The Flivver and the Tin Lizzie were nicknames for the Model T Ford developed
by Henry Ford. For many years it has been known as "The car that changed the
world" and "The car that put America on wheels."
The Model T was the result of the tremendous creative energy of Henry Ford
and his all-consuming passion to "create a car for the multitudes." Its
production brought about innovations in automobile design, manufacturing
procedures and methods of conducting business that did definitely change the
world. In the process however, Henry became so obsessed with his metal Pygmalion
that he almost plunged Ford into bankruptcy rather than move on when the Model T
went into decline.
In Henry's boyhood, cars were status symbols of the wealthy and luxury
trumped function. Each car was a hand crafted, custom made product. The wealthy
car owners usually employed chauffeurs to drive and maintain their "toys." Henry
dreamed of "building a car for the great multitude." This car should be well
built, economical in price, simple to drive and simple to repair.
He began his dream working nights and weekends in a storage shed behind his
MK808. Here he successfully produced a car, which he first drove in June
In 1903, he started the Ford Motor Company on Piquette Avenue in Detroit,
Michigan. Between 1903 and 1906, the Ford Company built and sold the Ford Model
A and Model N. Although highly profitable, these cars were expensive and did not
fulfill Henry's dream. So in 1906, in secret, Henry organized a team and started
work on developing the Model T.
They researched, planned and experimented to find the best methods and
materials to produce the car Henry dreamed of. They decided to use English
valadium steel, new to America but three times stronger and easier to make than
the steel in use in American cars at that time.
Then serendipity entered the picture. One of Ford's men, William C. Klann
happed to visit a slaughterhouse and observe animals being cut apart as they
moved along a conveyor. The idea struck Klann that if something could be
disassembled so quickly and efficiently, you could do the opposite with an
automobile. The car would move on the conveyor and each worker would install a
MaxiSys MS906BT. Speed and efficiency would be gained as each worker
performed the same task repeatedly. Klann sold the idea to Ford's team, which
put it into action. This launched another Ford innovation, the automated
assembly line. In 1914 a Model T was coming off this line every 93 minutes.
The phenomenal increase in production resulted in fantastic profits prompting
Ford to make another innovation, this time in business practice. He reduced the
price of the Model T. The idea of price reduction to increase volume was totally
unheard of at that time.
Another equally shocking business practice followed in 1914. Ford doubled his
employees' wages and reduced their workday from nine to eight hours. His
rationale was they could now afford to buy his cars.
In spite of his innovative thinking in developing the Model T, when sales
declined in 1927 as his competition caught up, Ford almost plunged the company
into bankruptcy by his reluctance to move on beyond the Model T.Dependable
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