Skip to main content

When we think of Henry Ford, most of us think about the famous Model T Ford from the early 20th century. Despite his constant association with his brand, Ford was a man of many talents who embraced a passion for science and development. These unexpected facts highlight his inner developer and how he helped the auto industry and beyond.

1. Henry Ford made watches

Henry Ford was destined to be an innovator, and he displayed this after being gifted a pocket watch. Automobiles were not the first products of Ford’s engineering. As a young man, he enjoyed crafting and building watches for his loved ones and friends. If the Michigan native did not have the proper tool for building a watch, he’d just make what he needed.

2. He kept the lights on for a whole city

After his early innovation with watches, Ford moved to brighten the city of Detroit by working at the Edison Illuminating Company. He worked up to Chief Engineer and was ultimately responsible for keeping the lights on in Detroit. This position encouraged his creative mind and served as his final inspiration to move forward with his gasoline automobile.

3. Ford created mass production

Ford not only created the Model T Ford for Americans, but he founded the idea of mass production for affordability. Making mass amounts of Model Ts elevated the quality of life for many Americans. These days, mass production is found in nearly every industry.

4. Ford created one of the first assembly lines

In 1913, Ford was responsible for the first assembly line that consistently moved. This became a trademark system in manufacturing facilities across the globe. While it was not the first assembly line, it was the first that continuously moved by workers and established an efficiency unmatched at the time.

5. He has more than 160 patents

By the time of his death in 1947, Ford had established over 160 patents of products and designs. In most of his designs, Ford was striving to create products that would make working smarter and improve the quality of work.

6. Not the first automobile inventor

One misconception about Ford is that he was the first to create a car. He did not create the first automobile, but he did create the first affordable one, which is much more important for many. Coming from a farming family, Ford was not born into wealth, so he understood the importance of affordability.

7. Ford was full of surprises

There are depths to Ford that only those closest to him knew. By creating the Model T Ford, he not only encouraged car-buying for Americans but also innovative manufacturing. While he did become one of the richest Americans of his time, Ford’s goal was to create efficient work for Americans and generate a richer economy overall.