Henry Ford, born July 30, 1863 was the first of William and Mary Ford`s six children. He grew up on a prosperous family farm in what is today Dearborn, Michigan. Henry enjoyed a childhood typical of the rural nineteenth century, spending days in a one-room school and doing farm chores. At an early age, he showed an interest in mechanical things and a dislike for farm work.

In 1879, sixteen year old Ford left home for the nearby city of Detroit to work as an apprentice machinist, although he did occasionally return to help on the farm.

In 1891, Ford became an engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit. This event signified a conscious decision on Ford`s part to dedicate his life to industrial pursuits.

Ford was not the first to build a self propelled vehicle with a gasoline engine; he was, however, one of several automotive pioneers who helped his country become a nation of motorists.

After two unsuccessful attempts to establish a company to manufacture automobiles, the Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903.

Henry Ford realized his dream of producing an automobile that was reasonably priced, reliable, and efficient with the introduction of the Model T in 1908.` This vehicle initiated a new era in personal transportation. It was easy to operate, maintain, and handle on rough roads, immediately becoming a huge success. By 1918, half of all` cars in America were Model ts.

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