Progress of Motor Vehicles Based On Class: Ford Motor Company
In my life I have developed an enduring interest in cars and the inner workings of their complicated machinery. My dream car since I was just old enough to speak has always been the gas-guzzling F-150 pickup truck. This dream is still yet to be fulfilled but in the time I’ve spent taking a 1950’s history class it has been enlightening on the beginning of car manufacturing and mass production of affordable vehicles for all classes of Americans; beginning, of course with Henry Ford and his infamous assembly line system. The photos I have taken and selected are those that reflect the progress of the Ford Motor Company and the difference between cars reflecting class in modern times and those in the beginning of the company. In a general sense, the progress of Ford cars is similar to the progress seen in any car company as style and trend develop together regardless of the car cliques that make them. The Ford Motor company was so powerful that it was one of the few American companies to survive the Great Depression. Henry Ford began small with his inventions as his first automobile was something called a “quadricycle” developed in Detroit, Michigan in 1896. Detroit eventually became the birthplace of American vehicle production. When the company grew and cars became more of a prominent aspect to American families, the subject of assembly lines came to light. Based on class, more and more people were able to afford cars. Typically, the cars owned by working class to middle class were more commonly seen and mass produced to fulfill the growing demand for them. As for the upper middle class and wealthy/elites, the cars were less common and took longer to make. In the 1950s Ford Motor Company became a publicly traded company with their initial public offering of common stock shares the largest IPO in history. They also began drawing their style from foreign “continental” cars they saw in Europe. Along with the standard Ford brand known and loved by Americans, Ford Motor Company owned other luxury labels that eventually became their own companies such as Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, Mazda, etc. Time did take its toll on the Ford Motor Company but not in a negative way. Looking at modern Ford cars, and being the owner of a 2014 Ford Explorer, the difference between class reflecting cars has significantly changed. Ford cars now are more predominantly owned by working class and occasionally middle class/upper middle class people based on model and performance. The most infamous of Ford vehicles owned by the wealthier families now are Ford trucks while the models owned by working class/middle class are typically Ford Fusions, Explorers, Expeditions, etc. From the pictures I’ve taken I can further understand the lasting separation of class based on cars produced by the massive and everlasting corporation that is The Ford Motor Company.
One of the beginning assembly lines found in Ford Motor Company production
The logo representing the new Ford Motor company beginning in Detroit, Michigan in the early 1900s
Showing the class of people that owned this model car by the Ford Motor Company
An ad showing the many models of Ford cars that were customized to suit various sects of people
Henry Ford, the creator and founder of Ford Motor Company
Henry Ford II who took over the Ford Motor Company after the passing of his father
The new and modern assembly line in contrast to the assembly line operated by people in the beginning of mass production of cars.
Another example of the progress with producing cars to satisfy the growing consumer demand for cars
Another Ford ad showing the many uses and models to suit all sorts of Americans in the 1950s
The modern model Ford Explorer in contrast the the flashy models produced in the 1950s
The new and simplified logo for the Ford Motor Company appearing on a Ford Expedition
Mazda, one of the many brands originally owned by the Ford Motor Company until they were sold
An older model Ford car found on Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL showing the lasting style and beauty of Ford cars
The variety between classes seen in cars modernly; more often are the wealthy turning to foreign brands for their cars while working class tend to buy domestically.
The last photo I took refused to upload but it was a Ford Raptor model that serves to show the wealthier models of the normally affordable cars that Ford Motor Company produce.
Furthermore, the progress that has occurred around the generalizing a Ford car model with class has greatly changed and lessened. In the 1950s there were cars created by the Ford Motor company that had great differences between them that it was easy to see who had money and who had less. I believe that the Ford Motor Company turned from the most affordable luxury car brand to a bit of a cheaper option for all kinds of modern consumers as a greater attraction to European luxury car brands has come to be. The ads as well as research behind the beginning of the company and what the corporation was in the 1950s shows the progress made and how the separation of cars and class has remained but with more variety and more options.
Ford Motor Company Timeline. (2016). Ford Corporate. Retrieved 19 November 2016, from https://corporate.ford.com/company/history.html
Ford Motor Company | American corporation. (2016). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 20 November 2016 from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ford-Motor-Company
The Assembly Line. Ford Motor Car Company History. Retrieved 19 November 2016 from http://www.fordmotorhistory.com/history/assembly_line.php