Ford, Henry

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Ford, Henry Gender: M
born on 30 July 1863 at 07:00 (= 07:00 AM )
Place Greenfield Village, Michigan, 42n18, 83w13
Timezone LMT m83w13 (is local mean time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 06°48' s_mo.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 06°12 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 00°56'

Henry Ford


American auto entrepreneur, father of the Model T and initiator of mass production with his automobiles. He was the man who put America on wheels with the production and sale of a car that the average person could afford, selling more than 15 million cars 1908-1927.

He was one of eight children of Irish famine immigrants who became prosperous farmers in Dearborn. At age 13, Ford's mom died of complications in childbirth, a tragedy which Ford later referred to "as if a great wrong had been done to me," describing his home and family life without his mom as "a watch without a mainspring." While riding in a horse-drawn wagon a few months after his mother's death, Ford first saw a steam engine that operated on its own power, and was mesmerized. "I was off that wagon and talking to the engineer before my father knew what I was up to." Citing the encounter with the steam engine as his moment of destiny, Ford poured all his energy into tinkering with machinery of all kinds, using it as an outlet for his grief over his mother.

His mechanical ability was obvious from age seven. After being shown the inside of a watch, Ford immediately became an avid watch repairer, then parlayed his obsession with mechanical object to everything he could get his hands on. "Don't let Henry play with your toys," warned his sister Margaret, " he'll take them apart."

Ford arrived in Detroit at age 16 on 1 December 1879. His first job was at James Flower and Bros. Machine Shop and later at Detroit Dy Goods Company, the largest ship building firm on the Great Lakes. Three years later he returned to his father's farm to help him bring in the harvest by using machinery. It was a steam engine that served as his moment of destiny in boyhood, and it was a steam engine that enticed him to remain on the farm. A neighbor had purchased a portable steam engine from Westinghouse and was having technical difficulty. The mechanic hired to repair the machine was not up to the task, and Ford went to have a look. "I went to work around that little engine and getting a grip on the engine, so to speak, I got a grip on myself." By the end of the day Ford felt he knew everything he needed to know about the engine, and his success with its repair earned him a position with the Westinghouse Company.

A New Year's Eve dance in Greenfield, Michigan, brought a young girl named Clara Jane Bryant to Ford's attention. "I knew in half an hour she was the one for me." They married three years later on 11 April 1888, on Clara's 22nd birthday. They farmed 40 acres for three years, but Ford's main interest was machinery. He repaired farm machinery on the side for the Buckeye Harvest Company and was called to Detroit on several occasions. One of these excursions led to his first observation of a new type of engine that did not operate on steam. Known as the "silent Otto" it was developed by a German named Nikolaus August Otto and was a gas-powered, internal combustion engine, the current rage of the mechanical world. Ford was instantly hooked. Returning home, he realized that this engine relied on electricity, a subject about which he knew nothing, so he therefore secured himself a job in Detroit with the Edison Illuminating Company. His new position necessitated giving up the farm and moving to Detroit, a prospect Ford was only too willing to undertake.

Using space at the Edison power station as a machine shop, Ford continued his obsessive experimenting with engines in his spare time. On Christmas Eve 1893, Ford, assisted by Clara, got an experimental engine to run on its own, without steam, using electricity from his kitchen.

Ford encouraged four coworkers from Edison to collaborate on an engine that could propel a "horseless carriage," such as those being produced in France. On 4 June 1896, Ford's first horseless carriage, named the Quadricycle, sputtered forth from the machine shop. In 1899, the Detroit Automobile Company, with mechanical superintendent Henry Ford, received enough financial backing to manufacture 12 improved automobiles but the company failed. Undaunted, Ford then set out to build a racing car with another company. His prototype was successful and he thus began to build more, unmindful of the labor, cost and time involved in multiple production. Again, his investor went bankrupt.

The double failure only drove him harder. In 1903, after endless experimentation, Ford developed his new automobile, named the Model A. This venture operated under the umbrella of the Ford Motor Company, with Ford the sole investor. In a few weeks, he found himself bankrupt again, but the Model A had a taker. Ford found himself immediately swamped with sales, selling 658 automobiles the first year. By 1908, Ford sold over 10,000 Model T's, skyrocketing him to the forefront of auto production at age 45.

