113 years of Ford and Ford Model T

News Hour:

Today is 16th June. If we rewind the time to 113 years before, people would go back to 1903. On this day in 1903, world famous Ford Motor Company was founded by Henry Ford. Though Henry Ford didn’t invent Automobile, but his contribution is remarkable for developing making the automobile popular and taking to such level so that middle class people can have car.

Henry Ford was born in Michigan in 1863. Though he is famous for automobile, but during his teenage life, he was famous for repairing watches. Henry Ford’s father William Ford was Farm owner. But Henry Ford wasn’t interested to join the family farm. Henry Ford joined Detroit Dry Dock Company as machine operator in 1879. But He came back to family farm in 1882.

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While working in family farm, Henry Ford learnt to operate Steam Engine. After a while, he was hired by Westinghouse Company. In 1891, Mr. Ford researched on gasoline engine while working at Edison Illuminating Company as Engineer.

Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company

On June 4th 1896, Henry Ford invented is first automobile Ford Quadricycle, powered by Ethanol. To build automobile, Henry Ford resigned from job in 1899 and established Detroit Automobile Company. But that company couldn’t maintain quality, so the company was defunct in 1901.

Later, Henry Ford Company was founded in 1902 by Henry Ford and some other persons. In the end of 1902, Henry Ford left the company bearing his name. The company then renamed as “Cadillac”.

Later in 1903, on June 16th, Henry Ford established world famous Ford Motor Company with Alexander Malcomson and its capital was 28 thousand US dollar. 12 Investors came forward to help Henry Ford to establish the company.

Factory of Ford Motor Company in 1903

Factory of Ford Motor Company in 1903

In 1908, Ford debuted Ford Model T, which brought a revolutionary change in Automobile and Automobile industry. Within a year 10 thousands Ford Model T was sold. That time, the price of the car was 850 USD which is equivalent to 21 thousand USD of present time.

Harold Wills was the designer of the car. When the car was invented in 1886, car was named as “rich people’s toy” since price of every car was high. Henry Ford made automobile affordable to middle class by building Ford Model T.

Henry Ford Said “I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one”.

A Ford Model T assembly line in 1926

A Ford Model T assembly line in 1926

Ford Model T was the first car in the world which was produced in several countries. Apart from United States, this car was assembled in Canada, England, Germany, and Mexico and so on. At first, the car was available in several colors. But, only black was available between 1913 and 1925. Ford Model T had 2900 CC four cylinder and it had a top speed of 64-72 KM. In the beginning, this car was powered by Ethanol, Kerosene and Petrol.

But later, Ford Model T became a Petrol running car when Ethanol was prohibited for using. Ford Motor Company introduced Assembly Line Production by with manufacturing the Ford Model T. Ford Model T was started being produced in new factory of Ford in Highland Park Complex in 1910.

In 1914, Ford Model T got huge success and it’s 10 millionth model was sold that year. This Ford Model T was then very much popular and then, 50 percent of world’s total cars were Fords. Even it was very popular that Henry Ford didn’t even think about advertising for Ford Model T between 1917 and 1923.

In 1927, Edsel Ford and his 64 year old father, Henry ford and Charles Sorensen (backset) drove the Fifteen Millionth Model T out of the Highland Park Plant and into the history books. During 20 years of production, more than 15 million Model Ts were made. From the collections of The Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company

In 1927, Edsel Ford and his 64 year old father, Henry ford and Charles Sorensen (backset) drove the Fifteen Millionth Model T out of the Highland Park Plant and into the history books. During 20 years of production, more than 15 million Model Ts were made

In 1925, the average daily production rate of Ford Model T was 9000 to 10000. That time, Model T’s price was only 250 USD which is equivalent to 3500 USD of present time. Inchmeal, Ford Model T started losing its market share.

Henry Ford’s ideological approach to Model T design was one of getting it right and then keeping it the same; he believed the Model T was all the car a person would, or could, ever need. Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford used to insist his father to unveil new models but Henry Ford ignored.

Gradually, Ford Model T’s popularity was decreased since other companies’ debuted new models with news design and technology. At this moment, it was tough to handle the situation for Ford since Henry Ford was adamant in his decision.

In 1927, Ford Model T crossed an important milestone of unveiling 15 millionth Ford Model T. Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford drove that model out from the factory on May 1927. That day, the manufacturing of Ford Model T was officially stopped and Ford started to work on new models.

But Ford continued producing Ford Model T engine till 4th August 1941. Though due to some obstacles, the Ford Model T’s production was stopped, but still this car is very much popular till date. We must confess that, this car remarkably changed the history of automobile and automobile industry.

On December 18th 1999, Ford Model T achieved the “Most Influential car” title in the 20th century’s “Car of the century” contest. Founder of Ford Motor Company and the dreamer of Ford Model T, Henry Ford breathed his last in 1947. But still he is alive in every car lover’s heart because of his contribution in automobile industry. Today on 113th anniversary of Ford, We are remembering this legend.

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Mehrab Masayeed Habib studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) at American International University Bangladesh (AIUB). Currently, he is working for News Hour. He is passionate about automobiles. He is also the founder & trainer of Bangla Automobile School. He conducts workshops on automobile engineering at local level.
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