Ford Model T
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The 1920's were a time where North America became modernized. Whether it was the music, the culture or the growth in technology, this time era is known to most people as the point where America advanced itself to become a world renowned country. An advancement that will be focused on is the Ford Model T. During this time owning a car was a symbol of wealth. Henry Ford, the creator of the Model T, made a system that revolutionized the automobile industry as we know it today. Henry Ford made it possible for people with an average income to own a motor vehicle by creating the assembly line and the theory of mass production. "The horse, which had been the chief means of land transportation for 3,500 years, had given way to the automobile, and the country's largest industry had been born." (Gordon)
The First production of the Model T came out on October 1, 1908 at the Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit. (www.hfmgv.org) At the time the Model T was going for a price around $850 and by the Twenties a newer model could be bought for at a price of $275.(Gordon) Although having a Model T, was a sign of wealth, it was awfully cheaper than other cars being manufactured by the other manufactures. The Model T was different from all other cars being made at the time because Ford found a way to make his car affordable. The Low Price of the Model T sent a boom around the nation. "Over the next 19 years, Ford would build 15,000,000 automobiles with the Model "T" engine, the longest run of any single model apart from the Volkswagen Beetle." (www.hfmgv.org) "In 1900 America produced 4,100 automobiles; in 1908, the year of the Model T's advent, the number had risen to 63,500; in 1909 it had nearly doubled, to 123,900. In 1916 it stood at 1,525,500." (Gordon)
The Model T changed the ways of America in an immense way. Ford's Model T revolutionized manufacturing. To help build his Model T more efficiently and with less money he used the assembly line. "By 1914, Ford and his engineers had installed a belt-driven movable production line that took the work to the worker, and then carried that man's work to another worker, and so, until a shining Model T rolled off the line. It was continuous flow production. No one had ever done this before.
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Ford Assembly Line Volkswagen Beetle Mass Production Automobile Industry Henry Ford North America Gordon
" (http://biographyofamerica/prog20/transcript/page02.html) "Ford had visited a meatpacking plant in Chicago and had been deeply impressed by the speed and efficiency with which steers were transformed into steaks. He reasoned that if cattle could be disassembled this way, he could reverse the process with automobiles in order to assemble them more quickly and cheaply. He was right, and the assembly-line method quickly spread not only to other car companies but to nearly every industry engaged in manufacturing complex things." (Gordon) The assembly line quickly became the method of production for many companies. "By 1914, his Highland Park, Michigan plant, using innovative production techniques, could turn out a complete chassis every 93 minutes. This was a stunning improvement over the earlier production time of 728 minutes. Using a constantly-moving assembly line, subdivision of labor, and careful coordination of operations, Ford realized huge gains in productivity."
With the help of the Model T, the assembly line was created, but greatly the method of mass production was created because of this too. With the help of the assembly line mass production became to be a way of producing, not only in the United States but all around the world. Products would now be made in bulk and at an efficient rate because of the introduction of the Model T. Another method that was created from all of this was the method of interchangeable parts. Interchangeable parts helped increase the productivity and made tings more efficient. Henry ford used interchangeable parts on his Model T so that if something happened to the car you wouldn't have to get rid of the car as a whole, you could just change the part that was bad on it.
The Model T had many impacts on life and culture. With the introductions of the Model T, the assembly line and the method of mass production created many new jobs. The Model T's low price allowed everyone that was making a good salary to buy a car. It helped out society by giving people jobs especially at around this time when there was a lot of immigration in the United States and people needed jobs. "This vast production stimulated many other businesses: The steel, rubber, and glass industries flourished. Construction companies boomed as highways and garages were built. Oil companies, rapidly losing their kerosene business to the spread of electricity, more than made up for it with increased gasoline sales."(Gordon) As a whole it changed the economy at the time but in the long run it changed what society is today. It created mass production which is now our way of production and it changed all of working America with the numerous amounts of jobs it created. "As more Americans owned cars, urbanization patterns changed. The United States saw the growth of suburbia, the creation of a national highway system, and a population entranced with the possibility of going anywhere anytime." (http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blford.htm)
The Model T is proven to be one of the greatest innovations that had helped the future of what America is today. If it weren't for the creation of Ford's Model T which led to the introduction of the assembly line and the concept of mass production, America's economy would not be held at the high standard that it is held at today. Life was made easier and more fun with a Ford Model T.
The Model T. The Henry Ford. 26 October, 2005. www.hfmgv.org
Henry Ford. About.Com. 26 October, 2005.
Henry Ford and His Model T. A Biography of America. 26 October, 2005.
Gordon, John Steele. American Heritage. New York: Jun
2001. Vol.52, Issue 4; pg. 30
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