Saturday, 24 March 2012 10:03

Henry Ford and Karl Benz: Men of Ideas

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Henry Ford (1863-1947) was an American inventor who improved on the nascent industry of automobiles and constructed an assembly line and mass produced cars (Model T). His efforts revolutionized the auto industry.

Henry Ford had a goal: place a car in every American families reach and, by and large, succeeded in that endeavor (along with other car manufacturers, of course). He made his car cheap enough for the average American working family to be able to purchase it and did they buy his cars!

Henry Ford transformed the mode of transportation in the United States from horses and carriages to internal combustion engines (automobiles).

Ford was not the first person to invent the automobile. Many were rigging automobiles both in America and Europe at the time he came along with his Model T. What Ford did was produce cars cheaply and sells them cheaply and made them available to most Americans of modest income. He revolutionized the mode of transportation in America and eventually the entire world.

In the process Ford created a powerful company, the Ford Motor Company which today is the second largest auto manufacturer in the United States.

Upon his death, Ford left most of his enormous wealth to a foundation he created to do charity work, the Ford Foundation.

However, Ford willed that members of his family should always own the largest share in his company and produce its presidents. At present his great-grandson is the president of Ford Motor Company.

Henry Ford had a colorful personality. If this brief write up was devoted to the study of personality we could write volumes on the complex character called Henry Ford. His role in politics, his pacifism, his efforts to stop the First World War, and his interesting anti party towards Jews could take volumes to cover. But we are here only interested in his work in improving the early automobile and finding a way to mass produce it and make it affordable to the average worker. That is sufficient positive contribution to mankind; we should not taint that accomplishment with portrayal of the man’s weird side.

In Germany, Karl Benz accomplished what Henry Ford accomplished in North America.

Henry Ford and Karl Benz are two pioneers in the development of the automobile and are worthy of been known.


Richard Bak. Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire. (2003)

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176