The Life of Henry Ford "A great American Inventor"

Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863 in Dearborn, Michigan. His father, William, was an immigrant from Ireland. His father earned a living by farming. His mother, Mary, was very important to Henry. She died when Henry was only 12.

  • 1871 - Henry attended school for the first time at the Scotch Settlement School. He had to walk 2 1/2 miles to get to school. His mother had already taught him to read and write.
  • 1873 - He moved to the Miller School. Then he began experimenting with steam. The first time he did an experiment he blew up a pot and he burned himself. Then Henry worked with his classmates to make a bigger steam engine, but it blew up and it burned down the school's fence.
  • 1876 - Henry saw for the first time a portable steam engine.
  • 1879 - Henry left school and he worked in several machine shops in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1882 - Henry's dad wanted him to come home and take over the farm but he did not want to. He took a job working on steam engines in Michigan and Ohio.
  • 1888 - Henry married Clara Jane Bryant. Henry's nickname for Clara was "the believer" because she had so much faith in his skills.
  • 1890 - Henry started to work on gasoline powered engines but he did not know a lot about electricity. Gas engines were smaller and lighter then steam engines so they would be better for a vehicle.
  • Then he took a job with the Edison Electric Illuminating Company so he could learn more about electricity.
  • 1893 - Henry and Clara had a son named Edsel Bryant Ford. Edsel was named after one of Henry's best friends.
  • 1896 - Henry built a quadricycle. His nickname for the vehicle was the "horseless carriage". When he was going to test it, he could not get the quadricycle out of the door so they had to break the brick wall.

1903 - With the help of a Scotsman, Henry started the Ford Motor Company. The company was started in Detroit, Michigan. Their first car was the Model A.

  • 1908 - Henry made his favorite car the Model T. This car is the first car that anybody could buy not just the wealthy.
  • 1910 - Henry opened his new plant. Henry started to work on a moving assembly line, and they began making many of their own parts. They were able to reduce car production time. (728 minutes down to 93 minutes)
  • 1918 - Henry Ford stepped down as the president of Ford Motor and his son Edsel took over the company at the age of 25.
  • 1922 - Ford Motor changed the workweek from 6 days to 5 days.
  • 1933 - Henry's Greenfield Village opened. It was a museum where visitors could learn about how people lived in the past.
  • 1943 - Edsel died and Henry took over the company for a short time.
  • 1945 - Henry Ford II, Henry's grandson, was named president of the Henry Ford company.
  • April 7, 1947 - Henry Ford died at the age of 83.
  • 1903-2012 - 350 million Fords have been produced.
  • Bibliography
  • "Henry Ford: Young Man With Ideas" by Hazel B. Aird and Catherine Ruddiman
  • "Driven A Photobiography of Henry Ford" by Don Mitchell


Created with images by jodelli - "Henry Ford Museum" • bernswaelz - "oldtimer ford spotlight" • Boston Public Library - "Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan" • Mark Morgan Trinidad B - "Ford Emblem"

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