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Folks Of Interest Today in history -April 7, 1947

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. 74 years ago today - April 7, 1947 Henry Ford passed away.

    Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, was born in Springwells Township, Wayne County, Michigan, on July 30, 1863, to Mary (Litogot) and William Ford. He was the eldest of six children in a family of four boys and two girls. His father was a native of County Cork, Ireland, who came to America in 1847 and settled on a farm in Wayne County.

    Young Henry Ford showed an early interest in mechanics. By the time he was 12, he was spending most of his spare time in a small machine shop he had equipped himself. There, at 15, he constructed his first steam engine.

    Later, he became a machinist’s apprentice in Detroit in the shops of James F. Flower and Brothers, and in the plant of the Detroit Dry Dock Company. After completing his apprenticeship in 1882, he spent a year setting up and repairing Westinghouse steam engines in southern Michigan. In July 1891, he was employed as an engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company of Detroit. He became chief engineer on November 6, 1893. Thomas Edison would become a lifelong mentor and friend to Henry Ford.

    On April 11, 1888, Henry married Clara Jane Bryant of Greenfield, Michigan, the daughter of Martha (Bench) and Melvin Bryant, a Wayne County farmer. Clara lived to the age of 84 and died on September 29, 1950. They had one child, son Edsel Bryant Ford was born on November 6, 1893.

    Henry and Clara Ford
    Henry Ford’s career as a builder of automobiles dated from the winter of 1893 when his interest in internal combustion engines led him to construct a small one-cylinder gasoline model. The first Ford engine sputtered its way to life on a wooden table in the kitchen of the Ford home at 58 Bagley Avenue in Detroit. A later version of that engine powered his first automobile, which was essentially a frame fitted with four bicycle wheels. This first Ford car, the Quadricycle, was completed in June 1896.


    On August 19, 1899, he resigned from the Edison Illuminating Company and, with others, organized the Detroit Automobile Company, which went into bankruptcy about 18 months later. Meanwhile, Henry Ford designed and built several racing cars. In one of them, called Sweepstakes, he defeated Alexander Winton on a track in Grosse Pointe, Michigan on October 10, 1901. One month later, Henry Ford founded his second automobile venture, the Henry Ford Company. He would leave that enterprise, which would become the Cadillac Motor Car Company, in early 1902. In another of his racing cars, the 999, he established a world record for the mile, covering the distance in 39.4 seconds on January 12, 1904 on the winter ice of Lake St. Clair.

    On June 16, 1903, Henry and 12 others invested $28,000 and created Ford Motor Company. The first car built by the Company was sold July 15, 1903. Henry owned 25.5% of the stock in the new organization. He became president and controlling owner in 1906. In 1919, Henry, Clara, and Edsel Ford acquired the interest of all minority stockholders for $105,820,894 and became the sole owners of the Company. Edsel, who succeeded his father as president in 1919, occupied that position until his death in 1943, when Henry Ford returned to the post.

    In September, 1945, when he resigned the presidency for a second time, Henry Ford recommended that his grandson, Henry Ford II, be elected to the position. The board of directors followed his recommendation.

    In 1946, Henry Ford was lauded at the Automotive Golden Jubilee for his contributions to the automotive industry. In July of that same year, 50,000 people cheered for him in Dearborn at a giant 83rd birthday party. Later that year, the American Petroleum Institute awarded him its first Gold Medal annual award for outstanding contributions to the welfare of humanity. The United States government honored him in 1965 by featuring his likeness with a Model T on a postage stamp as part of their Prominent Americans series. In 1999, Fortune magazine named Henry Ford the Businessman of the Century.


    In collaboration with Samuel Crowther, he wrote My Life and Work (1922), Today and Tomorrow (1926), and Moving Forward (1930), which described the development of Ford Motor Company and outlined his industrial and social theories. He also published Edison, As I Know Him (1930), with the same collaborator. Doctor of Engineering degrees were conferred on him by the University of Michigan and Michigan State College (now Michigan State University), and he received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Colgate University.

    Henry Ford died at his residence, Fair Lane Estate in Dearborn, at 11:40pm on Monday, April 7, 1947, following a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 83 years old. At his bedside were Clara Ford and members of their household staff. At the time of his death, flooding on the Rouge River, which flows through the grounds of Fair Lane, had cut off electrical power. Old-fashioned kerosene lamps and candles were the only sources of light in the house, creating a scene similar to his birth in the same county many years before.

    Funeral services were held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Detroit, Michigan, and Henry Ford was laid to rest in the family cemetery at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church, in Detroit.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  2. It's ironic that Henry Fords last ride was in Packard. HRP

  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,094

    from California

    Hearses were built on both Ford and Mercury chassis.

  4. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 953

    3W JOHN

    Thanks for posting.
    Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.

