Henry Ford, the American industrialist and business magnate, founded the Ford Motor Company and changed the automobile industry with his assembly-line methods. You probably know this, but do you know how rich and influential he was? Try to guess his net worth in today’s dollars. Is it $10 billion, $50 billion, or $200 billion? The answer is… $200 billion! Yes, Henry Ford was one of the most powerful people in history. However, he had more to offer than his money and fame. This blog post will reveal 11 fascinating and unknown facts about Henry Ford that will show you a different side of him. You will love this article if you like cars, history, or innovation. So get ready and buckle up to explore the amazing life and legacy of Henry Ford.
Know His Success Story
Before we learn interesting facts about Henry Ford, let us first know his success story.
Henry Ford was a visionary and innovative American industrialist. He had a passion for engineering since he was a young boy.
He built his first steam engine at age 15 and his first self-propelled vehicle at 32. After failing in his previous businesses, he founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903. He wanted to make cars affordable and accessible for everyone. He achieved this by introducing the Model T in 1908 and developing the assembly line method of production.
This reduced the time and cost of making cars and increased efficiency and quality. Ford sold millions of cars and became a world-famous business leader. He also influenced the social and economic changes in America and beyond. He was one of the richest and most powerful people in history.
11 Interesting & Unknown Facts About Henry Ford
1. Henry Ford Earned Money by Fixing Pocketwatches in His Teens
One of the facts about Henry Ford is that he had a passion for mechanics since his childhood. When he was in his early teens, he earned some extra money by repairing pocket watches. He learned this skill by himself, without any formal training.
Ford used to disassemble and reassemble a pocketwatch that his father gave him until he mastered the technique. He also showed his creativity by making his tools from scrap materials. Ford fashioned tiny screwdrivers from old nails, and tweezers from the spring steel “bones” of a thrown-away corset.
These tools helped him to work on the delicate parts of the watches. Henry Ford’s early experience with pocketwatches sparked his interest in mechanical engineering, which later led him to become a pioneer of the automobile industry.
2. He Built His First Steam Engine When He Was Only 15 Years Old
One of the most surprising facts about Henry Ford is that he was a prodigy in mechanics. He designed and built his first operational steam engine when he was only 15 years old! Henry Ford did this in 1878, using scrap metal and parts from his father’s farm.
Ford was fascinated by the power of steam and wanted to create his engine. He worked on his project for several months, until he succeeded in making it run. Ford was so proud of his invention that he showed it to his family and friends.
He even attached it to a cart and drove it around his neighborhood. Henry Ford’s first invention was a remarkable achievement for a young boy and a sign of his future greatness.
3. Henry Ford Worked at Thomas Edison’s Company
One of the most unknown facts about Henry Ford is that he worked for Thomas Edison, his role model and inspiration. He joined the Thomas Edison Illumination Company in 1891 when he was only 20 years old.
Ford impressed his superiors with his skills and dedication and soon became the Chief Engineer of the main electrical plant in Detroit. He was responsible for providing electrical power for the city. Ford worked there for six years and learned a lot from Edison’s inventions and innovations.
Edison also recognized Ford’s talent and potential and encouraged him to pursue his dreams of making an affordable, reliable, gasoline-powered automobile. Ford took Edison’s advice and left the company in 1899, to start his venture. He later became one of the most successful and influential industrialists in history.
4. He Was a Potential Politician
Henry Ford was not only a successful industrialist, but also a potential politician. Many people probably don’t know Henry Ford had a close friendship with President Woodrow Wilson, who persuaded him to run for the United States Senate in 1918. Ford agreed and entered the race as a Democrat.
He faced a tough opponent, Republican Truman H. Newberry, who spent a lot of money on his campaign. Ford, on the other hand, did not spend any money at all. He relied on his popularity and his views on peace, labor, and agriculture.
Despite his efforts, he lost the election by a narrow margin of 4,500 votes. However, he did not give up his political aspirations and continued to voice his opinions on various issues.
5. Henry Ford’s Bizarre Souvenir Was a Vial Containing Edison’s Breath
Henry Ford was a great admirer of Thomas Edison, the famous inventor, and his former employer. He considered Edison as his mentor and friend. One of the weird facts about Henry Ford is that he had a very strange way of honoring Edison’s memory.
When Edison was dying, Ford requested Edison’s son to do him a favor. He asked him to hold a glass test tube close to Edison’s mouth and capture his last breath. He wanted to keep it as a souvenir of his idol.
