Henry Ford & Frederick W. Taylor:
A Comparison of Methods and Principles
Ford’s Early Life
Henry Ford was one of eight children of William and Mary Ford. He was born on the family farm near Dearborn, Michigan, then a town eight miles west of Detroit, on July 30, 1863. Abraham Lincoln was president of the 24 states of the Union, and Jefferson Davis was president of the 11 states of the Confederacy. Ford attended a one-room schoolhouse for eight years when he was not helping his father with the harvest. At age 16 he walked to Detroit to find work in its machine shops. After three years, during which he came in contact with the internal-combustion engine for the first time, he returned to the farm, where he worked part-time for the Westinghouse Engine Company and in spare moments tinkered in a little machine shop he set up. Eventually he built a small “farm locomotive,” a tractor that used an old mowing machine for its chassis and a homemade steam engine for power.
Ford moved back to Detroit nine years later as a married man. His wife Clara Bryant, had grown up on a farm not far from Ford’s. They were married 1888, and on November 6, 1893, she gave birth to there only child, Edsel Bryant. A month later Ford was made chief Engineer at the main Detroit Edison Company plant with responsibility for maintaining electric service in the city 24 hours a day. Because he was on call at all times, he had no regular hours and could experiment to his heart’s content. He had determined several years before to build a gasoline-powered vehicle, and his first working gasoline engine was completed at the end of 1893. By 1896 he had completed his first horseless Ford's Quadricycle
carriage, the “Quadricycle,” so called because the chassis of the four-horsepower vehicle
was a buggy frame mounted on four bicycle wheels. Unlike many other automotive inventors, including Charles Edgar and J. Frank Duryea, Elwood Hayes, Hiram Percy Maxim, and his...