It had always disappointed Ford that his son did not possess the same fervor for business domination as he himself had developed and so Ford made it his personal task to make Edsels life as difficult as possible. After Ford stepped down as president of the company to simply be the owner, Edsel stepped up but Ford would not allow him to completely fulfill his role. Ford would undermine his decisions, encourage other executives to question him whenever possible, and placed roadblocks wherever he could. Henry Ford died on April 7, 1947 just two years after his decision to retire. He and his wife Clara whom he referred to as Callie, remained married for 59 years until his death. While his personality did seem to decay, his business still survives as does his legacy of being a successful businessman, intermittent philanthropist, and renowned American industrialist.
Henry Ford: Driven and sometimes dangerous. .Authors:Frost.Source:Biography, Jan2000, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p92, 6p, 9 Color Photographs, 8 Black and White Photographs.Document Type:Biography.Subject Terms:FORD, Henry, 1863-1947 FORD Motor Co.
AUTOMOBILE industry.Abstract:Profiles automobile maker Henry Ford. Character traits Ford is well remembered for; Birth; Family background; Incorporation of Ford Motor Co. in 1903; Mass production of the Ford Model T; Change of Henrys personality from openness to egocentricity, rigidity, paranoia and cruelty; Anti-semitism; Damage inflicted upon his son Edsel; Decline of the company due to his rigidity; Removal from the company; Death. INSET: More about Henry Ford¦Lexile:1110.Full Text Word Count:2467.ISSN:10927891.
Accession Number:2646988.Database: MasterFILE Pr The automobile era began in 1908 when Henry Ford introduced a rugged little vehicle called the Model T. Soon, Ford cars were everywhere, and theirs sound ” chuckachuck became a new soundtrack for America. Today, Henry Ford is venerated as one of the great business tycoons of our history, remembered not only for his introduction of cars to the masses, but for his invention of new manufacturing techniques, his generous wage policies, and his philanthropy. Largely forgotten now, it seems, is the dark and tragic side of this industrial genius.
Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863, near Dearborn, Michigan, a few miles west of Detroit, the eldest of six children of William Ford and Mary Litogot Ford. William Ford was a native of County Cork, Ireland, where he grew up surrounded by discrimination and suffering. He fled to America when he was 21 and was amazed at the New Worlds freedom and cheap land. He poured his heart and soul into his farm, and he passed on to his son a passion for labor and success. Work became the centerpiece of Henrys life. In later years he would regularly say things like, It is always too soon to quit.
As a boy, Henry loved repairing machinery. In 1876, when he was 13, he saw his first road roller, a big steam engine that chugged along country roads and performed farm chores. It was, for Henry, a primal glimpse of power and mobility, and he began dreaming of creating his own machine that would get somewhere. He began building engines in the 1880s, and by the 90s was one of a legion of inventors working on horseless carriages. As he held down a full-time engineering job at an electrical plant in Detroit, he used his spare hours to build motors and a prototype car, often working with other young auto buffs.
The challenge that faced these pioneers was daunting: Virtually every component had to be built from scratch. There were no decent carburetors sitting on store shelves waiting to be used, nor were there proper bearings, wheels, batteries, spark plugs, brakes, steering mechanisms, camshafts, crankshafts, piston rings, or gears.
Ford labored on his first car in a little brick shed behind his house, working with a creative passion akin to that of a great artist, and with a will to succeed that he had learned at his fathers knee. We often wondered when Henry slept, recalled a friend. His wife, Clara, whom he had married in 1888, supported him with total faith. He called her the Believer. Finally, in 1903, after a couple of false starts, he and his partners incorporated Ford Motor Company and started selling a few cars.
The automobile market was still tiny in those years. Most autos were either inexpensive vehicles lacking power and reliability (early Fords were among the better entries in this category) or expensive hand-built numbers that were out of reach for ordinary people. Most automakers felt the industrys future would be limited to luxury vehicles.