Henry Ford (1863-1947) is one of the most famous American industrialists. He is considered one of the pioneers of the automotive industry, having managed to make cars affordable for the masses. Ford’s book “My life, my achievements” is considered a classic of the organization of work, it was published even in the USSR in 1924.
Ford’s innovations have become an important part of the modern economic system. The biography of the famous businessman is widely known, nevertheless there are many myths about Ford. Some fallacies romanticize this character, making him a business genius, while others – on the contrary, display his ambiguous actions.
Ford was not an easy, but bright character, possessing unbiased views and convictions. The main myths about a talented businessman, industrialist and organizer, we will consider. Henry Ford created (sold) the first car.
This is one of the most common myths about Henry Ford. His name is strongly associated with the dawn of the automotive industry. The first self-moving car, using the power of steam, was created by Nicholas Joseph Cagnot in 1769. The task for this development he received from the French military minister. The country needed a practical transport for the transportation of artillery. And the first really car was created by the German inventor Karl Benz. His patent N37435 dated January 29, 1886, concerned exactly the device, whose fuel was gasoline. Three-wheeled crew had two seats. By the time of the appearance of Ford in America for 10 years, such devices sold Daimler Motor Company. Yes, and the first commercially successful car in the country appeared, thanks to Alexander Winton. Even the first mass car in America was created by Ranson Olds. And Henry Ford was one of the most active distributors of cars, being able to make them available to the public.
Henry Ford invented the conveyor.
This myth is also quite popular. However, the concept of the assembly line was introduced by Olds in his company in 1901. It was thanks to her that she managed to develop mass production. The concept even received a patent. Parts and components of the car moved on special carts from one worker to another. But only in 1913 Henry Ford began to introduce the conveyor in its production. As early as 1903, he observed how the carcasses of animals under the influence of their own gravity fall under the knife knives. This helped to form my own idea, which helped to optimize production. At the same time, Ford’s stream assembly was used for the first time for a technically complex design. The car Ford Model T was made in just a couple of hours and cost $ 400.
Henry Ford increased the worker’s salary to $ 5 a day so that they could buy his cars.
Another popular myth claims that Ford consciously raised his workers’ salaries. Ostensibly the industrialist understood that, when creating the middle class, he formed the community of the future buyers of his product. In fact, increasing wages to $ 5 per day in 1914 was primarily intended to reduce employee turnover. Concern for poor workers in this case was not observed. In 1913, Ford had to hire 52,000 people, although only 14,000 were required to carry out the tasks. The assembly of cars was a difficult task, which determined the turnover of personnel. The businessman realized that it was easier to increase the salary than every time to look for and train new workers. A few years later, Ford took a diametrically opposite position. He, like other automakers, refused to raise wages to workers. Yes, and in the famous $ 5 half was a bonus, which still deserved deserved exemplary behavior, the lack of social vices. For example, recent migrants were required to attend English courses in order to adapt to the new environment as quickly as possible. Women were not entitled to a bonus, unless they were alone. Men were denied surcharge if their spouses worked somewhere else.There is also no need to talk about the additional demand for cars from the workers. At Ford’s plants, 14,000 people worked, and the machines sold 170,000 pieces a year. So it was not the workers who were the main buyers of the products.
Ford offered its Ford T model in any color, if it was black.
This phrase became famous, giving birth to the concept of the classic color of the car. Her in his autobiography was mentioned by Henry Ford himself. But the first four years of production of the famous black model in options was not at all. The customer, depending on the bodywork, was available in blue, green, red or gray. In 1910, the company introduced a new shade, Brewster Green (dark green). Soon a dark blue version of the machine appeared. And only in 1913 black color was introduced. It turns out that he is asleep twice as fast as others. In the pipeline environment, this has become a valuable option. Coloring cars in other colors meant either slowing down the process, or the need for additional warehouses, which directly affected the profit. So the black color turned out to be trivial, rather than stylish. And in 1916, sales of Ford T soared to the skies, which is why in four years almost all cars were of this color. When the public began to lose interest in the brand, they again offered to choose the entire palette. By the end of the production cycle in 1927, five variants of Ford T colors were offered, but it itself is already hopelessly outdated.
Henry Ford designed the legendary model of Ford T.
Henry Ford went down in history as a great industrialist, not as an engineer. Behind such people are usually assistants, who remain unknown to the general public. The design of the Ford T was created by Josef Galam, an emigrant from Hungary, and Charles Sorenson, an ethnic Dane. These individuals were close to Ford, playing an important role in the formation of his firm. Sorenson was considered the right-hand man of a businessman, working in the company until the 1950s, Galamas is widely considered the true creator of the Ford assembly line.
Ford was so mean that even looking for landfills for reusable parts.
For these purposes, the industrialist allegedly hired special agents. This story was invented by the zoologist Nicholas Humphrey, publishing it in the form of an anecdote in his newspaper in 1976. It was about the fact that Ford’s assistants in the dumps searched for details that never broke. It turned out that nothing could be restored, except for the kingpins. In each recycled Ford T, these parts looked completely new. The journalist said that Henry Ford instead of pride in the quality of these products ordered to start saving on them, making the worst quality. This story seems to have been invented to illustrate the theory of resource allocation efficiency with the help of natural selection. However, the bike attracted the attention of writers, based on it, the myth about the stinginess of Ford. Henry Ford was an exemplary husband.
