Реферат: Henry Ford

Ford,Henry (1863-1947), American industrialist, best known for his pioneeringachievements in the automobile industry.

Fordwas born on a farm near Dearborn, Michigan, on July 30, 1863, and educated indistrict schools. He became a machinist's apprentice in Detroit at the age of16. From 1888 to 1899 he was a mechanical engineer, and later chief engineer,with the Edison Illuminating Company. In 1893, after experimenting for severalyears in his leisure hours, he completed the construction of his firstautomobile, and in 1903 he founded the Ford Motor Company.



In1913 Ford began using standardized interchangeable parts and assembly-linetechniques in his plant. Although Ford neither originated nor was the first toemploy such practices, he was chiefly responsible for their general adoptionand for the consequent great expansion of American industry and the raising ofthe American standard of living.

Byearly 1914 this innovation, although greatly increasing productivity, hadresulted in a monthly labor turnover of 40 to 60 percent in his factory,largely because of the unpleasant monotony of assembly-line work and repeatedincreases in the production quotas assigned to workers. Ford met thisdifficulty by doubling the daily wage then standard in the industry, raising itfrom about $2.50 to $5. The net result was increased stability in his laborforce and a substantial reduction in operating costs. These factors, coupledwith the enormous increase in output made possible by new technologicalmethods, led to an increase in company profits from $30 million in 1914 to $60million in 1916.


In1908 the Ford company initiated production of the celebrated Model T. Until1927, when the Model T was discontinued in favor of a more up-to-date model,the company produced and sold about 15 million cars. Within the ensuing fewyears, however, Ford's preeminence as the largest producer and seller ofautomobiles in the nation was gradually lost to his competitors, largelybecause he was slow to adopt the practice of introducing a new model ofautomobile each year, which had become standard in the industry. During the1930s Ford adopted the policy of the yearly changeover, but his company wasunable to regain the position it had formerly held.



Inthe period from 1937 to 1941, the Ford company became the only majormanufacturer of automobiles in the Detroit area that had not recognized anylabor union as the collective bargaining representative of employees. Athearings before the National Labor Relations Board Ford was found guilty ofrepeated violations of the National Labor Relations Act. The findings againsthim were upheld on appeal to the federal courts. Ford was constrained tonegotiate a standard labor contract after a successful strike by the workers athis main plant at River Rouge, Michigan, in April 1941.



Earlyin 1941 Ford was granted government contracts whereby he was, at first, tomanufacture parts for bombers and, later, the entire airplane. He thereuponlaunched the construction of a huge plant at Willow Run, Michigan, whereproduction was begun in May 1942. Despite certain technical difficulties, bythe end of World War II (1945) this plant had manufactured more than 8000planes.



Fordwas active in several other fields besides those of automobile and airplanemanufacturing. In 1915 he chartered a peace ship, which carried him and anumber of like-minded individuals to Europe, where they attempted withoutsuccess to persuade the belligerent governments to end World War I. He wasnominated for the office of U.S. senator from Michigan in 1918 but was defeatedin the election. In the following year he erected the Henry Ford Hospital inDetroit at a cost of $7.5 million. In 1919 he became the publisher of theDearborn Independent, a weekly journal, which at first published anti-Semiticmaterial. After considerable public protest, Ford directed that publication ofsuch articles be discontinued and that a public apology be made to the Jewishpeople.


Advancingage obliged Ford to retire from the active direction of his giganticenterprises in 1945. He died on April 7, 1947, in Dearborn. Ford left apersonal fortune estimated at $500 to $700 million, bequeathing the largestshare of his holdings in the Ford Motor Company to the Ford Foundation, anonprofit organization.






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