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Biographies Unit Biographies

Henry Ford 1863-1947
Car Maker

Henry Ford grew up on a farm in Michigan. As a boy he became interested in a new invention called the automobile. Ford built his first car in 1896. He started the Ford Motor Company nine years later. It became the largest car company in the world.

It was very expensive to make cars in the early 1900s. Every part was made by hand. Few people owned cars. Most people still used horses and carriages to get around. Ford wanted to make simple cars that everyone could buy. He used machines to make many cars quicker and spent less money making them. Ford was able to charge people less money to buy his cars. For the first time, many Americans could afford to buy a car.

Ford's most popular car was called the Model T. Millions of Americans bought the Model T in the 1920s. Ford used his money to help others. He and his son started the Ford Foundation. This group gives money for education and research.

Comprehension Check

What did the Ford Motor Company make?

Critical Thinking

Why do you think Ford's Motor Company became the largest car company in the world?