Ford Motor Company
|Ford Motor Company started the last
century with a single man envisioning products that would meet the needs
of people in a world on the verge of high-gear industrialization.Ford Motor
Company entered the business world on June 16, 1903, when Henry Ford and
11 business associates signed the company's articles of incorporation.
With $28,000 in cash, the pioneering industrialists gave
birth to what was to become one of the world's largest corporations. Few
companies are as closely identified with the history and development of
industry and society throughout the 20th century as Ford Motor Company.
As with most great enterprises, Ford Motor Company's beginnings were
modest. The company had anxious moments in its infancy. The earliest
record of a shipment is July 20, 1903, approximately one month after
incorporation, to a Detroit physician. With the company's first sale
came hope—a young Ford Motor Company had taken its first steps.
Perhaps Ford Motor Company's single greatest contribution to automotive
manufacturing was the moving assembly line. First implemented at the
Highland Park plant (in Michigan, US) in 1913, the new technique allowed
individual workers to stay in one place and perform the same task
repeatedly on multiple vehicles that passed by them. The line proved
tremendously efficient, helping the company far surpass the production
levels of their competitors—and making the vehicles more affordable.
Henry Ford insisted that the company's future lay in the production of
affordable cars for a mass market. Beginning in 1903, the company began
using the first 19 letters of the alphabet to name new cars. In 1908,
the Model T was born. 19 years and 15 million Model T's later, Ford
Motor Company was a giant industrial complex that spanned the globe. In
1925, Ford Motor Company acquired the Lincoln Motor Company, thus
branching out into luxury cars, and in the 1930's, the Mercury division
was created to establish a division centered on mid-priced cars. Ford
Motor Company was growing.
In the 50's came the Thunderbird and the chance to own a part of Ford
Motor Company. The company went public and, on Feb. 24, 1956, had about
350,000 new stockholders. Henry Ford II's keen perception of political
and economic trends in the 50's led to the global expansion of FMC in
the 60's, and the establishment of Ford of Europe in 1967, 20 years
ahead of the European Economic Community's arrival. The company
established its North American Automotive Operations in 1971,
consolidating U.S., Canadian, and Mexican operations more than two
decades ahead of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Ford Motor Company started the last century with a single man
envisioning products that would meet the needs of people in a world on
the verge of high-gear industrialization. Today, Ford Motor Company is a
family of automotive brands consisting of: Ford, Lincoln, Mercury,
Mazda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, and Volvo. The company is
beginning its second century of existence with a worldwide organization
that retains and expands Henry Ford's heritage by developing products
that serve the varying and ever-changing needs of people in the global
Henry Ford, Inventor Profile
from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the
from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Assembly Line
Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
The Ford Century: Ford Motor Company and the Innovations That Shaped the
Russ Banham, Paul
Newman / Hardcover: 272 pages
/ Artisan Sales; 1st edition (November 2002)
This is corporate history with the top down-a breezy, upbeat,
illustrated cruise through the 100 years since the first Ford Motor
Company's incorporation and its release of the Model A in 1903.
The American Auto Factory
Byron Olsen, Joseph P. Cabadas, Joe Cabadas / Hardcover - 192 pages /
Motorbooks Int.(Oct. 2002)
Witness the evolution of the American auto factory beginning with the
basic hand-built assembly of cars in the earliest part of the twentieth
century, through the age of the assembly line, and up to today's
Young Man With Ideas
Hazel B. Aird / Paperback 192 pages / Aladdin Paperbacks - 1986
The early life of the American automotive industrialist who founded the
Ford Motor Company and pioneered in assembly-line methods of mass
by Henry Ford / Hardcover: 300 pages / Productivity Press, Reprint edition (December 1989)
This autobiography by the world's most famous automaker reveals the thinking that
changed industry forever and provided the inspiration for Just-In-Time.
Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company,
and a Century of Progress, 1903-2003
by Douglas Brinkley /
Hardcover: 858 pages / Viking Press; (April
In conjunction with its 100th anniversary, the Ford
Motor Company opened its monumental archives to the unfettered
research of author/historian Douglas Brinkley. Few endeavors in
history can match Ford Motor Company's impact on human civilization.
Launched a century ago by a bumptious squad of clever eccentrics-led
by the odd visionary mechanic Henry Ford-the first mass-production
auto manufacturer would push the rest of the industrialized world into
the modern age.
Model T : How Henry Ford Built a Legend
by David Weitzman / Hardcover: 40 pages / Crown Books for Young Readers; 1st ed.(July 9, 2002)
David Weitzman has meticulously documented the
development of the assembly line and the many innovations and
adaptations Ford put to use in making his famous Tin Lizzy.Filled with detailed black-and-white
drawings, helpful text and captions, and fascinating quotes from Ford
employees, this elegant book gives young readers a look at a mechanical
genius in action.
ON THE WEB:
Celebrate Ford Motor Company's 100th Birthday
Get a detailed history of the company and join them in celebrating our
anniversary by visiting the interactive, multimedia 100th Anniversary
Ford Motor Company
Get a brief overview of our history, from a revolutionary idea in 1903
to a global family of brands.
Henry Ford & Family
The story of Henry Ford is not of a prodigy entrepreneur or an overnight
success. Ford grew up on a farm and might easily have remained in
Ford Motor Company Products
Browse a lineup of vehicles across all Ford Motor Company brands.
Innovation at Ford
From Model T to GT, explore the latest trends in Ford Motor Company's
vehicle technology innovations.
The Good Works
Find out how Ford did as a business, a neighbor, and a global citizen.
About Ford Motor Company
From the brands that make us who we are, to the leaders that shape
policy-get acquainted with the Ford Motor Company family.
Henry enjoyed a childhood typical of the rural nineteenth century, spending days in a
one-room school and doing farm chores. At an early age, he showed an interest in
mechanical things and a dislike for farm work.Henry ford Museum presents a year by year
history of the Ford Motor Company.
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised July, 2004.