Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Henry Ford

Ok...I'm a Chevy and mopar type of guy. However, there are a few Ford's I have liked, (e.g. Eleanor). Anyway, Henry Ford was a bad man:

Henry Ford's introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. He was a prolific inventor and was awarded 161 U.S. patents. At fifteen, Ford dismantled and reassembled the timepieces of friends and neighbors dozens of times, gaining the reputation of a watch repairman. Henry Ford was especially fond of Thomas Edison, and on Edison's deathbed, he demanded Edison's son catch his final breath in a test tube. The test tube can still be found today in Henry Ford Museum. He is credited with "Fordism", that is, the mass production of large numbers of inexpensive automobiles using the assembly line, coupled with high wages for his workers. Henry Ford's intense commitment to lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put a dealership in every city in North America, and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation but arranged for his family to control the company permanently (and the Detroit Lions). Today the family owns only 4 percent of Ford Motor Company's shares, but its stock controls 40 percent of the voting rights.

Ford was adamantly against labor unions. He thought they were too heavily influenced by some leaders who, despite their ostensible good motives, would end up doing more harm than good for workers. Most wanted to restrict productivity as a means to foster employment, but Ford saw this as self-defeating because, in his view, productivity was necessary for any economic prosperity to exist.

Henry Ford opposed war, which he thought was a waste of time. He
felt time was better spent making things.

After years of the Great Depression, labor strife, and New Deal, he suspected people in Washington were
conspiring to wrest the company from his control. Ironically, his paranoia was trending toward self-fulfilling prophesy, as his attitude inspired background chatter in Washington about how to undermine his control of the company, whether by wartime government fiat or by instigating some sort of coup among executives and directors (time repeats itself). In 1945, the war ended, Henry Ford II became company president, and the storm was past .

Quotes by Henry Ford
  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
  • If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.
  • If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
  • It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.
  • The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.
  • It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

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