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The automobile is an amazing invention

While I wouldn’t want to go back to the horse and buggy days, I sometimes imagine myself there and think of how it was during that era. I imagine how difficult life must have been before the advent of the many and varied inventions that we now use for our livelihood and entertainment. The automobile was yet to be a major means of transportation. Electricity for the most part was denied for the rural population of the country. In fact, by 1930 electricity was still not available to rural areas. My guess is that the automobile was one of the most important inventions of all time. No one person can be identified as the sole inventor of the car as it was developed and improved over time by a number of individuals and companies. But one Henry Ford was perhaps most influential in developing a horseless carriage for the masses. Before Ford, autos were primarily bought and used by the wealthy. Ford was determined to manufacture a car that was capable of running over very rough terrain and would also be cheap to buy and operate. He achieved that goal with the manufacture of the Model T. The Model T debuted in 1908 with a price tag of $825. Over 10,000 were sold in its first year. The price dropped to $575 in four years and eventually got as low as $280. While not the originator of the assembly line, he put it to good use in the manufacture of his cars. Before Ford’s use of the assembly line, cars were put together as individual units by skilled laborers, which was labor intensive and rather expensive. Due to Ford’s genius and desire to bring the price of his cars down so that almost everyone could afford and drive a car, he perfected the assembly line so that parts didn’t come to the car; the car came to the parts and installers. He used a constantly moving line with installers and parts strategically placed along the line for the parts to be installed as the car chassis came to them.
The last Model T came off the assembly line on May 27, 1927. After more than 15 million of them were sold. That was quite an achievement considering the first car Ford invented was in 1896. It was a four-wheeled vehicle he named a Quadricycle.
Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 on a farm near Dearborn, Michigan. Not particularly liking farm work, at the age of 16 he left the farm and became apprenticed as a machinist in Detroit. He held a number of positions before inventing his Horseless Carriage. He was one of the earliest manufacturers to raise wages to $5.00 per day. He also cut the workday from nine hours to eight hours so he could run three shifts. He died on April 7, 1947. He was 84.