The Inspiring Success Story
of Henry Ford

Henry Ford has been credited with revolutionizing the transportation industry. His innovation that dates back to the 20th century continues to impact our lives even today. He founded Ford Motor Company from the ground to become a world-renowned company.  Henry’s goal was to build a car for the great multitude. In October 1908, he realized his dream by offering the Model T for $950.

ford vintage car

Henry Ford didn’t enjoy instant success but even through failures, Henry kept innovating. Today his net worth at death would be equal to $200 billion. 66 years after his demise Henry is still celebrated as a technological genius and creative force in the automobile market.

Budding Engineer

His story began in Greenfield Michigan where he was born in 1863. His father, William Ford, was a prosperous farmer who was well respected in the community. Henry had developed a strong bond with his mother Mary Ford.

She was his guiding spirit and source of strong moral influence.  His mother’s death in 1876 devastated him, in his own words “the house was now a watch without a mainspring.” 

Ford’s father had hoped his son would take over the family farm, but Henry hated the drudgery of farming and his interests in mechanics were more dominant.

As a young boy, Ford would enjoy tinkering with machines. Watches attracted his interests, and he soon mastered their intricate mechanisms. Henry’s curiosity and enthusiasm made him leave his father’s farm at the age of 16 to work as a machinist apprentice in Detroit.

Learning The Trade

He worked as an apprentice at the Michigan Car company which specialized in the manufacture of railway cars. He held several similar jobs over the next two years where he learned a great deal about the heavy industry. After the end of his apprenticeship, Henry returned to Greenfield in 1882.

He was hired at the Westinghouse where he would operate their steam engines and in his spare moments tinkered a machine he had set up. In 1891, Henry moved back to Detroit where he got a job as an Engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company. It wasn’t long before he rose up the ranks and became the chief engineer.

Henry The Innovator

Henry was living his dreams and in 1896 he made his first vehicle the Quadricycle, which featured four wire wheels. In 1898, a second car followed. Henry decided to start a company that would sell horse carriages.

henry ford

Stamp Printed In USA In Honor Of Henry Ford

But he knew nothing about business, his first company collapsed and the second landed the same fate. It was his third attempt at starting a company that finally succeeded and on June 1903 the world saw the birth of the Ford Motor Company.

Between 1903- 1908 Ford manufactured nine different cars which were all successful. In October 1908, Ford unveiled the model T and within months the demand became so high orders had to be halted.

In the fall of 1913, Ford’s Highland Pack Factory began the mass production on the innovative moving assembly line which helped Ford keep up with the high demand. Ford produced 15 million model T cars between 1908 and 1927.

Henry died in 1947 but through his company, he changed the lives of many people by providing practical and affordable cars to the masses. Ford currently operates under the realm of William Clay Ford Jr.  Ford Motor Company has managed to remain a relevant force in today’s market. It continues to improve and is poised to remain viable in the coming years.

Lessons From Henry Ford

  • Don’t be afraid to take risks. Great people run towards their resistance and play out on skinny branches. 
  • Challenges are good. We learn and grow through them.
  • Small incremental steps will get you to the top. (Henry Ford’s first vehicle had no reverse)
  • Failure is an essential part of realizing success.

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"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

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References:

Forbes (The ultimate site for billionaire rankings)

CelebrityNetWorth (The ultimate site for net worth of celebrities)

TheRichest (Great site for things about money and rich people)

Wikipedia (Greatest site on earth for lots of information)