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Henry Ford (30.07.1863 - 07.04.1947) - American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company.
Henry Ford was born on 30 July 1863 near Detroit. His father, William, was born in Ireland and his mother, Mary, was born in Michigan. Her parents were Belgian immigrants. Mary had adoptive parents because her birth parents died. She was adopted by the O’Herns family. They were the neighbors of Mary. There were five children in the family of William and Mary: Henry, Margaret, Robert, William and Jane.
When Henry was young he received a pocket watch from his father. At the age of fifteen he took to pieces and reassembled the timepieces of his pals many times and they knew him as a watch repairman.
In 1876 Henry’s mother died and he felt low. His father wanted him to go round the farm but Henry abhorred farm work.
Three years later Henry Ford began to work as an apprentice machinist in Detroit. In 1882 he arrived in Dearborn and began to work for Westinghouse company where he maintained steam engines.
In 1888 Ford married Clara Ala Bryant. They had their only son: Edsel Ford.
Three years after marriage Henry became an engineer in the Edison Illuminating Company. In 1893 he became Chief Engineer. Since then Henry Ford started to work on gasoline engine. Consequently in 1896 he developed a self-propelled vehicle which was called the Ford Quadricycle. Afterwards Ford created different improvements for his invention.
In 1896 Henry Ford made the acquaintance of Thomas Edison who endorsed the experiments of Ford. With the assistance of Edison Henry Ford created a new vehicle in 1898. Later he left his job and established the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899. But Henry Ford was not satisfied because the vehicles produced there were of a lower quality and expensive. Eventually the enterprise was not successful and it was abolished in 1901.
Ten months later encouraged by C. Harold Wills Henry Ford developed a 26-horsepower automobile which was successfully tested. As a result stockholders of the Detroit Automobile Company founded the Henry Ford Company in 1901 where Henry Ford was a chief engineer. In 1902 he left the company because a new consultant was hired there. Afterwards the company was renamed. It was called the Cadillac Automobile Company.
Cooperating with Tom Cooper, who was a racing cyclist, Henry Ford created the 80+ horsepower racer “999”. Consequently Henry established contact with his old friend Alexander Y. Malcomson with whom he founded a company “Ford & Malcomson, Ltd.” to produce automobiles.
In 1908 Henry Ford designed a new automobile called Model T. The vehicle was inexpensive and simple to drive. Moreover the steering wheel was on the left. This car was a great success.
In 1926 Henry Ford decided to create a new model because the sales of Model T were slow. He worked on technical improvements and his son designed the body. This model was introduced in 1927. As the Model T, Model A was a great success.
From 1918 to 1943 his son, Edsel, was a president of Ford Motor Company. In 1943 he died of cancer and his father became a president again but his health left much to be desired. Henry Ford was a president of Ford Motor Company until the end of war.
Henry Ford died in 1947 at the age of 83. He was interred in the Ford Cemetery in Detroit.
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