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The History of Ford
History of Ford
Fun Ford Facts!
  • Henry Ford was great friends with Thomas Edison and had Edison’s last breath captured in a test tube and sealed. This tube is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum.
  • The legendary blue oval was not introduced until four years after the company began production.
  • The very first Ford sold only cost $850. Bill Ford, Ford’s current CEO, now owns that Model A car.
  • The first Christmas after the Mustang made its debut in 1964, 94,000 pedal-powered Mustangs were purchased for children.
  • The very first monster truck, known as Big Foot, used a Ford vehicle as its starting point.
  • For a Ford commercial in 1963, the Peanuts characters were first brought to life on the screen. Because of the success of that commercial, it eventually led to A Charlie Brown Christmas that we all know and love.
  • Henry Ford took care of his early workers by providing an unheard of $5-a-day wage. He said he wanted his workers to have a “life” not just a “living.”
  • The Ford Motor Company is the second-largest family owned company in the world. In fact, you have to be a blood descendent of Henry Ford in order to become CEO.

The History of Ford

Originally called the Detroit Automobile Company, Ford is one of the oldest automotive companies in the world. Founded in 1899, and later reorganized into the Henry Ford Company in 1901, this company went from a small garage to become the largest family-controlled company in the world. With a rich and vibrant history, the legacy of Ford is still strong and growing.

The Model A was Ford’s first vehicle, first manufactured in 1903. This open-carriage model initially had 8hp and a top speed of 28 mph. Despite only costing $750, this model was still out of the price range for many Americans. It wasn’t until Henry Ford developed the assembly line that cars were able to be mass-produced, lowering their overall cost. In fact, Ford’s development is credited with creating a viable industry, making cars a practical form of transportation. The now iconic Model T was one of the first cars virtually anyone could afford.

Ford also manufactured vehicles for the US military such as ambulances, though Henry Ford eventually went on a peace mission to Europe in 1915 to encourage an end to fighting. After the war, Ford was one of the few companies to survive the Great Depression, later expanding and producing vehicles for Allies in WWII such as the Willys Jeep (the first Jeep Wrangler).

After the war, Ford pushed auto design to its limits, even after the death of Henry Ford in 1947. By 1956, the company was named Car Brand of the Year by Motor Trend, shortly after introducing the classic Thunderbird. Muscle cars became one of Ford’s signatures, including the Mustang, the first vehicle in the “pony car” class.

Now, Ford is a world-leader in innovation, developing cleaner, smarter technologies for tomorrow. Ford is still growing strong as America’s favorite auto manufacturer. Stop by Mangold Ford to see why Ford continues to lead​ the industry!​ 



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1100 West Center St
Eureka, IL 61530
Phone: (309) 467-2344
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