Henry Ford and the Model T.
On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the fifteen millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line. Henry Ford invented neither the automobile nor the assembly line, but recast each to dominate a new era. Indeed, no other individual in this country so completely transformed the nation’s way of life.
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. Although Ford did not invent the automobile, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford to buy.
By improving the assembly line so that the Model T could be produced ever more inexpensively, Ford placed the power of the internal combustion engine within the reach of the average citizen. He transformed the automobile itself from a luxury to a necessity.
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”