Henry Ford transformed the world as we know it with his revolutionary technologies… or did he? History can get a little jumbled over time, and you can never quite be sure of what’s a rumor, and what’s truth anymore. To help you out, we have finally come to debunk the myths! Read on to discover all of the things you thought you knew about Henry Ford!
Number Seven: The Man and His Horses
When Ford explained the design plans for his original Model T, he was said to have validated his creation by saying “If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” This quote came to be one of the most prominent from the man, especially because it is still used today to demonstrate his progressive thought process. Although, there is little to no evidence supporting that he ever really said this in the first place.
Number Six: The Kingpin
Ford was labeled as a penny pincher for life (and beyond) all because of one little part: the kingpin. Ford took great pride in constructing vehicles of the highest quality and parts, and admittedly they did last longer than most models of the day. However, rumors spread after Ford sent a research team to inspect old Model T’s at a junkyard to examine the wear on individual parts. The kingpin of every model showed to outlast every other part, so Ford saved some money by investing in lower-quality kingpins in new lines. To this day, rumors circulate that Ford uses poor quality car parts for the sake of money.
Number Five: The Dearborn Independent
During Ford’s fame, he received a lot of criticism for the publication of his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent. The misconception comes with the content of said publication, which bore a large amount of anti-Semitic, hate-based content during the second World War. Ford was actually friends with Adolf Hitler, but refused to admit that he was responsible for the content. In fact, he claimed that he took no part in creating his paper, and didn’t even read it. When he was sued for libel, he did state a car accident to get out of testifying.
Number Four: Henry Ford Loves Black
Ford wrote a comment in his biography that became one of his most widely known quotes to date: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” So you might assume that all of the early Model T’s were black, right? Not so much. In fact, the first four years’ worth of models didn’t even offer black as a color option. The only available choices were grey, green, blue, or red.
Number Three: The Assembly Line Genius
From an early age, every American child is taught that Henry Ford was the first to revolutionize the car-building process on assembly lines. If you pay attention to the fine print, however, he was only the first to do it in America. The Benz company in Germany had been producing loads of vehicles in this fashion before Ford got to the concept, and they were the largest producer of automobiles throughout the world by 1900.
Number Two: The Ford Legacy
The one thing that really made this innovative man famous was his worker wages. In a time of poor wages and working conditions, Ford realized that a monotonous job on an assembly line was no better than any other job. So, he made the wages better with his token “five-dollar-day”. He paid his workers enough to afford his products, but not from his generosity. In truth, it was simply more financially efficient to hire less workers for longer times on higher pay.
Number One: The Model T
Possibly the most shocking misconception of all, Ford isn’t responsible for the design of the Model T. Not to say he wasn’t an exceptional car manufacturer and designer, but he had nothing to do with his famous model. The designs were actually constructed immigrants Józef Galamb and Charles Sorenson in the year 1907. Both were important figures in Ford’s business, but they deserve all the glory. We hope you enjoyed exploring the top 7 most common misconceptions about Henry Ford!