Henry Ford: Captain of Industry
During the mid to late nineteenth century, the substantial influx of immigrants from all parts of the world coming to the United States of America created a large workforce and lower class. As a result, American businessmen were able to capitalize off this ‘resource’ and gain wealth and power. Many of these men became tycoons, known for either ruthlessly and inmorally attaining these gains for themselves or using their own wealth to better American society. Those that gave back to their communities became known as Captains of Industries. Henry Ford, one of the wealthiest men during this time period, became well known for his creation of the Model T, an affordable and easy to use automobile. His introduction of the assembly line greatly impacted the way factories mass produced products, consumerism in America, and created a new market in the economy. In addition to contributing to the economic side of America, Ford played a role in the social aspect of people’s lives by donating millions of dollars to his foundation and community based programs.
Henry Ford is a Captain of Industry, positively contributing to the country by reshaping the industrial workforce and providing the masses with an array of financial support. One of Henry Ford’s most epochal contributions to the world is the assembly line. The assembly line was first implemented on December 1, 1913, and allows for workers to stay stationed in a certain area of the factory and perform one task, in contrast to that of a group of workers moving around building one whole vehicle (Brinkley). This technique revolutionized mass production. Ford Motor Company was able to manufacture cars at a much faster speed reducing the time from twelve hours to an hour and a half(Stanford), allowing for the production cost and price of the product to decrease. This makes him a captain of industry because he is introducing an important technique to the world. He’s Not the only one profiting.
After introducing the assembly line and selling thousands of automobiles, Ford began to reshape the relationship his company had with its employees. One way he does this is by increasing the pay of many of his workers to at least five dollars a day in hope to create a happier and more efficient work environment. The Detroit Journal states, “The present minimum wage in great motor car factor is $2.34. From next Monday to the end of the year, even the lowest of laborer and the men who merely sweeps the floor will get at least $5 a day.”