A History of Ford Motor Company – King Rose Archives

A History of Ford Motor Company – King Rose Archives


More excellent stuff from King Rose, this time snippets from Ford History

Whenever someone mentions Ford, it is almost certain that some key words will pop in your head. Such as, automobile, car, truck, even the phrase, assembly line. However, Henry Ford was ambitious and always looking for new business ventures.

The Ford 999 was a race car built by Henry Ford in 1902. It was powered by a 1156 cubic inch inline-4 engine that produced 80 horsepower. The car was named after the record-setting Empire State Express 999 locomotive. Henry Ford hired a fearless bicycle racer named Barney Oldfield to drive the “999.” Although he had never driven a car, Oldfield learned quickly and won his first competition, including the 1902 Manufacturers’ Challenge Cup. The 999 is considered to be one of the most important race cars in history. It helped popularize the automobile, and make Ford a successful automaker. The car is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford Rotunda Guest Center: “FORD will participate in the 1934 World’s Fair at Chicago!” exclaimed the March edition of the Ford News. That same spring, Ford Motor Company opened the doors on a new pavilion. Sitting on 11 acres of land along the Lake Michigan shoreline, the rotunda exhibition welcomed nearly 50 million people during its two-year run. Built in 1935 by Henry Ford as a showcase for his company’s products and history, the Rotunda was a circular building with a large dome. This concrete and glass building had a spiral ramp that led to the top. The Rotunda was home to a variety of exhibits, including a history of the Ford Motor Company, a display of early Ford cars, and a collection of Ford memorabilia. The Rotunda also had a theater that showed films about Ford and his company. The Ford Rotunda was a popular tourist destination for many years. It was destroyed by fire in 1962 and was not rebuilt.

The Ford Railroad was a short-lived railroad owned and operated by the Ford Motor Company. It was built in the early 1920s to transport coal from Ford-owned mines in southern Ohio to the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan. The Ford Railroad was a 378-mile (608 km) line that ran from Ironton, Ohio to Dearborn. Built on the right-of-way (a right-of-way (ROW, not to be confused with “right of way” without hyphens) is a right to make a way over a piece of land, usually to and from another piece of land) of the former Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad, which Ford had purchased in 1920. The Ford Railroad was a major part of Ford’s vertical integration strategy. By owning its own railroad, Ford could ensure a reliable supply of coal for its factories. The railroad also helped reduce Ford’s transportation costs. The Ford Railroad was a success for many years, however, it began to lose money in the late 1920s due to a number of factors, including the Great Depression and the rise of the trucking industry. In 1929, Ford sold the Ford Railroad to the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. By the 1950s, the railroad was eventually abandoned.

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