Henry Ford married at 25, he did not drink, did not smoke, made his wife and son co-owner of his business. But this is only an external idealized picture. The road to Ford’s success was not easy. For marriage with Clara Henry had to take from his father as a gift of land and promise to engage in farming. This young American did not restrain his oath and fled to the city. Clara had to live with a man who considered life, not his family, as his main job. Henry has always been stingy for praise and compliments. It’s good that his wife always supported him, having received from her husband the nickname “Believer”. But Clara spent hours at the dinner table waiting for her husband to return because of what she was even rumored to have fallen in love with cold food. In winter, the woman had to spend hours at the work table Henry kerosene lamp, which affected the health of women.
Ford was an exemplary father.
Many Ford biographers note that he liked to mess around with his son, went fishing with him, always called him “expensive baby” in letters. And already in 26 years Edsel was appointed president of Ford Motor Company.But the heir to the empire was not at all like his father. Edsel represented another generation, he liked art, charity. The father even called his son “a non-standard nut” and opposed his entry to the university. Edsela Henry Ford forcibly forced to start working for his company. Father considered his personal hobbies of delirium, the style of leadership called slander, publicly canceling the decisions taken. Henry Ford has repeatedly stated that the heir does not justify his hopes. And when Edsel started complaining about health, the “caring” father accused him of being tearful and advised him to work more. As a result, younger Ford died of stomach cancer in 49 years.
Ford took care of his workers.
It was already considered what actually stood for raising wages. To monitor workers, the businessman hired brigade leaders, who, in fact, were ordinary bandits. When sales fell, Ford did not hesitate to dissolve his employees. They could sit for half a year without pay and work, waiting for changes in fate. And in 1931, when the Great Depression affected the company of Ford himself, he immediately fired most of the workers. Then there was even a riot, which resulted in the death of five people. The newspapers directly wrote that the carnage was caused exactly by Ford. In addition, he was one of the most principled opponents of trade unions, and sometimes even resorted to organized crime to solve problems with employees. And even the moment came when Ford was ready to close his company, and not to put up with the unions. The situation was solved only by his wife Clara, threatening with her departure.
Ford adhered to the right canonical views on life.
Henry Ford was raised in puritanical traditions. He considered work to be the only meaning in life. However, he did not trust anyone. Ford believed that the basis of the work should be honest, but considered it necessary to introduce strict control. Workers in his eyes were to turn into some ideal people, through appropriate education. Ford’s factories surrounded the veil of mystery that was happening there – hiding from everyone. The brigadiers even visited the workers at home, checking how they spend their leisure time, what they eat and whether the family is friendly. Ford welcomed the denunciations. The workers even joked that they rented ideal wives to match the ideals of their boss.
Henry Ford was a patriot of his country, supporting her in world wars.
At the beginning of the First World War, a businessman on the Oscar-2 with a group of pacifists went to Europe, calling for a halt to the war. But Ford was cruelly ridiculed and had to return to his homeland. Only in 1917, after the entry into the war of America, Ford’s company accepted a military order. She produced helmets, gas masks, light tanks and even submarines. The businessman even announced that he would return all the profits to the state. This created Ford an image of a patriot, but there is no evidence that he kept that promise. In the 1930s, Ford financially supported the Nazi Party, his portrait even hung in the residence of Hitler. And in 1940 the Ford plant in the German-occupied territory of France began to produce goods for the Wehrmacht. For this, Ford even received the highest award of the Third Reich for foreigners – the Order of Merit of the German Eagle. Thanks to the cooperation of the American with the Nazis, the confiscation of the plant was avoided.
Henry Ford was the pride of the country, thanks to including him and it gained economic power.
Do not underestimate the role of Ford in the development of America. His company produced a huge amount of products. It is no coincidence that Ford called the man of the century and the millennium different editions. At the same time, the businessman showed himself as an outspoken anti-Semite. Ford claimed that the world wars were staged by the Jews, they are jazz and short skirts. Such views provoked resentment both in America itself and in other countries. Ford even published his articles under the general title “International Jewry”, in Russia this book is still considered extremist today.The businessman was accused of an attempt on American civil and democratic principles. The case of libel against the Jews, he shamefully lost, by apologizing and paying a fine. With such a bad train, Ford could not be the pride of the country. Henry Ford created only cars.
Ford created not only a car company. In 1925, his airline, Ford Airways, was born. At the same time, Ford acquired the firm of William Stout and began to produce the aircraft himself. The first-born was a three-engine Ford 3-AT Air Pullman. And the most famous was the model Ford Trimotor (Tin Gus). This all-metal three-engined monoplane was serially produced in 1927-1933. In total, the company produced 199 such aircraft. They were in operation until 1989. Few people know that Henry Ford was an indefatigable inventor, receiving 161 patents. It is no coincidence that his close friend was Thomas Edison himself. And Ford has thought up including coal briquettes for barbecues and mangas, without which today there is not a single family trip to nature.