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October 7, 1913 – Model T moving assembly line starts

The world changed forever on this day in 1913 when Henry Ford’s Highland Park assembly plant switched on the continuously moving assembly line for the Model T chassis. The design, which would permanently go into use on December 1 for the whole vehicle, cut assembly time of a Model T from 12 and half hours to just six. It would soon be slashed to just 93 minutes, making it possible to reduce the price of each unit.

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When Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908 he called it an automobile for the masses, however with a price tag of $850 it still fell pretty far out of reach for most middle class Americans. The rapid increase in productivity resulting from the assembly line allowed Ford to lower the price to $360 by 1916. At the height of manufacturing a new Model T rolled off an assembly line every 24 seconds and prices fell to below $300. 

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