Henry Ford Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1863 - 1947 *** Full Name: Henry Ford *** Occupation: American Industrialist *** Date of Birth: He was born on July 30, 1863 *** Place of Birth: Henry Ford was born in Greenfield Township, Michigan, America *** Family background: His father was William Ford and he was born in Ireland in County Cork but his family were originally from Somerset in England and his mother was Mary Litogot who was born in Michigan of parents originating from Belgian *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with four siblings, Margaret, Jane, William and Robert *** Education: Henry probably attended a local school or was taught at home ***
Henry Ford Fact 1: Henry Ford was born on July 30th 1863 and during the 19th century period in history when significant developments were made in biology, science, physics, medicine and technology.
Henry Ford Fact 2: As a teenage boy his father gifted to him a pocket watch. He would take the watch apart and put it back together and would do so for friends, family and neighbors alike, earning himself a reputation as a watch repairman.
Henry Ford Fact 3: At thirteen years of age he was totally devastated by the death of his mother. His father would expect him to take over the running of the farm but he loathed farming.
Henry Ford Fact 4: He would leave home on 1879 for Detroit where he found work as an apprentice machinist for James F. Flower & Bros. and after that with the Detroit Dry Dock Co.
Henry Ford Fact 5: By 1882 h did return home to Dearborn in order to work on the family farm. What he did come to enjoy was the operating the Westinghouse portable steam engine and would later be hired by Westinghouse in order to service their steam engines.
Henry Ford Fact 6: At this time he also began studying bookkeeping at Goldsmith, Bryant & Stratton Business College in Detroit.
Henry Ford Fact 7: During 1888 he married Clara Jane Bryant and together they had a son, Edsel.
Henry Ford Fact 8: By 1891 he had begun working for the Edison Illuminating Company as an engineer and by 1893 had become their Chief Engineer.
Henry Ford Fact 9: At this time he had enough spare time and money to concentrate on his own development of gasoline engines. By 1896 he had successfully developed what he called the Ford Quadricycle which was a self-propelled vehicle.
Henry Ford Fact 10: For his efforts he was called to be introduced to Thomas Edison himself who was much impressed with his invention and encouraged him to continue and in so doing he completed a second vehicle by 1898.
Henry Ford Fact 11: With financial backing from William H. Murphy, the Detroit lumber Baron he was able to resign his position at Edison Company and established his own business, the Detroit Automobile Company although the company would not be successful because the quality was substandard and the price too high.
Henry Ford Fact 12: Undeterred, Ford designed and built another 26-horsepowered automobile that he successfully raced with the assistance this time of C. Harold Wills in 1901. In November of that year, with the financial backing of Wills and other stockholders, he formed the Henry Ford Company but he bought in another consultant, Henry M. Leland. Ford left the business after this happened and once he was gone the company was renamed the Cadillac Automobile Company. Henry Ford Fact 17: Off of the back of Ford’s success grew motor clubs that encouraged new drivers to learn to be able to go and explore their surroundings.
Henry Ford Fact 13: Next he became reacquainted with an old associate, Alexander Y. Malcomson and the pair formed a partnership to manufacture automobiles calling the company Ford & Malcomson, Ltd. Together with a machine shop owned by John and Horace E Dodge the leased a factory unit to produce cars.
Henry Ford Fact 14: When sales were proving too slow and the Dodge Brothers demanding payments, Ford bought in further investment and reincorporated the company as the Ford Motor Company in June of 1903. His next model vehicle was called the Ford model “999” and it was taken on the tour of the country.
Henry Ford Fact 15: Ford would also become known for being one of the early backers of the Indianapolis 500.
Henry Ford Fact 16: By 1908 the Model T would be ready to market with the redesign of the steering wheel on the left hand side. It was inexpensive to purchase and cheap to repair as well as being easy to drive.
Henry Ford Fact 18: By 1913 Henry would introduce into his plants moving assembly belts which largely increased production. The introduction of the Model T Assembly Line would revolutionize the manufacturing industry
Henry Ford Fact 19: In 1918 the Ford Motor Company’s presidency was handed on to Henry’s son, Edsel although he kept the final decision authority. In a bid to regain control of his company as it began to succeed, Ford started yet another company Henry Ford and Son and made a big deal of taking his best workers with him to the new company with the goal being to alarm the remaining stockholders holders of the Ford Motor Company into selling their shares before they began losing money. The subterfuge worked and the family became sole owners of the their company.
Henry Ford Fact 20: With the death of his son, Edsel in 1943 of cancer, Henry took control of his company once more as president, although he had always maintained final say on issues, but this would only last for a couple of years before he handed the reins of the business to his grandson, Henry Ford II in September of 1945.
Henry Ford Fact 21: Henry Ford died on April 7, 1947 of a cerebral haemorrhage at his home on the Dearborn estate aged eighty three years. His body was laid to rest in the Ford Cemetery in Detroit.
Influence & Legacy: His legacy is a great one having been responsible directly or indirectly through his employees in developing the assembly line which would revolutionize manufacturing in the 20th century. He would also be the creator of one of the car manufacturing companies that was established in the 19th century and would technically span three centuries into the 21st century. The Model T, also known as the 'Tin Lizzie', was the first affordable automobile. For additional facts, information and pictures of the famous car refer to the Model T Automobile.