The Legacy Of The Piquette Ford Plant Essay

The Legacy Of The Piquette Ford Plant Essay

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The Piquette Ford Plant was the first Ford factory specifically built for assembly. The building opened in 1903 and sold in 1911.In this factory, parts were shipped in from nearby plants, for example engines and transmissions came from the Dodge Mack Avenue Plant, and assembled by skilled workers. This building represents a transition from a labor force dominated by skilled craftsmen to a labor force consisting of unskilled workers working on an assembly line. I will argue that the site makes a bad illustration of where we are going, instead we are heading towards Post-Fordism.
Henry Ford was a designer who saw the assembly line and mass production as the future of industry. He wanted to decrease cost and increase speed of production to make cars widely available to average citizens. Because of this, he moved to the Highland Park Plant from the Piquette Plant swiftly, “The transfer of the base of operations from the old Ford factory on Piquette avenue to the new was made very quickly” (“AROUND NEW FORD PLANT” C7). The new plant featured an assembly line which allowed Henry ford to achieve his goal of making cars widely available. The assembly line also created a BKE for the public, “To the thousands of visitors who each month pass through the Ford factory, one of the most popular operations is the final assembly line… The observer sees the car on the long elevated track from the rear axle to the finished chassis which leaves the assembly under its own power” (“FINAL ASSEMBLY AT FORD FACTORY” D2). When visiting the plant, and discussing with my group members I learned that there were around 500 startup automotive companies in Detroit in the early 20th Century, but only 3 are still in existence (Group Collaboration). The Ford Motor...


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...gerald ends The Great Gatsby with the statement, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” (Fitzgerald 169). This is how American industry has progressed, specifically the automobile industry. It started out with skilled workers building cars by hand, one at a time in the Piquette Plant. It then moved to assembly lines which produced 1000 cars per day. Lastly, it transitioned back into the past, people wanted their cars to be customized, which required skilled workers like those in the Piquette Plant. One final representation of Detroit’s transition to Post-Fordism is the 1949 mayoral election. The election showed that people they were more interested in private ownership of housing and business, represented by Cobo, than public, represented by Edwards, which shows an overall interest in Post-Fordism over Fordism (Martelle 163).

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