10 Great Facts About Ford You Didn’t Know
Every great company has an irresistibly mysterious and fascinating history. This includes founders who, with great plans staking their entire life on a single turn of a wheel, to suddenly find that everything they’d worked to achieve isn’t going to happen, who then turn disasters into the greatest victories.
Similar stories can be found in every corner of the Ford Motor Company. From the first model and factory, to the fact that millions of dollars of cars were sold before a single production model was built, there’s an endless list of unbelievable and ‘impossible’ facts. Let’s explore a few.
- A Conveyor Belt of Cars
In the embryonic state of the Age of Industry, Ford set a trend that forever impacted commerce and industry. Henry Ford built an assembly line, after taking inspiration from an agricultural operation (hog slaughterhouses).
- Ford Takes Flight
At the turn of the century, Ford began manufacturing their own brand of single pilot airplanes. Although the Ford Airplane Company went belly under in the early 1930’s, their mechanical prowess is still honored today.
- Firmly Kept Decisions
While the Model T, one of Ford’s pioneer automobiles achieved immense success many years after its first run, Ford refused to make any major changes until necessity forced him to. This is interesting in light of the fact that his competitors were rapidly making drastic changes for the times.
- Commitment to Value and Quality
There’s a reason why Ford has never had to worry about having employees. Even during its conception, they paid their workers twice minimum wage, and had their competitors’ employees lining up to be among their ranks.
This is congruent with their commitment to provide the best vehicle at the lowest possible price, because their employees, including researchers, engineers and line workers, are among the best and the brightest in their field.
- Another Failed Car Company
Henry Ford actually built and owned a successful automobile company before the Ford Motor Company. Despite the fact that the Detroit Automobile Company had won awards for reliability and innovation, and were making reasonable sales, Ford closed the company. Perhaps he’d seen there was a limit to its success, or impending failure around the corner, but one things’ for sure.
He didn’t return to the public eye for many months. Just where did he go?
- Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Were Brothers?
Well, actually, no. But they were about as close as you could get without being blood related. They’d frequently meet up with other close friends, who were some of the most industriously and economically successful people in the world, such as Harvey Firestone, of the Firestone Tire Company.
It’s obvious that the pair were geniuses, if not some of the smartest and most powerful people that ever lived.
- A Breath of Fresh Air
At the time of Edison’s death, Ford son was at his bedside. As a heartwarming gift for one of his truest friends, Edison allowed him to capture his last breath in a glass jar and pass it on to Henry.
- Creative Manufacturing Tricks
Back in the early days of the Ford Motor Company, the most effective tools and methods for buffering new cars wasn’t available. So they devised a way of using ostrich feathers, and the results were surprisingly great.
- Staying True to Their Roots
Complex and dynamic business systems are on thing. Not one to needlessly waste money, the original Ford logo is the same one that’s been in use since 1907.
- An Influential Hobby
When Henry Ford decided to begin developing automobiles, he was working as Chief Engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company. With much encouragement from close friends, he tirelessly toiled in his own small garage, producing the first vehicle for a company that was to become the first to manufacture and sell them.