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Resource Guide


1863 Born in Greenfield Township, Michigan, on July 30.

1879 Leaves family farm for Detroit on December 1 to work in machine shops.

1888 Marries Clara Bryant of Greenfield Township on April 11 and moves to 80-acre farm in what is today Dearborn.

1891 Hired as engineer with Edison Illuminating Company in September. Returns to Detroit with Clara.

1893 Edsel Bryant Ford, only child of Henry and Clara Ford, is born on November 6.

1893 Successfully tests his first hand-built gasoline engine in the family’s kitchen sink on December 24.

1896 Drives his first automobile, the hand-built Quadricycle, for the first time through the streets of Detroit on June 4.

1899 Leaves Edison Illuminating Company on August 15 to become superintendent of Detroit Automobile Company, his first car company.

1900 With few or no sales, Detroit Automobile Company goes out of business in November.


Races and beats Alexander Winton in Ford’s hand-built Sweepstakes car at Grosse Pointe on October 10. Victory makes Ford a local hero and attracts attention from investors.

Henry Ford Company, his second car company, is incorporated on November 30.


Leaves Henry Ford Company (later becomes Cadillac) on March 10 after ongoing disputes with stockholders over the design of the car to be built.

Ford’s 999 race car, driven by Barney Oldfield, defeats Alexander Winton in the five-mile Manufacturer’s Cup Challenge at Grosse Pointe on October 25 which helped promote his next venture: Ford Motor Company.


Ford Motor Company is incorporated on June 16 and the company begins building its first car, the Model A.

1908 Ford begins building the Model T on October 1.

1910 Begins operations at factory in Highland Park, Michigan, on January 1.

1913 Ford’s first assembly line, producing magneto generators, begins operating on April 1. By year’s end, entire Model Ts are built on moving assembly lines.


Announces his plan to share the Ford Motor Company’s profits with workers on January 5, paying them $5.00 for an eight hour day.

1915 The Oscar II, Ford’s “Peace Ship,” sets sail for Norway on December 5 on a pacifist expedition to end World War I.

1917 Begins construction of an industrial facility on the Rogue River in Dearborn, Michigan.

1918 Loses his bid for the U.S. Senate on November 5.

1919 Henry Ford’s son, Edsel B. Ford, is named president of Ford Motor Company on January 1.

1921 Ford Motor Company dominates auto production for the year with 55 percent of the industry’s total output.

1926 Opens aircraft plant in November and focuses on air transport through production of the Tri-Motor airplane.

1927 Ford Motor Company builds 15,000,000th car, and symbolic last Model T, on May 26. Model T production ends. Transfers final assembly of cars from Highland Park to the Rouge Complex in September. Introduces Model A on December 2.

1929 Dedicates Edison Institute of Technology and Greenfield Village with a celebration of 50 years of the electric light on October 21. Today both institutions are a part of The Henry Ford.

1932 Introduces V-8 car on March 31.

1933 Successfully resists first efforts to unionize workers at Ford plants.

1937 “Battle of the Overpass” occurs between Ford security staff and United Auto Workers union organizers on May 26. As a result, the court orders Ford not to interfere with union activity.

1941 Ford Motor Company signs a contract with the United Auto Workers on June 20.

1943 Edsel B. Ford dies at age 49 on May 26.


Henry Ford dies at age 83 at Fair Lane, his Dearborn home, on April 7.


Clara Ford and Edsel Ford inside
Their Home on Bagley Avenue,
Detroit, Michigan, 1894


Henry Ford with Other
Employees at Edison
Illuminating Company Plant,
circa 1895


1,000 Ford Model T Chassis
outside the Highland Park
Plant, 1913


Henry Ford Watching Thomas
Edison Sign Edison Institute
Cornerstone, September 27,


Stout Air Lines Ford Tri-Motor
4-AT-34 Airplane at Ford Airport,
October, 1928


Henry Ford with Ford V8
Engine, 1935


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