December 1, 1913 – Ford introduces moving assembly line

The first moving assembly line in the automotive industry began to churn out Model T’s on this day in 1913 at the Ford Highland Park Assembly Plant. Henry Ford yearned for maximum efficiency in the production of his vehicles, as this allowed him to offer an inexpensive, reliable automobile to the masses. By combining aspects of previous, still, assembly lines, with production methods borrowed in part from from slaughterhouses and breweries, 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 was not the first car company to build vehicles on an assembly line. The Curved Dash Olds was an earlier example, but Ford’s method of placing items on a moving line and bringing parts to workers who were tasked with one job improved efficiency so much that Ford was able to produce more vehicles in 1914 than all other automakers combined. By 1925, as many as 10,000 Model T’s were being finished per day across the world, all for a price of just $260.

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