This Day in History: The Ford Assembly Line Starts in Michigan

By December 1, 2021 No Comments

As you probably know, Michigan is home of the “Motor City,” Detroit. But did you know the Ford assembly didn’t actually start in Detroit?

It was in Michigan, however, it was not actually Henry Ford who created the assembly line. That was created in 1901, 100 years ago. On Dec 1, 1913, Henry Ford perfected the system known as The Ford Assembly Line that allowed cars to be mass produced at a cheaper price, getting us to where we are now with so much transportation available.

So, here’s how the assembly line started 100 years ago:

1923 Ford Model T

Before the industrial revolution, parts were made by an expert, then sent out to the next person. Eli Whitney figured out a way to make machines who could complete the tasks once required by hands, and that’s when Ransom Olds came in to play. He is attributed to inventing the assembly line, and increased car production to 500% that year. The Oldsmobile also became significantly cheaper, making it possible for the middle class to purchase a car.

Once more people could afford a car, its demand grew. And that’s where Henry Ford revolutionized the car assembly process.

Henry Ford’s Assembly Line

According to History.com:

“On December 1, 1913, Henry Ford installs the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile. His innovation reduced the time it took to build a car from more than 12 hours to one hour and 33 minutes. … The most significant piece of Ford’s efficiency crusade was the assembly line.”

Henry Ford started this not in Detroit, but in Highland Park. Of course, after cars started to really take off, eventually Detroit would build to the glorious city it was for a time, being the home of Buick, Chrysler and Ford at one point (theweek.com).

As proud residents of Michigan, now you can go share “Happy Ford Assembly Week” facts with your friends!

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