HomeCar CultureToday in Automotive History: The Ford Assembly Line

Today in Automotive History: The Ford Assembly Line

An innovation that changed production forever


On December 1, 1913, the automotive industry witnessed a revolutionary transformation with the introduction of the Ford Assembly Line at the Highland Park Plant in Michigan. Conceived by Henry Ford, the assembly line marked a paradigm shift in manufacturing, forever changing the way products were made and setting the stage for mass production.

The impact was profound. The assembly line enabled Ford to produce the Model T at an unprecedented rate. What once took over 12 hours to assemble now took just 93 minutes. This efficiency translated into lower costs, making automobiles more affordable to the average person. However, workers were then faced with monotonous and repetitive tasks and long working hours. As many began to quit and the International Workers of the World (IWW) union shifted its efforts to striking, Ford was eventually forced to make a change and increase pay. This eventually led to what we know as the workweek: 40 hours a week, eight hours a day.

Thanks to the moving assembly line, Ford was able to produce the 10 millionth Model T by 1924 (Image courtesy of Ford media)

Between 1908 and 1927, Ford builds 15 million Model T’s, changing the very fabric of industrial and agricultural America.




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