Profession: Ford Motor Company Founder
Why Famous: Henry Ford introduced the Model T Ford automobile in October 1908, the world's first mass-produced car. In producing an automobile for the middle classes instead of just for the wealthy, Henry Ford help change American society forever.
Prior to this Ford had spent many years perfecting different engines and models, including leaving an original company bearing his name that later became the Cadillac Automotive Company.
The Model T went on to sell over 15 million units. Ford was able to achieve this by developing his car assembly line through mass production, the first significant industrialist to do so.
Henry Ford is also remembered for establishing a minimum wage of $5 a day in 1914, raising the daily rate from $2.34 for most workers. It was a sensational move at the time aimed at acquiring and retaining the best workforce.
In later life Henry Ford rested on his laurels and when he didn't adapt the Model T to customers wants he was overtaken by competitors before releasing the updated Model A in 1927.
A man of often conflicting character, Ford is also remembered for his pacifism during World War I and his promotion of antisemitic views.
- 1888-04-11 Industrialist Henry Ford (24) weds Clara Jane Bryant (22) in Greenfield Township, Michigan
- 1893-12-24 Henry Ford completes his first useful petrol / gasoline fuelled engine
- 1896-06-04 Henry Ford takes his 1st Ford through streets of Detroit
- 1903-06-16 Ford Motors under Henry Ford incorporates
- 1906-10-22 Henry Ford becomes President of Ford Motor Company
- 1908-08-12 Henry Ford's company builds the first Model T car
- 1908-09-27 Henry Ford's first Ford Model T automobile leaves the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan
- 1908-10-01 Henry Ford introduces the Model T car (costs $825)
- 1914-01-05 Industrialist Henry Ford announces his $5 minimum per-day wage, doubled most workers pay from $2.40/9-hr day to $5.00/8-hr day
- 1915-10-12 Ford Motor Company under Henry Ford manufactures its 1 millionth automobile at the River Rouge plant in Detroit
- 1915-12-04 Henry Ford's peace ship, Oscar II, sails for Europe 'to get the boys out of the trenches by Christmas'
- 1919-01-01 Edsel Ford succeeds his father, Henry Ford, as president of the Ford Motor Company
- 1926-09-25 Henry Ford announces an 8 hour, 5-day work week
- 1927-05-25 Henry Ford announces that he is ending production of the Model T Ford
- 1927-05-26 Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company produce the last (and 15th million) Model T Ford / Tin Lizzie
- 1932-10-19 Henry Ford gives his 1st radio speech
- 1937-06-05 Henry Ford initiates a 32 hour work week
- 1942-01-13 Henry Ford patents a method of constructing plastic auto bodies