a 22-Horsepower, 4 cylinder engine and could run on hemp-based fuel or gasoline.
On June 16th, 1903, when Henry Ford founded his company, the Ford Motor Company. He didn't have much money at this time as he had just broken ties with investors that were rushing his and insisted, he stops trying to improve everything. So he had to use whatever materials he could get cheaply – at the time wood frames were used for cars as they were cheaper than metal, this meant that the cars were less durable, and couldn't handle bumps in the road very well. This made the cars somewhat dangerous to drive. Henry's first car was the Model A. It was introduced in 1903 but wasn't successful at all, partly because it couldn’t handle the poor roads.
The Model T was his greatest success in 1908, due to its boundary-pushing features which other models had not seen before. The first vehicle to be made with Vanadium alloy steel, which was lightweight and had a taller ground clearance that could withstand the bad road conditions. It introduced the first placement of the steering wheel on the left side, as well as the first vehicle with an engine block and crankcase cast as a combined single unit.
The automobile was so successful that Ford continued to produce it until 1927, making major changes in the car's design over the years. Henry and his car revolutionized the automobile industry.
Due in part to the success of the Model T, Henry was able to open up his first-ever automobile dealership known as The Henry Ford Company. By the 1920s more than half of the vehicles globally registered on the road were Ford's with more than 15,000,000 Model T’s having been made and sold.
Though Henry Ford was at the helm of this car revolution, there were others that had a hand in it as well.
In 1909 an auto dealer by the name of James Couzens when visiting his manufacturing assembly, suggested that Henry use a conveyor belt when moving cars from one place to another as they moved faster than horses did. Henry agreed and not long after he had built a factory with such a system in Highland Park, Michigan; creating what we now know as production lines. In 1914 Ford changed the minimum wage above the industry standard at the time from $2.34 for a 9 hour day to $5 for the day.
By 1924 the River Rouge Ford Plant in Dearborn, Michigan was capable of manufacturing 10,000 Model T cylinder blocks in a day.
Today, the Motor Company is a multinational company that is still an industry leader around the world. Henry Ford revolutionized not only how we drive today but also our lifestyle in general.
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