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Henry Ford was born in Dearborn, Michigan, on July 30, 1863. He died on April 7, 1947, in Dearborn. He started his career in production at the age of 16 as a machinist’s apprentice. He then began his career as a mechanical engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company in 1888 and worked there until 1899. He founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903.
He produced his first car, the Quadricycle, in 1896. He had developed this car in his spare time. He finally adopted a production method that would be used forever after its introduction. In 1913 Ford implemented standardized interchangeable parts and assembly-line techniques in his plant. This method of production is something very relevant to the field of industrial engineering. He was now able to maximize the use of his work force and increase production of vehicles substantially.
Ford introduced his company’s most famous development, the Model T, in 1908. In its 19 years of production there were 15 million of the car produced. Despite this fact they were not the largest auto manufacturer because of Ford’s decision to he was too slow in adopting the practice of introducing a new model of vehicle each year.
Despite this times were not hard at Ford. He was granted a war production contract in 1941, at the start of World War II. His company started off by manufacturing parts for bombers and eventually began to produce the entire airplane. By the time of the war’s completion in 1945 Ford’s assembly lines had successfully produced over 8000 airplanes.
Aside from running an amazing business Ford had other interests, many which were charitable. Ford chartered a peace ship in 1915, in which he an other like minded individuals tried to convince the leaders of the countries involved in World War I to stop the war.
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Henry Ford’s contributions to industry and society were both numerous and groundbreaking. With his assembly techniques, he set a standard, which is still in use today. He is a model for today’s industrial engineers.