Henry Ford

by Leo Norton from Boulder, Colorado in United States

Henry Ford: Inventor and Philanthropist

Henry Ford (1863-1947) was an automobile manufacturer during the early 1900s. He started off repairing watches as a boy and became known for doing the same for his neighbors. His father wanted him to take over working on the family farm, but he declined. Instead, he worked as an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit. While doing so, he built his first gasoline-powered horseless carriage.

Later in his life, he created the Ford Motor Company, on June 16, 1903. The Ford Company created the Model T, a revolutionary automobile at the time. The Model T had the steering wheel on the left, the engine and transmission enclosed, and had two elliptical springs. This made the Model T easy to drive, cheap, durable, and low maintenance. Henry Ford also helped develop the modern assembly line way of production, which changed how many products were manufactured and is still relevant today.

Henry Ford also was very progressive in terms of his labor philosophy. He only hired people who he thought were the best so that he could have a few, very efficient people. He also hired women, handicapped men, and African American people, which was uncommon at the time. He paid workers $5 a day, which was double the average wage. He set five-day, 40-hour work weeks, which other companies weren't doing at the time. 

Henry Ford was also strongly against war. He used his massive wealth for social causes. He sent money to soldiers during World War I and II. He even tried to stop World War I before the U.S. got dragged into it. He sent a “peace ship” to Europe to attempt to end hostilities. He was unsuccessful, but he still stayed largely against all war and felt obligated to maintain peace in the world.

Henry Ford changed industry and inspired others to follow in his footsteps. His company is still a huge manufacturer of cars. Ford wasn’t just a rich CEO, however; he was also a generous philanthropist and inspired many other inventors and people in the car industry. He was incredibly determined and persevered through all of the challenges he faced. Without Ford’s contribution to modern engineering, the world wouldn’t be the same today.

Works Cited

Gelderman, Carol W. “Henry Ford.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 26 July 2019, Editors. “Henry Ford.”, A&E Television Networks, 9 Nov. 2009,

“The Life of Henry Ford.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service,


Page created on 2/28/2020 10:27:51 PM

Last edited 2/29/2020 1:19:10 AM

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