32. Henry Ford
Henry Ford was born in 1863 in the
state of Michigan. He grew up on a farm but he did not want to become a farmer.
He left school when he was sixteen. He wanted to make cars so he went to work
as a mechanic.
In 1896 Ford built his first car. This
car was very different from the cars of today. For example, its wheels were
In 1902 Ford built a car that won an
important race. This car was the fastest car that had ever been built. It went
seventy miles per hour. By then Ford had enough money to start the Ford Motor
At this time cars cost a lot of money. Only very rich
people bought cars. Ford had a dream. He wanted to build a car that many people
could afford. Ford was sure that, if people could afford cars, they would buy
them. He said, "everybody wants to be somewhere he isn't."
Ford's plan was to make all his cars
the same. Cars that are all the same take less time and less money to make.
Then Ford could charge less money for these cars. In 1908 Ford produced his
famous Model T Ford. The Model T sold for $850. This was much cheaper than
other cars but still more than most people could pay.
One day Ford visited a meat-packing
factory. There he saw beef carcasses being moved from one worker to another.
Each worker had particular job to do when the beef carcasses reached him.
Ford realized that he could use this assembly line method to build cars.
It took less than two hours to build a
car on the assembly line. Before, it took fourteen hours. Ford was able to drop
the price of the Model T to $265.
Ford's dream had come true. The Model T
was now a car that many people could afford. By 1927, when Ford stopped making
the Model T, over 15 million of these cars had been sold.