Here's How Advanced Manufacturing Techniques Were The Real Key To The Ford Model T

The Ford Model T is legendary, as is most everything and everyone associated with it. But if you look at it critically, it was absolute garbage by modern standards, as was the person who created it. Its secret to world domination, however, wasn’t that the car itself was great. It was the leaps in manufacturing that got it there.

Yes, yes, you all know the story of the assembly line (or do you? Just a hint: Henry Ford didn’t invent it), but the real story isn’t all about how fast the cars moved down the line. It’s a lot about fun engineering stuff, like very fine machining tolerances and advanced manufacturing techniques, as described in this extremely cromulent video from the joyful Youtube channel, Real Engineering:

It turns out it’s really hard to assemble cars, which require engines, if you can’t get more than one engine block out the time. Solving little bottlenecks like that enabled Model Ts to be churned out – and churned out for cheap.

Advertisement

But maybe the real innovation of Henry Ford was that he didn’t look at the way existing things were done and say “that’s the way it’s done.” The team at Ford looked at every little element to see how things could be improved, even incrementally.

Share This Story

About the author

Michael Ballaban

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

EmailTwitterPosts
PGP Fingerprint: 0D03 F37B 4C96 021E 4292 7B12 E080 0D0B 5968 F14EPGP Key