December 1, 1913 – The first moving assembly line

The first moving assembly line in the automotive industry went into action on this day in 1913 at the Ford Highland Park Assembly Plant. Henry Ford pushed hard for efficiency in the production of his vehicles in order to provide an inexpensive, reliable car to the masses. By combining aspects of previous, still, assembly lines, with his own methods, Ford was able to reduce the time it took to build a Model T from more than 12 hours to about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Ford had been vying for faster and faster production for years. He pioneered machines to stamp auto parts and hired motion study experts to increase efficiency, the moving assembly line was of course his greatest contribution to the assembly process of automobiles. The continuous flow production was inspired by flour mills and breweries, among other industries. By implementing the assembly line and reducing the man hours it took to build vehicles he was able to produce more, faster, thus allowing Ford to sell them cheaper and cheaper without sacrificing quality. By June 1924 the 10 millionth Model T rolled off the assembly line, just three years later, on the final day of production of the Model T, Henry Ford watched as the 15,000,000 Model T came off the line. Photos:The Ford assembly line, photographed in 1913 – Public DomainMass production took Ford around the world. This Buenos Aires assembly plant opened in 1921. – Public Domain

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