In This Section

Model T Legacy

Model T & Society

Industrial Impact

Heritage & Influence

Model T Educational Lesson Plan

Industrial Impact of the Model T

The way the Model T was made was as important as the car itself. After the Model T's introduction in October, 1908, Henry Ford found that he could sell every car that he could make. But he wanted to make as many cars as he could sell, so he and his team of engineers began a relentless drive for ever more production at ever lower cost.

"Machines," Ford observed, "are to a mechanic what books are to a writer. He gets ideas from them and if he has any brains he will apply those ideas." Ford and his team had plenty of brains. They took ideas from meat packers, small arms factories, tin can factories, watch factories, bicycle factories, farm machinery factories. Adding their own ideas and applying them all with consummate genius they had, by the end of 1913, created what we now call mass production: standardized products assembled from interchangeable parts by workers doing repetitive tasks as the work flows by in an endless stream. If something as complex as an automobile could be mass produced so could simpler items like radios, toasters, and lawn mowers. Industries around the world adopted, adapted and often improved on Ford's methods. Mass production and mass consumption became two of the characteristics of 20th century life in the industrialized world.



Images from the Collections of The Henry Ford
© The Henry Ford, 2007