Henry Ford

On July 30, 1863, Henry Ford was born in Wayne County, Michigan.The son of Irish immigrants, Ford spent most of his time growing up on his family’s farm in Dearborn.As he got older, Ford realized that the modest agrarian lifestyle enjoyed by his parents was not exactly what he had in mind.So at the tender age of sixteen, Ford, “walked to Detroit in search of employment.”(Sahlman)
According to Ford Biographer, Rachel Sahlman, Ford was briefly employed as an apprentice in a machine shop.While working there he learned about the internal combustion engine.Shortly thereafter, he returned home to work on his family farm.During this period he also worked part time for the Westing House Engine Company.He setup a small machine shop on his parents farm and began experimenting with engines and machinery.He also met Clara Bryant, the woman he would later marry in 1888.
After spending several years together in Dearborn, Ford and his wife Clara eventually moved back to Detroit.Ford was hired as the chief engineer at the Detroit Edison Company.Though the job was quite demanding, and Ford’s duties included being “on-call” for 24 hours a day, he also found time to continue experimenting with engines.It was around this time that Ford began development on a gasoline powered vehicle or “horseless carriage.”
Ford’sfirst functional vehicle was called the “Quadricycle,” (probably because it was mounted onto four bicycle wheels) and was completed in 1896.Ford sold the invention to acquire more funds so that he was able to continue his research and experimentation.
In 1903, after designing and building a vehicle that he felt was ready for the market, Ford and his financial backers founded the Ford Motor Company.The company was a moderate success in itsfirst few years, selling many automobiles, but it wasn’t until 1908 and the release of Ford’s “Model T,” that things really took off.
Model T’s were being s…

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