Ford spend his entire life and career in the Detroit area and is personally responsible for establishing Detroit as the Motor City.
Henry Ford was the oldest of six children. He grew up on a farm in Dearborn but moved to Detroit to apprentice as a machinist when he was 16. He worked at various jobs thereafter. In addition to helping out on his family’s farm, he also worked repairing steam engines and ran a sawmill.
It wasn’t until he took a job as an engineer at Edison Illuminating Company in 1891 that Ford found his focus. While he moved up the ranks at Edison to chief engineer, he was able to experiment on internal combustion engines. His experiments eventually culminated in the creation of the Quadricycle in 1896 and the establishment of the Ford Motor Company in 1903. It wasn’t until the introduction of the Model T in 1908 and the ability to mass produce it in 1913, however, that the Ford Motor Company took off. In fact, it was the introduction of the moving assembly line that ultimately made Henry Ford the king of the automobile and Detroit his capital.
More In-Depth Information:
- Biography by About.com’s Guide to Entrepreneurs
- Biography by About.com’s Guide to the History of the 1900s
- The Henry Ford Museum website