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Fascinating facts about the invention
of the
Assembly Line by Ransom E. Olds in 1901.
In order to keep up with the increasing demand for those newfangled contraptions, horseless carriages, Ransom E. Olds created the assembly line in 1901. The new approach to putting together automobiles enabled him to more than quadruple his factory’s output, from 425 cars in 1901 to 2,500 in 1902.
Olds should have become known as "The father of automotive assembly line,"  although many people think that it was Henry Ford who invented the assembly line. What Ford did do was to improve upon Olds’s idea by installing conveyor belts. That cut the time of manufacturing a Model T from a day and a half to a mere ninety minutes. Henry Ford should been called "The father of automotive mass production."


Business History  from The Great Idea Finder
Ransom E. Olds, Inventor Profile   from The Great Idea Finder
Henry Ford, Inventor Profile   from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Automobile  from The Great Idea Finder

Why Didn't I Think of That?:Bizarre Origins of Ingenious Inventions We Couldn't Live Without
by Allyn Freeman, Bob Golden / Paperback: 260 pages / John Wiley & Sons; (September 1997)
Filled with wacky and fascinating facts, awe-inspiring success statistics, and rags-to-riches stories, Chronicles the odd origins behind 50 famous inventions and reveals the business side of each product's actual production, marketing, and distribution.
Setting the Pace: Oldsmobile's First 100 Years

Helen Jones Earley, James R. Walkinshaw / Hardcover / Publications International - 1997
Excellent information about Oldsmobile's cars and people.
The Machine That Changed the World
by James P. Womack, Daniel Roos, Daniel Jones / Hardcover: 323 pages / Rawson Assoc (1990)

Today, the industrial world is experiencing the most revolutionary change since Ramsom E. Olds assembly line -- which forever changed the way things are made. Japanese companies are sweeping the world, as Western companies and governments struggle to find ways to emulate them.
Becoming Lean : Inside Stories of U.S. Manufacturers
by Jeffrey K. Liker (Editor)Hardcover: 517 pages / Productivity Pr (February 1998)

The lean revolution is here. And while you may understand that this revolution is a profound shift away from the traditions of mass production.

Assembly Line
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / Less than $25.00
When Henry Ford started building the Model T on an assembly line, he didn't just revolutionize the fledgling automobile industry--he changed the world.

The official web site of General Motors, Oldsmobile Division.
Olds History
In 1895, Ransom Eli Olds, a manufacturer of stationary gasoline engines, teamed up with Frank
Clark, the son of a small carriage shop operator, to achieve what many believed impossible. They successfully produced a self contained, gasoline-powered carriage.
Mass Production and the Assembly Line
Ford installs first moving assembly line in 1913
Auto History Online
Website of the Society of Automotive Historians, Inc.
Ford Motor Company
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Ford Motor Company. Lots of "COOKIES' at this site.
Ransom E. Olds 1864-1950
He is considered by many to be the founder of the automobile industry. He built the first factory to use an assembly line manufacturing process.
Olds Motor Works
Historical information from the State of Michigan records.

R.E. Olds Transporation Museum
Information about one of The Ten Best Automobile Museums in the United States"


  • Last Oldsmobile: The last Oldsmobile, an Alero, rolled off the assembly line in Lansing, Michigan on Thursday April 29, 2004. The car will be displayed at the R.E. Olds Museum also in Lansing, Michigan.

Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised May 16, 2005.

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