150th birthday: Henry Ford – the mobilizer of the masses

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Henry Ford – the mobilizer of the masses

150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-history

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By the end of the twenties at the latest, no major manufacturers could get past the tapes. They ran at Toyota in Japan, …

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-auto Henry Ford established the assembly line for his production, … ">

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It all started with Ford’s "Model T". Henry Ford established the assembly line for its production, …

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Juchem-Denise

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… so he managed to produce 15 million copies of his bestseller.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-auto

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In Europe, Citroen understood the fastest and from 1919 also assembled the Type A on the assembly line.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Chrysler

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Ford, on the other hand, expanded worldwide, here we see production in Berlin’s Westhafen.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Ford

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… in Trollhattan, Sweden, where Saab built the Type 92 …

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Assembly Line Work

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… or in the Fiat factory in Heilbronn, where the Topolino was assembled in the early 1950s.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Assembly Line Work

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The first Trabant is a child of the running belt, …

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Ford

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… just like the Spanish Seat 127.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Mobilizer

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VW started the tapes for the Beetle, …

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Assembly Line Work

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… and didn’t turn it off for decades. Here we see the 20 millionth copy.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Chrysler

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People worked where machines couldn’t help – for example here, when assembling the windshield for the Jaguar E-Type.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-auto

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The entire factory planning had long since become a question of efficiency.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Henry (I./1863-1947)

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Volvo, however, tried alternative concepts. A car is created here, without a band and in group work.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-history

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From the outside, the Volvo plant in Uddevalla also looks almost like an amusement park.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Juchem-Denise

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Opel was one of the band’s pioneers in Germany. Production was initially concentrated entirely on the "tree frog".

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Chrysler

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The Kadett was of course produced on an assembly line, …

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Dearborn

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… this Omega is the 25 millionth Opel ever built.

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-history

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Increasingly larger parts of the production are done by robots, …

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150th birthday: Henry Ford - the mobilizer of the masses-Chrysler

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… now without barriers between man and machine. Modern sensor technology makes this possible.

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Henry Ford was born 150 years ago today. He made the world mobile with his invention, introduced the first people’s car and paid good wages, but the working conditions were a nightmare.

"Whoever does what he can already do, always remains what he already is." Books can be filled with quotes and wisdom from Henry Ford. When he was born, nobody would have thought that this son of a farmer, who was never satisfied with what he was doing, would one day make history and revolutionize the automotive industry with his assembly line work.

The son of Irish immigrants, he was born on July 30, 1863 in Dearborn, near Detroit, in rather humble circumstances. He was interested in technology from an early age. He tinkered with machines and engines, always tried to optimize everything, among other things built a steam tug, which, in contrast to the machines common at the time, was lighter and therefore easier to handle.

In 1892, Ford, now a machinist and engineer at the "Edison Illuminating Company", his first car with a gasoline engine. But it was not until 1908 that the production of his Model T (Tin Lizzy or Blechliesel) could start. Meanwhile, Ford had quit his permanent job and started his own company in 1903, the Ford Motor Company.

Best-selling car in the world – right up to the Beetle

Henry Ford had a vision: unlike his competitors, he did not want to build a vehicle for well-heeled customers. He dreamed of offering a car for the masses.

In 1910, Ford moved the manufacturing facility to Highland Park, Michigan. There he put the first assembly line into operation in 1913. It led to the rationalization of manufacturing.

His plan worked. The Model T is changing the face of America, especially in the rural areas. More than 15 million units of the car, which was only available in black and without extras, were produced between 1908 and 1927. It was not until 1972 that VW was able to break this record with its Beetle.

Ford continued to improve production lines by standardizing the manufacture of parts and further promoting the division of labor. As a result, the cars were also cheaper to buy and more affordable for the general public.

Good salaries, but monotonous way of working

One man, one movement was the motto. Instead of twelve hours, it now only took an hour and a half to assemble a car with the assembly line work. The price fell from $ 825 to $ 260 as a result of this way of working.

Ford passed the savings on to its factory workers in part through massive wage increases and profit sharing. In return, however, he demanded the unconditional adaptation of the workers to the assembly line system. A monotonous work with always the same hand movements that critics denounced again and again. He also categorically rejected works councils.

Henry Ford died in Dearborn on April 7, 1947, at the age of 83. The Ford family continues to watch over the company to this day. Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, chairs the board of directors. However, the business is run by Alan Mulally, a former Boeing manager.

Ford was the only one of the three US auto companies that got through the 2009 economic crisis without government aid, while General Motors and Chrysler had to be bailed out by taxpayers after their bankruptcy. Henry Ford should be proud.

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