On Dec. 1, 1913, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line, aiding mass production for automobiles and changing the industry forever. It all started with Ford’s Model T and eventually extended to automobile manufacturers in Utah and all around the world.
The Model T was relatively inexpensive according to most dealers, but when Ford’s intention was to mass produce functional cars for the whole country, every penny mattered. In order to do that, building cars more inexpensively was the best option.
Before the Model T, Model N was created by a human assembly line, proving to be too slow. Then, in 1908 when the Model T first came out, the company decided to have 84 different stations of people who were really fast at one particular part of the assembly line. While this sped things up, it just wasn’t enough.
Finally, Ford decided that machines could do the job better than humans. However, he still liked the idea of an assembly line in Utah factories and everywhere else. He drew inspiration from continuous-flow production methods used in flour mills, breweries, bakeries, etc. The mechanized assembly line he ended up building went at a speed of six feet per minute. Eventually he reduced the production time from 12 hours down to 30 minutes.
The cars that sit at the dealers now are all products of Ford’s revolutionary idea. It was an idea that completely changed the industry, making cars widely available to all.