  5. May the Fords be with you!
  6. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,143


    Henry's resignation in 1945 was a "forced" thing. Ford was losing enormous amounts just after the war because Henry wouldn't update his cars. I read where Henry II and Clara threatened having him committed if he didn't resign. Henry II then brought in the "Wiz Kids" and they began working on the design change for the 49 models.
  7. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 2,437


    Pretty cool. Thanks HRP.
    3W JOHN, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  8. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,641


    and his grave is well protected by steel bars fearing someone would steal him!
    3W JOHN, Deuces and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  9. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,847

    Bandit Billy

    @HOTRODPRIMER I would add todays date to your title so it remains relevant. Just a suggestion. Good article, always learn a little something new.
    3W JOHN, Deuces, HOTRODPRIMER and 2 others like this.
  10. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,157


    Yes, Ford was considering leaving cars and just making tractors and trucks if the new 49 Ford was not successful. A lot of pressure on Ford, Chevy was outselling them since about 1937, The New Caddys and Olds were getting state of the art OHV engines and GM was a mega car manufacturer known to bully smaller companies....
  11. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,289

    1. 1940 Ford

  12. moparboy440
    Joined: Sep 30, 2011
    Posts: 668

    from Finland

  13. moparboy440
    Joined: Sep 30, 2011
    Posts: 668

    from Finland

  14. FalconMan
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,355

    from Minnesota

    Funny ... that Merc belongs to my mate in Melbourne Oz. I was there 2 years ago and I converted it to 12V for him. A very nice restoration and used quite frequently as intended !
  15. MO54Frank
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 441


  16. There was a bit more to that.... His ouster was actually engineered by the government as his intransigence to changes needed for war production had seriously alarmed them. They then approached Clara for advice/help and she agreed if Henry II would replace him. Henry II (who was in the Navy) was 'reassigned' to take over Ford from his grandfather, not being officially discharged (and still subject to military orders) from the Navy until war's end. The government was prepared if necessary to 'take over' Ford Motor Company, but wanted to avoid a public battle if at all possible. Keep in mind that at the time, the atomic bomb was still a secret and they weren't sure it would work, so it was expected that the war on Japan could drag on longer than it did.
  17. And your rant has what exactly to do with this post? HRP
  18. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,264


    Thanks for remembering the man who made Detroit Motor City.
  19. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,191


    I wouldn't call it a rant. Just some more history.
  20. ironrodder
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 179


    I read more than one history of Ol' Henry more like that of ' 28 phone booth.
  21. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 2,633


    I love Ford cars...the man, not so much:(
    3W JOHN, HOTRODPRIMER and wraymen like this.
  22. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,168


    I would hardly describe what Phonebooth wrote as ignorant. I've read a few books on Henry Ford and those assertions are documented! And let's not forget about his chief domo, Harry Bennet! There was a prick of mega proportions. How about the riot with the union?

    Yes Henry Ford did advance the age of the automobile but he sure as hell was not a saint. Too many times tycoons are canonized by their own media relations and the public swallows it up. The list is countless. Another bastard was Carnegie who set up libraries in the US and even here in Vancouver I suppose as penance for how he treated his workers. A lot of huge fortunes have been made with the blood, sweat, and tears of the average working man but it has always been thus...
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
  23. Sorry if I offended some members with my previous post but I stand behind what I wrote.
    It's important to to know facts vs. legends, and that's what I presented. As @Fortunateson stated so correctly, there has been a lot of misrepresentations of people in history, and his 'bio's' are among them.
  24. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 953

    3W JOHN

    I agree with Joel,This thread as I see it was not posted to create drama, just a date where a man in history changed the world and built a business that got the common man in a affordable automobile.I think everyone knows Henry Ford was no saint.
  25. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,950


    Thanks, HRP, for the post. History is not always pretty, but it is history and should be remembered.
  26. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,297


    All those without sin cast the first stone...

    Ever notice how the people who are responsible for making life better for us are usually disrespected by the people who benefit the most..
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  27. moparboy440
    Joined: Sep 30, 2011
    Posts: 668

    from Finland

  28. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,649


    Hey CS thanks for this, I enjoyed it because it is history of the automobile industry and governments potential intrusional apatite. Just like NBC is saying these days, "The more you know..........."
    BTW its a far thing from a rant, (if this is the post some called a rant.)
    HOTRODPRIMER and hotrodjack33 like this.
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,703


    When I was an engineer at Ford in Dearborn I used to organize lunchtime "cruises". Usually we would bring in our hobby cars and just drive a couple of blocks for pizza in the park. Once I told everyone to drive in their rides and be prepared for a "mystery cruise". We headed over to Mr. and Mrs. Ford's gravesite, paid or respects to our company founder, had lunch, and returned to work. I'd like to think Henry would have liked it. The younger guys in the pack learned something that day too.
  30. Obviously you missed his first post, which I assume he deleted because it is gone, he really like using the word PRICK when referring to Henry Ford. HRP
    Desoto291Hemi and 3W JOHN like this.

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