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.