Henry Ford might be known for his work with automobiles and assembly lines, but there was more to this man than becoming the foundation of one of the world’s most recognizable names of an automaker. He was an engineer at heart, an entrepreneur who saw many opportunities, and even encouraged education by having a school moved to his property. The important facts about this man are interesting indeed.
1. He Made His Own Tools
One of the first loves that Ford had as a child was engineering. He would often fix the watches and time pieces of family and friends when they would break. Not only could he finish the repair quickly, but he also made his own tools to do so. He even used a corset stay as a set of tweezers, as the story is told anyway. A shingle nail made for a pretty good screwdriver too.
2. Ford Worked For Edison
Henry Ford had a great dream to create a car that was fueled with gasoline, but great dreams don’t pay the bills. For 6 years starting in 1893, Ford worked for Edison in Detroit for this Illuminating Company at their main plant. He was on call 24/7 to make sure that the electrical power stayed running, which had to have been a draining job. It was Edison, in fact, who convinced Ford to leave so that he could work on his dream of an automobile.
3. He Ran For the Senate and Spent Nothing
In 1918, Woodrow Wilson personally contacted Ford to see if he would run for the local Senate seat on the Democratic ticket. After giving it some thought, Ford decided that this would be a good idea, but he had one condition for the President: he wouldn’t spend any money whatsoever to do campaigning. Ford was true to his word and didn’t spend one penny. In the end, he lost the election, but it was only by 4,500 votes.
4. You Use a Ford Invention To Cook
Many of the early automobiles used real wood within the interior of the vehicle and in several other construction points. Using wood meant that there would be numerous scraps left over after the day’s work was done. Ford discovered that he could take these wood scraps and turn them into charcoal briquettes that could be used for grilling. To get the business started, Ford’s brother-in-law, E.G. Kingsford, finalized the site selection for the new manufacturing plant. Ford decided to name the new company after his brother-in-law for all of the hard work that he put into the venture.
5. He Tried to Make Airplanes Too
World War I brought about a need for a new technology: airplanes. Ford decided that airplanes weren’t that different from cars in a manufacturing sense, so he began the Ford Airplane Company, Although the company closed in 1933 because of a lack of sales, Ford has been recognized as one of the pioneers of aviation for the work that he did.