You have a car. I have a car. All God’s children have cars. For this convenience, which the greatest kings in history never dreamed of, we have Henry Ford to thank.
Not that Ford invented the automobile, or anything. He didn’t even build the fanciest or most comfortable “horseless carriages” of the day. What he did was invent and build the Model T, about which he said, “I will build a motor car for the great multitude.” That was in 1908, and in the next nineteen years he built 15,500,000 of them, amounting to about half of the entire world’s production of automobiles during that era.
Ford was not only an industrialist, but also a prolific inventor. He was awarded 161 patents for his creations. He used his innovations to create mass production, an assembly line the likes of which the world hadn’t seen before. He also offered the best wages in Detroit, drawing the most talented people in the area to his firm and keeping turnover to a minimum.
Ford also created the dealership system, providing outlets for his cars throughout the country. When he moved to Detroit from his family’s farm, two in eight Americans lived in cities. By the time of his death in 1947, it was five in eight. Henry Ford wasn’t a gentle man, not necessarily a pleasant man, in fact, he had some opinions that today are cringe-worthy. But his vision changed the way the world lives, which truly made him a great man.