Edison’s son obliged and sealed the tube with a cork after his father passed away. This vial is now exhibited at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. It is one of the most bizarre objects in the museum, and a sign of Ford’s respect and devotion for Edison.
6. By 1919, 20% of Ford’s Staff Was Disabled
Henry Ford was a pioneer of social responsibility in business. He introduced many innovations to his manufacturing plants, such as the assembly line, the five-dollar day, and the eight-hour workday.
Ford also had a willingness to hire handicapped people, who often faced discrimination and unemployment. Henry employed people who were blind, deaf, or had lost limbs in combat or accidents. He believed that they deserved a chance to work and earn a living. Ford provided them with special training and equipment to suit their needs.
By 1919, more than 20% of the Ford Motor Company’s workforce was disabled. Henry Ford’s inclusive hiring policy was a remarkable example of his vision and compassion.
7. Henry Ford Was Interested in Aviation
One of the lesser-known facts about Henry Ford is that he was also interested in aviation. He founded the Ford Airplane Company during World War I, hoping to contribute to the war effort. However, the company did not achieve the success Ford had expected. It faced many challenges and competition and eventually closed down in 1933.
Despite this, the company did create a remarkable product: the Ford Tri-Motor airplane. It was a sturdy and reliable plane, made of metal and powered by three engines. It was used for both commercial and military purposes and became an icon of aviation history.
A Ford Tri-Motor even appears in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Henry Ford’s aviation venture was a bold and ambitious attempt to explore a new field of technology.
8. Gallup named him one of 18 people on its list of the Most Admired People of the 20th Century
Henry Ford earned widespread admiration from the American people for his achievements and contributions. He was a visionary and a leader, who revolutionized the automobile industry and society. He was also a philanthropist and a humanitarian, who supported many causes and organizations.
In December 1999, Gallup conducted a poll to find out the most admired people of the 20th century. They asked the American public to name the people they respected and looked up to. Henry Ford made it to the list of 18 people, along with other great figures such as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa.
Henry Ford’s inclusion in the list showed that he had a lasting impact and influence on American culture and history. This is one of the most-known facts about Henry Ford.
9. Ford received 161 U.S. patents
Henry Ford was a prolific inventor. He had a creative and curious mind, and he always looked for ways to improve his products and processes. Ford invented many things, such as the quadricycle, the Model T, the assembly line, and the V8 engine.
He also patented many of his inventions, to protect his intellectual property and to gain recognition. He was awarded 161 U.S. patents, which is a remarkable number for an individual. His patents covered various fields, such as automobiles, engines, transmissions, brakes, steering, lighting, and even soybean products.
Henry Ford’s inventions and patents showed his genius and innovation and made him one of the most influential figures in the history of technology.
10. Henry Ford Invented a Biodegradable Car From Soybeans
This is one of the intriguing facts about Henry Ford is that he was an innovator even in his old age. He never stopped experimenting and creating new things. In August 1941, he unveiled a prototype of a plastic-bodied car. It was a remarkable invention, as the car’s body was biodegradable.
Ford grew soybeans on his farm and used them to make the lightweight panels entirely. He wanted to use the soybean panels in his production cars and trucks, to reduce weight and cost. He also cared about the environment and wanted to make his vehicles more eco-friendly.
The outbreak of World War II interrupted his project. He had to focus on making war materials instead of cars. Henry Ford’s eco-friendly car was a visionary idea that was ahead of its time.
11. The United States Postal Service honored the Prominent Americans Series (1965-1978) with 12 postage stamps
This fact is also one of the known facts about Henry Ford is that he received a tribute from the United States Postal Service. They honored him with a 12¢ postage stamp, as part of the Prominent Americans series.
This series featured the portraits of famous Americans who made significant contributions to the nation’s history and culture. The series ran from 1965 to 1978 and included other notable figures such as Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Albert Einstein.
In 1966, they issued Henry Ford’s stamp, featuring his profile in blue. It also had his name and the words “USA 12c” on it. The stamp was a recognition of Henry Ford’s achievements and innovations in the automobile industry and society. Henry Ford’s postage stamp tribute was a symbol of his fame and respect.
In conclusion, these are the 11 interesting and unknown facts about Henry Ford. Henry Ford was a visionary industrialist who changed the world with his mass production of affordable cars. Additionally, he improved the lives of many through his success and hard work. His legacy will continue to inspire many for generations. We hope you gained valuable knowledge from this blog.
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