Ford and his employees built their cars on a process line, a format Ford observed in machine shops over the previous 20 years. While the machines were constructed in an ordered sequence, there was no continuous flow, yet record sales required a new method of production. Thus Ford moved his operation to 60 acres outside Dearborn, building a factory of 50,000 square feet that gave birth to the assembly line, organizing Ford Motor Company in 1903. Production soared, and with it the demand for employees. Ford was progressive for his time, hiring the handicapped, blacks and women, but he was virulently anti-Semitic. He doubled the minimum wage and devised the five-day week. By 1920 his work force numbered over 44,000.

Ford's obsessions with machinery, experimentation, perfection and mass production left little time for character development. A friend once remarked that his morals "were some of the highest and noblest I have ever known grouped in any one man." Yet the shadow within him seethed. "There rages in him an endless conflict between ideals, emotions and impulses as unlike as day and night -a conflict that at times makes one feel that two personalities are striving within him for mastery." Ford took his troubles to his local pastor, who summed him up perfectly. "It is as if the inventor of the assembly line had not yet assembled himself." He fought union organizers with terror tactics and allegedly fathered a son with another man's wife. He believed in reincarnation, saying once that "Work is futile if we cannot utilize the experience we collect in one life in the next." He felt that in his previous life he must have been a Civil War soldier felled in battle.

Ford and Clara had son Edsel in 1894. A bright student coupled with a modest, kind personality, he proved no match for his domineering father, who ruled him with an iron hand along with his empire of Ford Motor Company for 42 years. Edsel died a defeated man in 1944, after which Ford became "a tired old man who wanted to live in peace." When asked to what he attributed his plutocratic success, the billionaire replied "I have tried to live my life as my mother would have wished."

Henry Ford died on 7 April 1947 at his estate in Dearborn, Michigan.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • role played of/by Robertson, Cliff (born 9 September 1923). Notes: 1987 film "Ford: The Man and the Machine"


  • Work : New Career 1 December 1879 (First machine job at age 16)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Begin Major Project 24 December 1893 (First engine running with electricity)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1894 (Son Edsel born)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 4 June 1896 (First auto, quadricycle, produced)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Start Business 1899 (Detroit Automobile Company)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1903 (First Model A released, organizing Ford Motor Co.)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1908 (Model T released)
  • Death of Child 1944 (Son Edsel died)
  • Death, Cause unspecified 7 April 1947 at 12:00 noon in Dearborn, MI (Age 84)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

LMR quotes Allan Nevins, "Ford, The Times, The Man, The Company," Chs Scribner's sons, New York, 1954, p.22. On p.592 the time was verified by George Holmes, the son of the midwife who delivered the baby.

(Formerly, Benjamine, and Sabian Symbols No.347 quotes R.W. Lane, "Henry Ford's Own Story," p.3, "The rain stopped about two o'clock in the afternoon . . . later William Ford came out of the house, grinning a little . . . it's a boy." Lyndoe in AA 10/60 gave "approximately 1:45 PM, "Some reference books gives just after 2:00 PM but this is not the time Mr. Ford gave me personally." PC gives 7:00 AM from "Young Henry Ford" by Disney Olson; Rodden can not locate the biography.) (Note: Pt corrected birth place from Greenville, MI to Greenfield Village, MI in May 2005)

Starkman rectified it to 13.55.42 LMT

On 16/11/2014 S.C. emailed the following to Sy Scholfield: "Rodden likely couldn't locate book due to incorrect details. Full title is "Young Henry Ford: A Picture History of the First Forty Years" (1963) and the author's first name should be Sidney instead of Disney. 7:00 a.m. is indeed on page 12."


  • Traits : Personality : Ambitious
  • Traits : Personality : Disciplined
  • Family : Childhood : Family large (One of eight kids)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Mom died in childbirth when he was 13)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (One marriage from 1888)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Extramarital affairs (Rumored)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids - Noted (Son Edsel, grandson Henry)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Start young less than 16 (Working at 16)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Rags to riches
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : New Age (Believed in reincarnation)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 84)
  • Vocation : Business : Entrepreneur
  • Vocation : Misc. : Mechanic (Repaired motors)
  • Notable : Extraordinary Talents : For Abstract thought (Mechanically inclined)
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Ford automobiles)
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book