Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in Detroit and gave birth to the auto industry in the United States. He made major innovations to the manufacturing process, such as the moving assembly line, and paid his workers a steady wage which allowed them to actually buy what they produced.
Henry Ford was born on July 20, 1863 in Wayne County, Michigan. He died on April 7, 1947 in Dearborn, Michigan. He showed an early aptitude for mechanical devices, including pocket watches and steam tractors. Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903 after working for the Edison Illuminating Company.
Ford introduced the famous Model T in 1908. The car was easy to use and affordable to the public. Ford and the Model T revolutionized the industry, introducing large production plants, interchangeable parts and a moving assembly line, which Ford based partially on meat-packing plants. With the decreased production costs, Ford almost doubled wages for his workers in 1915, instead of simply hoarding the profits, and the Model T eventually dropped from $850 to $350.
Despite paying his workers a reasonable wage, Ford was an adamant opponent of unionization and never fully came around to the new economy following Roosevelt's New Deal. Ford Motor Company was the last major manufacturer to unionize in 1941. Ford also developed anti-Semitic views and held Adolf Hitler's Germany in admiration during the 1930s, though he later renounced these opinions.