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Celebrate Henry Ford, a catalyst for modern technology and economics

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 1968: shows Henry Ford (1863-1947)When: July 30

What: When the Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903, few could have predicted that it would lead to revolutions in manufacturing, labor and even economics. Recognize this catalyst for modern technology and economics by celebrating Henry Ford’s birthday on July 30.

Background: Ford was born in 1863 and showed early signs of having a mechanically inclined mind. At the age of 15, his father gave him a pocket watch, which he dismantled and reassembled. After serving as an apprentice machinist in Detroit, Ford became adept at operating a steam engine when he returned to work on the family farm. Eventually, Ford went on to found the Ford Motor Company and create the Model T car, the first automobile manufactured with the goal of being affordable for the masses. While developing the Model T, Ford also created the first moving assembly line used in large-scale manufacturing. As Ford produced cars more quickly, he lowered car prices and raised his workers’ wages so that they too could afford his cars, thus laying down the principles of the business philosophy known as Fordism.

Story Pitch: Ford is most obviously associated with cars, so any automotive business should take advantage of this event. These businesses can advertise how they keep cars affordable, safe or well maintained for customers, as well as how they have continued Ford’s legacy of innovation. Ford’s business model also focused on maximizing efficiency via methods such as high wages and streamlined manufacturing. Business consultants can pitch around these elements and address common issues regarding efficiency and what they do to aid clients in pursuing best practices. Companies that work mostly in fabrication and manufacturing also have a clear link to this day and can focus on their contributions to the field in terms of not only mass production but also the welfare of workers and their own methods for reducing costs.

Story Hook: According to a Gallup poll, two-thirds of Americans favor more spending and research into alternative fuel sources for automobiles. What does this mean for the future of the automotive industry, and what other major catalysts may be driving changes in technology, labor or economics? Keep the following in mind when making your pitch:

  • What are simple ways a company can increase worker wellness and efficiency?
  • What are the current hurdles of manufacturing in the U.S.?
  • Where can small businesses receive guidance regarding efficiency, franchising and other needs?
  • What are some of Ford’s methods and innovations that have been replaced?

Tips: Be sure to provide contact information for an economics professor or a best practices consultant to speak about Ford’s economic legacy or modern business practices.


Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office
(301) 975-2830

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
(202) 326-5500

United Auto Workers
(313) 926-5000

United States Department of Labor
(866) 487-2365

–Researched, compiled & written by Nicholas Testa
Event Dates  from CHASE’S Calendar of Events




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