Tag: River Rouge Plant

Building the Model A Ford Body on the Assembly Line – A Model A @YouTube

Building the Model A Ford Body on the Assembly Line – A Model A @YouTube

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Based on the feedback we received with the Engine Assembly video we pieced together this video. Using 10 different archived videos spliced together this video depicts the assembly process that Ford built bodies went through (Briggs, Murray, and Budd shipped completed bodies to Ford). It starts with the rolling out of the sheet metal, stamping sub rails, rear quarter panels, the rear wall, assembly jig, polishing, pinstriping, and more. Be sure to look for the very early 1928 Tudor body! Multiple years, assembly plants, and countries are represented in this video so you’re not seeing a single body being produced but rather working with what is available to give a general overview of the process. A Model A is dedicated to the history of the Model A Ford using historical images and videos as well as modern resources.

How The Model A Ford Engine Was Built; The Engine Assembly Line – A Model A @YouTube

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Using 22 different archived videos spliced together this video depicts the Model A engine being produced, from sand molds to being dropped in a chassis. Every Model A engine destined for one of Ford’s 30+ US assembly plants was cast and assembled at the Rouge Plant in Dearborn, MI. Make sure to look out for the main bearing babbitts being poured, the flywheel being balanced, and the manifolds being assembled. How did we do? A Model A is dedicated to the history of the Model A Ford using historical images and videos as well as modern resources.

Ford Rouge Plant in 1928 and Beyond – King Rose Archives @YouTube

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The Ford River Rouge Complex (commonly known as the Rouge Complex or just The Rouge) is a Ford Motor Company automobile factory complex located in Dearborn, Michigan, along the Rouge River, upstream from its confluence with the Detroit River at Zug Island. Construction began in 1917, and when it was completed in 1928 it had become the largest integrated factory in the world. The Rouge measures 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide by 1 mile (1.6 km) long, including 93 buildings with nearly 16 million square feet (1.5 km²) of factory floor space. With its own docks in the dredged Rouge River, 100 miles (160 km) of interior railroad track, its own electricity plant, and integrated steel mill, the titanic Rouge was able to turn raw materials into running vehicles within this single complex, a prime example of vertical-integration production.

Over 100,000 workers were employed there in the 1930s. Some of the Rouge buildings were designed by Albert Kahn. His Rouge glass plant was regarded at the time as an exemplary and humane factory building, with its ample natural light coming through windows in the ceiling. More recently, several buildings have been converted to “green” structures with a number of environmentally friendly features. In the summer of 1932, through Edsel Ford’s support, Diego Rivera studied the facilities at the Rouge; these studies became a major part of his set of murals Detroit Industry, on continuous display at the Detroit Institute of Arts since their completion in 1933.

The Rouge’s first products were Eagle Boats, World War I anti-submarine warfare boats produced in Building B. The original Building B, a three-story structure, is part of the legendary Dearborn Assembly Plant, which started producing Model A’s in the late 1920s and continued production through 2004. After the war, production turned to Fordson tractors. Although the Rouge’s coke ovens and foundry produced nearly all the parts of the Model T, assembly of that vehicle remained at Highland Park. It was not until 1927 that automobile production began there, with the introduction of the Ford Model A.

Later Rouge products included the 1932 Model B, the original Mercury, the Ford Thunderbird, and four decades of Ford Mustangs. The old assembly plant was idled with the construction and launch of a new assembly facility on the Miller Road side of the complex, currently producing Ford F-150 pickup trucks. On May 26, 1937, a group of workers attempting to organize a union at the Rouge were severely beaten, an event later called the Battle of the Overpass. Peter E. Martin’s respect for labor led to Walter Reuther, a UAW leader, allowing Martin to be the only Ford manager to retrieve his papers or gain access to the plant.[3]

After the 1960s, Ford began to decentralize manufacturing, building many factories across the country. The Rouge, too, was downsized, with many units (including the famous furnaces and docks) sold off to independent companies. By 1992, only Mustang production remained at the Dearborn Assembly Plant (DAP). In 1987 Ford planned to replace that car with the front wheel drive Ford Probe, but public outcry quickly turned to surging sales. With the fourth-generation Mustang a success, the Rouge was saved as well. Ford decided to modernize its operations. A gas explosion on February 1, 1999, killed six employees and injured two dozen more, resulting in the idling of the power plant.

Michigan Utility CMS Energy built a state-of-the-art Power Plant across Miller Road to replace the electricity and steam production, as well as the Blast-Furnace waste gas consumption of the original power plant.[4] As it ended production, Dearborn Assembly Plant (DAP) was one of six plants within the Ford Rouge Center. The plant was open from 1918 to May 10, 2004, with a red convertible 2004 Ford Mustang GT being the last vehicle built at the historic site. Demolition of the historic DAP facility was completed in 2008. All that remains is a 3000 place parking lot to hold light truck production from the new Dearborn Assembly Plant. S451

Criss-Crossed Conveyors, River Rouge Plant 1927, Ford Motor Company by Charles Sheeler

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A realistic painter as well as a photographer, Sheeler rarely failed to uncover harmonious coherence in the forms of indigenous American architecture. His series of photographs of the Ford plant near Detroit was commissioned by the automobile company through an advertising agency. Widely reproduced in Europe and America in the 1920s, this commanding image of technological utopia became a monument to the transcendent power of industrial production in the early modern age.

Ladle on a Hot Metal Car, Ford Plant 1927

Charles Rettew Sheeler Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art from 1900 to 1903, and then the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under William Merritt Chase. He found early success as a painter and exhibited at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908.[1] Most of his education was in drawing and other applied arts. He went to Italy with other students, where he was intrigued by the Italian painters of the Middle Ages, such as Giotto and Piero della Francesca. Later, he was inspired by works of Cubist artists like Picasso and Braque[2] after a trip to Paris in 1909, when the popularity of the style was skyrocketing. Returning to the United States, he realized that he would not be able to make a living with Modernist painting. Instead, he took up commercial photography, focusing particularly on architectural subjects. He was a self-taught photographer, learning his trade on a five dollar Brownie. Early in his career, he was dramatically impacted by the death of his close friend Morton Livingston Schamberg in the influenza epidemic of 1918.[3] Schamberg’s painting had focused heavily on machinery and technology,[4] a theme which would come to feature prominently in Sheeler’s own work.

Source – Wikipedia

 

The Battle of the Overpass – From Mac’s Motor City Garage

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May 26th 1937 was a dark day in the history of  The Ford Motor Company

May 26, 1937: The Battle of the Overpass

The UAW had organised a handbill campaign to unionize the plant’s workers. And at this instant, famously frozen in time by Detroit News photographer Scotty Fitzpatrick, Bennett’s professional toughs were about to give the organizers an expert physical beating. Read the  article here

 

The River Rouge Plant Dearborn MI

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Looking at some old photos of my visit to the River Rouge Plan in Dearborn, the place where my A was born!! The 20 millionth Ford which happened to be a Model A was included in the display ( a 1931 slant windshield Town Sedan 160B) A video can be found on the excellent Ford Garage Website which can be found here