Born Jul 30 1863 - Died Apr 7 1947
Patent Number(s) 1,005,186
Pioneering automotive engineer Henry Ford held many patents on automotive mechanisms. He is also well known for helping devise the factory assembly approach to production that revolutionized the auto industry by greatly reducing the time required to assemble a car.
Ford’s moving assembly belt met the increased demand for automobiles, which greatly increased from year to year. Increased production meant that Ford could charge less for his cars and still maintain his profit margins. Sales passed 250,000 in 1914 and by 1916 they were over 450,000 because of the drop in price.
Ford’s business practices paralleled his inventions. He was a strong advocate of corporate paternalism and wanted to create cars which his workers could afford. This meant building cheap cars as well as paying his worker $5 a day to discourage worker turnover. Ford’s ideas for local business and gas stations also changed the American landscape. By 1912 there were over 7,000 Ford dealers across the country to deal with their local concerns and populations.
Ford’s planetary or epicyclic transmission also promoted sales. The system had many advantages over other gear systems including that it was a simple and direct form of speed control.