Henry Ford and Mechanization

In this chapter Henry Ford describes the initial production of his Fordson tractor in 1917. The first orders came in from the British government, desperate to replace traction and labor lost during the war. Ford fulfills the orders and works to reduce the price - he proudly notes that the price fell by around half from 1917 to 1922. He notes that the same production principles he had pioneered in automobiles would soon transform the agrarian world. The Fordson tractor would indeed introduce much of the agrarian world to fossil fuel power, and it would be exported and copied the world over. 

Why did Ford see his work as so important? What do the notes comparing motor v. horsepower tell us about how agriculture was approached in the United States? Ford obviously saw agriculture and industry as a deeply interconnected industry. Where did this mindset take us, and how useful was it?

Library Item date: 
1922