1863 : Henry Ford Born

July 30, 2024 all-day

Born on July 30, 1863 on a Dearborn, Michigan farm, Henry Ford created the Ford Model T car in 1908 and went on to develop the assembly line mode of production, which revolutionized the industry. As a result, Ford sold millions of cars and became a world-famous company head. The company lost its market dominance but had a lasting impact on other technological development and U.S. infrastructure. Ford died on April 7, 1947.

A rather dashing Henry Ford with his Model T

Sources :

The Life of Henry Ford biography provided by the Henry Ford Museum.

Henry Ford biography from Biography.com

Lee Iacocca, “Driving Force: Henry Ford”, Time, December 7, 1998.

Henry Ford / a Sarah Colt Productions film for American Experience ; a production of WGBH Boston ; written, produced, and directed by Sarah Colt. [United States] : Distributed by PBS Distribution, [2013]

A vast amount of information has been written or conveyed about Henry Ford besides the new PBS “American Experience” documentary, including these works:

“The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century”: This book by Steven Watts, one of the historians interviewed for the PBS film, has been called the best one-volume biography about the automotive innovator, a comment made by then-curator Bob Casey on the Henry Ford blog.

“Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company and a Century of Progress”: Historian Douglas Brinkley, a frequent TV commentator on political and media issues and a source for the documentary, wrote this 2004 detailed look at Ford and the corporation he built.

“Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City”: This 2010 book by Greg Grandin, a professor of history at New York University and one of the documentary’s experts, explores Ford’s attempt to grow rubber — and create an American-style small-town community — in the Brazilian Amazon.

“Ford: The Man and the Machine”: This gossipy tome by Robert Lacey was described as “a treasure trove of inside information on the First Family of the Automobile” by the Free Press when it hit local stores in 1986.

“Ford: The Man and the Machine”: Cliff Robertson played Ford in a two-part 1987 TV movie that featured Hope Lange as his wife and R.H. Thompson as their son, Edsel.

“The Fords: An American Epic”: By Peter Collier and David Horowitz, this 1987 account of the Ford dynasty lost the timing race to Lacey’s book. But the Free Press called it “a well-documented, brightly written, highly anecdotal account of the Ford family fortunes.”

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