Henry Ford: American Innovator whose ideas and inventions transformed a Nation. Lesson Plan By Lynn Tilley, NBCT and OKAGE TC Library Media Specialist Comanche Public Schools Comanche, Oklahoma firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By Lynn Tilley, NBCT and OKAGE TC
Library Media Specialist
Comanche Public Schools
“I will build a motor car for the great multitude …..
large enough for the family but small enough for the
individual…..But it will be so low in price that no man
making a good salary will be unable to own one --- and
enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure
in God’s great open spaces.
(sometime between 1903 – 1906)
He was born July 30, 1863, in a rural area approximately ten miles
from Detroit, Michigan. He was the oldest of six surviving children.
At this same time, in Indian Territory, the Battle of Honey Springs
took place on July 17, 1863, shortly before Henry’s birth.
Also at this time, roads and trails were scarce and in
poor condition in Indian Territory.
The Battle of Gettysburg took place just a few short weeks
after Henry’s birth.
Black family going to North
Refugees fleeing battle
Transportation during Civil War about
the time Henry Ford was born
In the South:
depicting slaves on
In this June 30, 1863, map of the United States, Union and Confederate Geographical
Divisions, one can observe differences between the number of roads in the “Northern”
part of the country as opposed to those in the “South” or in Indian Territory.
Why is this?
Henry’s father was an Irish immigrant and a well-to-do farmer.
His mother died when he was twelve, the same year he
realized he had the instincts of a mechanic. Henry stated of her
death, “the house was now a watch without a mainspring.”
At an early age Henry developedhttp://luna.library.okstate.edu:8180/luna/servlet/detail/OSULibraryOCM~7~7~31243~107341:Map-of-the-United-States-of-America
an interest in mechanics
and often repaired watches of
friends and neighbors.
In 1876, at age 13, he saw a portable steam engine moving down the road
under its own power. Jumping off his father’s wagon, he eagerly examined it.
This event, he later recalled, sparked the beginning of his vision for a
He attended school through the 6http://luna.library.okstate.edu:8180/luna/servlet/detail/OSULibraryOCM~7~7~31243~107341:Map-of-the-United-States-of-Americath grade, and in 1879, at age sixteen,
quit and left home for Detroit to find work in machine shops where
he could learn more about mechanics and engineering.
Portrait of Henry Ford at Age 18
Working for Detroit Dry Dock Company, 1881
In 1888, at age 24, Henry married Clara Bryant. They had one
son Edsel seen here about 1897-98 at their home in Detroit. Henry
worked at the Edison Illuminating Company where he learned about
electrical engineering and continued his experiments at home.
June of 1896 Henry Ford assembled his first vehicle, the Quadricycle,
in a woodshed behind his rented home. He had to widen the door to
get it out of the building. He was 32 years of age.
To visualize what Oklahoma, and the rest of the http://collections.thehenryford.org/Collection.aspx?keywords=clara+bryant
United States looked like in the 1890s ………..
Transportation in the 1893 Oklahoma Land Run
In 1894, railroads were increasing across the country. The North still
had the greater number compared to those in the South or
In 1899, at age 36, Henry leaves Edison Illuminatinghttp://luna.library.okstate.edu:8180/luna/servlet/detail/OSULibraryOCM~7~7~11739~100692:Map-showing-Indian-reservations-wit
Company where he has worked for eight years as an
engineer, and creates his first car company. It, along with
a second one, ultimately fail because of disagreements
Henry did not want to make a few cars for the wealthy;
he wanted to make good cars that working people
In June of 1903, Ford Motor Company is
incorporated. Henry is 39 years old.
A ten-man team built the first car
which sold for $750 with an optional
back seat costing $100 more.
One thousand were built that year.
In 1908, Ford begins building the Model T.
During the 1908-1909 season, Ford sold 10,607
Model Ts, a 5-passenger car for $850.
By 1913, all Model Ts are built on moving
1910 Model T Touring car amidst horse and carriages in Stroud, Oklahoma.
1910 Model T Touring
Early Roads in Oklahoma 1910.
Sidney Suggs from Ardmore was the first Oklahoma State Highway
Commissioner in 1911. He is seen in this photo touring the state
promoting better roads.
1913 Oklahoma Highway Map Proposal
Only five years after Henry Ford begins building Model T
In 1914 Henry announces plans to share company’s profits with workers, paying them $5.00 for an eight hour work day.
In 1915, Ford Motor Company constructed an assembly plant in
downtown Oklahoma City. This photo shows how plant looked
In the 1920s, faced with growing numbers of automobiles ,
federal highway officials began to develop a numbered road system.
Often called the “Mother Road”, Route 66 was a major artery that stretched from
Chicago, Illinois, through Oklahoma to Los Angeles, California.
Running a total of 2,448 miles, this two-lane road was a major route of “Okies”
migrating to California during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
Automobile during the Dust Bowl
Mass production of Henry Ford’s Model Thttp://distinctlyoklahoma.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/1930_Rt.66_DustBowl.tif.jpg
took the United States from………
1884 Indian Territory
Few Roads - Growing Number of Railroads
Today’s National Highway System
In 1947 Henry Ford died at age 83. His legacy, however, lives on.
It is seen every day in a plethora of ways, with the automobile
that transformed a nation being but one.
In what ways do Henry Ford’shttp://distinctlyoklahoma.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/1930_Rt.66_DustBowl.tif.jpg
innovative ideas and inventions continue to
affect us today?