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Ford celebrates 150 years of Henry

2013-07-31 11:27

HENRY FORD DAY: Ford South Africa celebrated the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford's birth with a special celebration in Silverton, Pretoria. Send us images of your Ford! Image: Quickpic

DEARBORN, Michigan – Ford is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford. Its founder's innovative ideas revolutionised transportation and brought mobility to the masses.

The anniversary of his birth is being commemorated in countries around the world throughout 2013.


Celebrations across the globe include Ford USA's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan declaring July 30 “Henry Ford Day.”

In Washington, hundreds of people enjoyed commemorative cupcakes delivered by a food truck.

Henry initially struggled to put Ford on solid financial footing but broke through with the Model T. The iconic vehicle debuted in October 1908, opening a new era in America. More than 15 million Model T’s were built and sold as Ford put the nation on wheels.

The innovative spirit of Henry Ford took root in many other forms after the success of the Model T, including:

The moving assembly line: In 1913 Henry Ford introduced the first moving assembly line for cars. Within 18 months, the amount of time needed to build a Model T was reduced from 12.5 man-hours to 1.5, ushering in the modern automotive industry.

$5 work day: To reduce high turnover rates among workers, Henry Ford more than doubled their pay in 1914, from $2.34 for a nine-hour day to $5 for an eight-hour day.

Vertical integration: To improve quality, he sought to own, operate and coordinate all resources needed to produce vehicles. This principle, known as vertical integration, was put into practice in 1927 with the Model A.


Ford executive chairman, Bill Ford, said: “What my great-grandfather established, especially his legacy of innovation, continues to inspire our commitment to a strong business, great products and a better world.

“We are putting unexpected levels of technology within reach of millions of people, accelerating the development of new products that customers want and value, and driving growth by creating jobs and bringing the freedom of mobility to the world.”

Henry was 83-years-old when he died on April 7, 1947. More than 50 years after his death, in 1999, Forbes magazine named him “Businessman of the Century,” and in 2012 a History Channel documentary highlighted him as one of “The Men Who Built America.”

Bill said: “My great-grandfather’s vision was to improve people’s lives by making cars affordable for the average family. His vision to build cars that are reasonably priced, reliable and efficient still resonates and defines our vision today.”

In celebration of Henry Ford’s 150th birthday, send us images of your Ford. Email us and we'll publish your Ford on Wheels24.

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