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Ford Timeline: 1863-1943


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1863 July 30 — Birth of Henry Ford on father’s farm in Springwells Township, near Dearborn, Michigan, west of Detroit.
1879 Ford takes his first job at Michigan Car Company, a railroad-car manufacturer in Detroit.
1880 Ford begins machinist apprenticeships and moonlights as watch repairman in Detroit jewelry shop.
1882 Ford returns to Dearborn area to operate steam-engined farm machinery.
1884-5 Attends business school in Detroit part-time.
1888 Marries Clara Bryant.
1892 Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford move to Detroit when he takes job as engineer of stationary steam engines at Edison Illuminating Co.
1893 Birth of Edsel Ford; Henry begins experimenting with home-built gasoline internal-combustion engines.
1896 Runs his first experimental car, the Quadricycle, on streets of Detroit.
1899 Persuades investors to underwrite Detroit Auto Co., quits Detroit Edison; venture fails.
1901 Jobless, moves his wife and son back into his father’s home on Grand Boulevard in Detroit;

Ford, driving own car, beats Winton in automobile race, attracts investors who form Henry Ford Co.

1902 Ford withdraws but company goes on to become Cadillac.
1903 June 16 — Ford Motor Co. founded by Malcomson group; Model A produced in rented Mack Ave. plant.
1904 Company starts building Piquette Ave. plant at corner of Beaubien; still standing and being restored;

Ford of Canada chartered in Windsor, Ontario, and a Ford sales organization established in London, England.

1906 Ford overtakes Olds, Buick and Cadillac combined to become Number One automaker in U.S., a position it holds for 20 years;

Henry Ford becomes company president and majority owner.

1908 October — Introduction of legendary Ford Model T which puts the world on wheels.
1909 January January — Offer from Billy Durant to buy out Ford and fold it into nascent General Motors fails when N.Y. bankers won’t provide the cash up front that Henry demands.
1910 Highland Park plant with extensive manufacturing facilities opens, assembly of Model T transferred from Piquette which closes.
1911 First overseas assembly plant in Manchester, England; Ford wins Selden patent suit.
1913 Moving assembly line inaugurated at Highland Park.
1914 Announcement of $5 day.
1915 Purchase of land for Rouge plant in Dearborn; one-millionth Ford built.
1917 Introduction of TT truck and Fordson tractor;

September 4 — Birth of Henry Ford II.

1918 Assembly of Eagle boats at Rouge on Navy contract; Henry Ford loses Senate race as Democrat.
1919 Henry Ford buys out minority stockholders; Edsel Ford becomes president;

Birth of Benson Ford.

1920 September — Introduction of first Lincoln car, a V-8.
1921 Five-millionth Ford built.
1922 Ford Motor Company acquires Lincoln Motor Co. and begins selling Lincoln Model L.
1923 Birth of Josephine Ford.
1924 Inauguration of Ford fleet of lake and ocean vessels; ten millionth Ford built.
1925 Model T price reaches bottom of $260; First pickup truck introduced; Production of Ford Tri-Motor aircraft begins; Ford of Germany established;

March 14 — Birth of William Clay Ford.

1927 Model T production ends with 15 milllionth built; Model A introduced after 6-month shutdown for retooling.
1931 20-millionth Ford built; Introduction of Lincoln K with improved V-8.
1932 Introduction of Ford V-8, Lincoln KB V-12 and English Ford Model Y.
1933 Ford falls to third place after General Motors and Chrysler.
1935 Introduction of 1936 Lincoln-Zephyr, Ford’s first medium-priced car.
1937 25 millionth Ford, a Deluxe Fordor V-8 trunk sedan, built.
1938 Introduction of 1939 Mercury, Ford’s second medium-price entry.
1939 Edsel Ford impresses friends with his custom-built Lincoln-Zephyr

Continental, put into production for 1940 model year.

1941 War production begins with quarter-ton GPs (“jeeps”) at Dearborn and B-24 bombers at Willow Run (more than 282,000 GPs and 8,485 bombers are built by war’s end in 1945); First contract with United Auto Workers signed.
1942 Last civilian cars built, a Ford at Dearborn and a Mercury at Windsor, Canada.
1943 Death of Edsel Ford, Henry Ford elected president, Henry Ford II released from Navy to help run company.
 
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