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We take a look back at some of the highlights from Henry Ford's automotive legacy, following the 150th anniversary of his birth

This week marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford, a man whose ideas brought mobility to the masses.

His introduction of the car to the mass market helped transform quiet agricultural areas into busy, vibrant industrial and urban markets. 

It wasn't only his vehicles that proved innovative, however. He perfected the first moving assembly line for cars, reducing the production time of a Model T from 12.5 man-hours to 1.5 man-hours in 18 months. 

He doubled his workers' pay in 1914 too, from $2.34 a day to $5, while reducing hours, to cut down on high turnover rates among staff. 

The principle of 'vertical integration' was also employed by Ford, whereby he sought to own, operate and coordinate all of the equipment, processes and materials required to produce complete vehicles.

Since then, the company has gone on to produce myriad important and successful models, including the Mustang, Model T, F150 and he more familiar GT40, Escort, Sierra, Granada, Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo, while concepts like the Evos show what Ford's future might look like.

“What my great-grandfather established, especially his legacy of innovation, continues to inspire our commitment to a strong business, great products and a better world,” commented Ford's chairman and great grandson of Henry, Bill Ford.

“We are putting unexpected levels of technology within reach of millions of people, accelerating the development of new products that customers want and value, and driving growth by creating jobs.”

Henry Ford passed away on April 7th, 1947, at the age of 83. “My great-grandfather’s vision was to improve people’s lives by making cars affordable for the average family,” said Bill Ford.

“His vision to build cars that are reasonably priced, reliable and efficient still resonates and defines our vision today.”

Celebrations at the Ford Motor Company's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, will continue throughout the year to commemorate the man.

Click through the pictures above to browse some of the company's automotive highlights From Europe and north America.

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BenC30 5 August 2013

Henry Ford

I guess that's why Packard ended up making the Merlin engine instead of Ford. Edsel wanted to make them for Britain, but Henry must have been too much of a Nazi.  

kcrally 4 August 2013

@ Mellow, most CEO's are

@ Mellow, most CEO's are b@stards, in any company. You don't get to the top by being nice. Apart from that some great classic Fords, even a Bronco. I'm waiting for a replica RS200. The Mondeo Touring cars of the 90's, stick to mind.

Londonist 5 August 2013

No-one's asking for nice.

There's a broad path between being a complete SOB and being 'nice', and Henry Ford never found it. The only American to be named in 'Mein Kampf' he founded a newspaper expressly to propagate his personal brand of virulent anti-Semitism and launched his own grand colonial adventure ('Fordlandia') which somehow escapes mention in the official histories despite having loomed large for years, ruined lives and squandered millions. Love the cars by all means, but despise the man and recognise that he is not to be mistaken for industry's usual kind of self-seeking, empire-building visionary. WO Bentley wasn't nice, Enzo Ferrari wasn't nice, Ettore Bugatti wasn't nice, Gianni Agnelli wasn't nice and I don't suppose the current crop are very nice either, but there's a world of difference between being autocratic and being Henry Ford and no amount of justifiably lauded classics should disguise the fact that he was and remains a bad'un.

Uncle Mellow 3 August 2013

Henry Ford

Yes old Henry was a visionary, but he was also an absolute b@stard.