The Automobile King Of His Time: HENRY FORD, A Man To Be Remembered!
Henry Ford was born in Michigan and was obsessed with moving steam engines. When he was 13, while riding beside his father on a farm wagon, he saw a steam engine moving along a country road under its own power, a chain attached from the engine to the rear wheels. He learned to be a mechanic, sometimes worked as a repairer of farm machinery and ran a saw mill at a very young age. In 1891, at the age of 28, he took a job as night Engineer at the Detroit power plant of the Edison Illuminating Company.
For the next 2 years, he was so engrossed in the petrol engine. Finally, on Christmas Eve in 1893, he entered his home with his first completed engine. He poured petrol from a cup into the metal container that served as a carburettor and how to turn the screw that would feed the fuel into the intake valve while he turned the flywheel. Henry Ford connected his crude sparking plug with the electric current of the house and gave his wife the signal to start pouring. The engine ? it had one cylinder made from a gas pipe, coughed and shuddered shaking the kitchen sink and throwing flames out of its exhaust valve. Henry Ford watched it run for a few minutes and let the engine die down. It worked. That was all he needed to know.
He began work immediately on a 2-cylinder engine and he finished his first automobile and took it out on a drive where it stalled from ignition trouble.
Two months later, Henry Ford was introduced to Thomas Alva Edison at the Edison Convention, New York. He was introduced to Edison as the fellow who had made petrol driven car. The ever eager Edison wanted to know more about the car. All of a sudden, Henry Ford jumped up snatched the menu card and made sketches on it. Edison was pleasantly surprised by the young Henry?s enthusiasm and innovation. He said, ?You have it ? a self-contained unit that carries its own fuel. That?s the thing! Keep at it.?
Although Henry Ford was not the first to invent the automobile, he was the first motorcar maker to go after the mass market when most other automobile manufacturers were designing expensive playthings for rich men. The car Henry Ford had in mind was to be a sturdy simple mechanism, light in weight and easily assembled so that its cost would fit the average man?s pocket.
His uncomplicated model T cut the time required for putting together a chassis from 14 hours to 1 hour 30 minutes. He set up assembly plants all over the country. He turned out model T at the rate of 1.6 per minute, 15 million of them in 19 years. Between 1917 and 1927, nearly half the cars made in the US were Fords. And Henry Ford relentlessly lowered their prices so that more people could buy them from $850 in 1908 to $290 in 1925.
The Model T made the Ford Motor Company the most dazzling enterprise in American business. But it had to go one day and make way for model A.
Henry Ford hated hydraulic brakes and contended that the fluid would leak. Eventually he allowed a hand gear shift but stuck to his mechanical brakes.
After much delay, Model A came out late in 1927 with great fanfare and was rated as one of the great events of that year.
He established the Edison Institute and museum with its adjoining Greenfield village, a tourist attraction near the Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The museum was later renamed after Ford.
Henry Ford had his own power system. Always independent, he wanted nothing from public utilities. He made his own electricity with water power from Rive Rouge. He was extremely devoted to Thomas Alva Edison. He liked Edison because the inventor encouraged him to go ahead with his petrol-driven automobile way back in 1896 when most people were scoffing with the idea.
Henry Ford lived on until the spring of 1947 till the age of 83.