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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Henry Ford’s Assembly Line Turns 100

Ford tested various assembly methods to optimize assembly line procedures before permanently installing the equipment. In this 1913 photo, workers Experiment with mounting the body on a Model T chassis. (Ford Motor Company via Wikimedia)Ford Model T assembly line (phil/flickr)Ford Model T assembly line (Bradley Cruse/Flickr)Ford Skyline Assembly Line 1957 (00anders/Flickr)Modern Ford overhead conveyor (Ford Asia Pacific/Flickr)

Ford Motor Company marks the 100th anniversary of the assembly line.

The Model T went into production in 1909, and at first, Henry Ford tied the cars together by rope and yanked them down the assembly line.

But by October 1913, the rope was replaced by a conveyor belt, and gave way to, as Paul Eisenstein writes, an assembly line much like the ones we see today.

Ford installed the first rudimentary line at the Highland Park Assembly Plant in October, 1913 in Michigan.

Eisenstein also says that Ford’s assembly line has influenced far more than just the production of goods.

“Even if you get something that wasn’t produced on an assembly line, the simple fact that you can afford to buy it comes out because of the changes to our society, the creation of a middle class, created by the automotive assembly line,” Eisenstein told Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti.


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