Henry Ford: Self-Made Man, Businessman and a Man who Impacted All of America
Henry Ford is one of the richest men in the history of the world in part due to his entirely new approach to car manufacturing. He did not invent the automobile; he instead changed it and innovated on it. Also he marketed it to a brand new untapped market, which created his entire fortune. Henry Ford was a self-made man and businessman who impacted almost every part of American culture.
Henry Ford came from a poor farming family but, he created his fortune and became the ninth richest man in the history of the world when adjusted for inflation. His parents were poor Irish immigrants who came to America during the Irish potato famine during the 1840’s. Born in 1863, and not having any interest in the family farm, Ford left to become an apprentice at a machine shop in Detroit at age sixteen before becoming an engineer with Edison Illuminating Company in 1891. While working for others, Ford would tinker with engines in his garage during his spare time and finally built his first car in 1896 which he sold for $200 so that he could build another. Soon, he was able to create the Ford Motor Company with $150 thousand from private investors in 1903. Five years later, the first Model T came out at a price of $825. In the next 15 years 15,500,000 Model T’s were built and Ford amassed a fortune of what would now be $199 billion when adjusted for inflation. With that money he became the ninth richest man in the world and truly a self-made man.
Henry Ford was also an incredible businessman. From the very beginning, he had three main goals in mind while making automobiles. He thought that they should be lightweight, sturdy enough for the unimproved rural roads, and that the cars should be able to be mass produced. These principles were obvious even from the beginning with his first car which he dubbed the “Quadricycle”. Ford realized that there was a whole new market that cars were not being marketed to. The middle class. He started making his cars as cheaply as possible so that instead of costing $4,200 of the Packard Model 30 from the same time, the Ford Model T originally cost $825. Also, as demand grew, Ford needed workers in his plants. To get the best workers, Ford instituted the five dollar day in 1914. This system allowed workers to earn up to five dollars per eight hour work day. This was more than double the average auto worker wage of $2.34 of the time. Still needing more production, Ford soon instituted the moving assembly...