What Did Henry Ford Invent?

Henry Ford did not invent anything, but he innovated and revolutionized the automobile and manufacturing. Although he is often referred to as the inventor of the automobile, the first true automobile was invented by Karl Benz in 1885 or 1886. Ford, however, improved greatly on the design and price of the automobile making him the father of the modern car.

Henry Ford is best known for his work with the automobile and the assembly line. Many mistakenly give Ford credit for inventing both, but the concept of the assembly line and the basic design of a functional automobile existed long before Henry Ford built his first motorized vehicle. This does not, however, diminish the role Ford played in improving upon the designs and ideas for both. While the automobile may have been invented prior to Henry Ford’s influence, it was his innovations that made the automobile affordable and functional. The Ford Motor Company consistently turned out new, upgraded models culminating in the biggest automobile success of the time — the Model T. Ford’s business innovations were as impressive as his engineering innovations. He used the concept of the assembly line, but improved vastly upon it. In 1914, his assembly lines could produce a complete chassis in 93 minutes. This was an astounding increase over early times of 728 minutes. Eventually, his production techniques and innovations to his assembly lines allowed his plants to produce a Model T every 24 seconds. While he may not have specifically invented anything, Henry Ford’s innovations changed the world.