At one point, it was the largest integrated factory on Earth
Ford’s Rouge River plant is a significant piece of American automotive history. Located in Dearborn, Michigan, it is where the Model A, Model B, Thunderbird, Mustang and numerous other Ford vehicles were built.
Now, thanks to the internet, we can get an inside look at how the massive plant operated back in the 1960s.
A video titled The Rouge uploaded by A/V Geeks is a must-watch for any car lover, not just Ford fans. The nearly 30-minute video demonstrates just how massive the plant was at its peak, and the absurd complexity of the facility that, at one point, was the biggest integrated factory on the planet.
The video explains that Henry Ford, who grew up near the Rouge River, chose the site because it gave Ford access to the sea shipping lanes of the world. This was key for Ford being able to import raw iron ore and other materials, which it would transform into complete cars. Ford even had a small cargo-ship fleet to bring materials directly to Michigan.
The Rouge had miles of paved roads and railways that carried everything needed across the massive campus. At its largest point, the plant stretched 1.5 miles wide and 1 mile long and employed as many as 100,000 people.
It was capable of generating its own power and had a working fire department and hospital. Essentially, Ford built a city within a city.
Though the plant is not the size it once was, Ford still has numerous operations on side, including an F-150 truck factory.