To hear the entire song, click here (you'll also see a nice video of Henry)
Henry Ford became an icon of a self-made man. He began life as a farmer's son and quickly became
rich and famous. Although an industrialist, Ford remembered the common man. He designed the Model T for the masses, installed
a mechanized assembly line to make production cheaper and faster, and instituted the $5 per day pay rate for his workers
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Click here to read more about Edsel Ford
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audio comments by Edsel Ford's grandson, also named Edsel
As the Fords' only child, Edsel was groomed to take over the family business, and had grown up tinkering
on cars with his father. He became secretary of Ford in 1915 and married Eleanor Lowthian Clay .
The younger Ford showed more interest than his father in flashier styling for automobiles. He indulged this proclivity in part with the purchase of the Lincoln Motor Company in 1922. His affinity for sporty cars was demonstrated in his personal vehicles: Edsel bought the first
MG motorcar imported to the United States. In 1932 he had a V-8 boat-tailed speedster custom-designed for
him, and two years later had another car designed, this one a low-riding aluminum-bodied speedster. The latter two cars he
kept for the remainder of his life and inspired the design of the Lincoln Continental.
After becoming president of Ford, Edsel long advocated the introduction of a more modern automobile
to replace the Model T, but was repeatedly overruled by his father. Flagging sales and dwindling market share for the company,
however, finally made introduction of a new model inevitable.
During the design phase for the Model A, Henry Ford assured mechanical quality and reliability, leaving it to his son to flesh out the body design.
Edsel also prevailed upon his father to allow the inclusion of four-wheel mechanical brakes and a sliding-gear transmission on this model. The resulting Model A was a commercial success, selling over four million during four
years of production.
|Henry Ford-Father of the American Car