The Assembly Line

Assembly line at the Ford Motor Company's Highland Park plant

Assembly line at the Ford Motor Company's Highland Park plant.

Model T's coming off the assembly line at the Highland Park plant

Three men riding the skeleton of an automobile coming off the line witht eh rear wheels running on a revolving steel drum. 

The assembly line allowed for Ford to build and distribute cars more economically. The assembly line is the idea that multiple people work on a line with a certain specialty. Ford is known for the assembly line because he installed it in his Highland Park factory in 1913.6 This was known as the first moving assembly line in history. It took approximately 14 months for it to be fully functioning system, but it did have a great payoff.The time it now took to build an entire automobile was reduced from more than 12 hours to 2.5 hours.The new rate of production helped lower the cost of the car itself making it the most popular car of the era. More than half of the automobiles on the road were Model T’s. The price was reduced from $850 in 1908 to $310 in 1926.9 The model that was selling for $310 in 1926 was an even better model with newer improvements. The automotive world shifted once the assembly line was in place because now automobiles were affordable by the middle class and they weren't only seen as an elite item. The issue Ford was finding with the assembly line is that the repeat of work every day led to low employment rates as he did not have a professional workforce. He was having high turnover rates which also impacted his productivity. He addressed this in 1914 with his new $5 a day wage. 

The Assembly line created an impact on the middle class. Currently at the Highland Park factory there is a sign that states, "Mass production soon moved from here to all phases of American industry, and set a pattern of abundance for 20th century living."10  This displays that Ford had a major impact on American Industry. The invention of the assembly line allowed mass production to help create goods at a lower price and allow the working class to now be able to afford things they could’ve only dreamed of before. 

The Assembly Line