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Before the advent of the moving assembly line, Ford and other automakers used variations of the station-build approach. Indeed, the innovations could very well have been made by some other company and involved some other car.
Prior to 1913, Ford and virtually every other automaker assembled whole cars at a station with a team of workers working together to complete a single example, usually from start to finish. When deciding to implement the assembly line, neither Sorensen nor Henry Ford nor anyone else involved had the benefit of time-motion studies. The guinea pig was the T’s magneto, a component that supplied ignition energy to the engine before generators became common.
After some tinkering with the line rate and other factors, Sorensen and his cohorts achieved results that were probably startling even to them. It didn’t take long for Sorensen to apply the moving-line principle to all aspects of Model T production. By October, Ford’s vast plant in Highland Park, Michigan, was a maze of conveyors, powered drive belts, overhead traveling cranes, and hundreds of machine tools.
Four years prior, while construction crews were at work on the gigantic Highland Park facility, the Piquette work teams assembled 10,660 Model Ts, keeping Ford atop the manufacturing standings ahead of Buick. Verging on obsolescence and dowdy compared with many competitors, the T finally went out of production on May 26, 1927.
Even as Ford’s moving assembly line was still in its infancy, Model T production was ramping up exponentially.
When the car made its debut, it was innovative, simple, rugged, and easily repaired by owners with even modest mechanical skills.
Chassis construction was the final step in Ford’s transition from static to moving assembly. Ford was already racking up huge profits, and the new policy could be interpreted as altruistic, although other automakers received the news with clenched jaws. That policy would provoke torch-bearing mobs and militant picket lines today, but it was acceptable in 1914 and produced dramatic reductions in absenteeism and turnover. The tedium of moving-assembly-line work proved to be more than many employees could tolerate. As she grasped the door handle, Don Ho, her over-weight Boston Terrier, jumped up on the window and barked.
Then, up ahead he saw her, dressed in a long white sarong-like thing, waving her arms, her blurred, ghostly image caught in the headlighta€™s beam beyond the rhythm of the wiper blades.
Operating under the theory that when one dispatches onea€™s undergarments in the path of oncoming vehicles, ita€™s wise to proceed aggressively, Lani pounded on the drivera€™s side window. The rain had eased up, but she realized she was drenched to the bone.A  Lani debated whether to give him her real name, in case she had missed her hunch and he turned out to be a cop or an attorney or something. She anticipated him offering his hand, but thankfully, he didna€™t.A  He looked as if he had thought about it, then reconsidered. Her eyes were enormous, as brown as polished stone, and made him look into them longer than . That seemed a sufficient explanation to her; she spun around and started in that direction. She glided away a few feet and now stood considering him pitifully.A  a€?Guess youa€™ll have to help me now, Mr. Lani walked casually to the car, pulled his jacket tighter to her bosom and looked away.A  Billy hesitated, cast an exasperated glance at the car and the dog inside.
As if it had telepathically received his thoughts, the dog threw its squat body at the window again and resumed barking. The dream, as dreams often do, took Billy to places he had never been before.A  But, since this was a prolonged dream, as opposed to those experienced during sleep, those which occupy mere wisps of elapsed time . Besides that, seeking a more rational grasp of his environment, searching for symbols of logic (even dream logic) surmounted the alternative: speaking with his bearers. Billy was out of sight when Lani reached the interior of the emergency room.A  A set of double doors separated the waiting room from . There were two other people in the waiting room watching a sit-com on a TV set mounted high on one wall.A  A computer keyboard responded with almost silent spastic rhythms to its operator somewhere beyond a set of sliding glass windows set in the wall.
It was with mixed emotions that Lani followed that noise and stepped to the glass windows.A  Her involvement in this accident had been more than simple happenstance; after all, who was it that flung her little white undies into his path?


The big, blonde haole had been generous with the grin, and the grin itself was a thing of versatility, radiating all kinds of signals, some pleasant but most slimy. She saw in the policemana€™s eyes a new reverence, then as if to gain fresh insight into its secrets, Officer C. He wondered again what questions to ask three men dressed in aloha shirts on a black beach next to a black ocean with the eye of God breathing hot fire onto the surreal landscape.
Another moment flew by, a tense one, like after a gun shot.A  Lani gripped the phone tighter and, with as much assurance as she could muster, replied, a€?I had a flat tire .
Tina resumed the interrogation, poking into the sordid shadows of Lania€™s social life.A  a€?This isna€™t that guy say work at Mauna Kea, in the observatory?A  Dat one hustling you last Friday night, is it? Lani waited for the lewd suggestion that she was sure would follow, something to do with feet, and massaging, or kissing or . Unable to locate a water fountain, or a container in which to carry the water in, Lani bought Don Ho a diet soda from the machine out in the hallway.A  She carried it outside. He wanted to tell them to fuck off, he wanted to ask them their biggest secret, but as if some repenting convict en route to his execution had commandeered Billya€™s vocal chords, he blurted out urgently, almost, it seemed, joyous to divulge the information: a€?One time when I was fourteen I played hooky from church, and when my family was gone . All three Billya€™s stopped laughing for a moment and looked up at him.A  Then they resumed their hysteric contortions. Instead, Lani saw a trim, middle-aged Asian of indiscriminate gender, dressed in an impeccable linen suit, sitting on the fender of a black Corvette, staring off into the distant night, with its leg swinging in a lazy rhythm, shoeless. At first, of course, the car caught her attention, then the person, then lastly, the persona€™s lack of footwear. It slid from the sculptured fender, straightened the crease in its pants and stepped toward Lani. He thought of his previous confession, how unacceptable it had seemed to them.A  a€?Ia€™m not as kind as I could be!a€? he shouted, frantically, filled with fear, hoping that was the kind of confession they were requesting.A  Where had that come from? William, the somber, reflective-looking one said, a€?We know at this point that whata€™s being discussed is your life up to the present, or at least, if you didna€™t know, you do now .
The one in the middle, Alan, compared to William, seemed more intense, and rancorous perhaps, although rancorous might be a little stronga€”just the way Alana€™s jaw jutted almost imperceptibly when he concluded his sentence and his point.A  William, on the other hand, looked sadder, more deliberate and distanta€”an author of serious books, perhaps.
A It all had a pleasing, deductive ring to it.A  a€?Thata€™s what Ia€™m here for?a€? he asked, his enthusiasm rising. The volume increased into white noise until Billy grasped his ears in pain, fell onto the sand, and, unable to help himself, wallowed and rubbed himself across the ground like a dog after a bath. Alan raised his head almost imperceptibly and Billy sensed he had again said something wrong and that Alan was preparing to inflict another blare of music . Its voice, just the tone startled Lani, the fact that it was neither male or female, but both, added as much significance as if it were broadcast through a huge loudspeaker, large enough to vibrate her bones, & directed by none other than the oh-so-subtle Mr. Lani smiled inwardly.A  She decided right then and there that she would be the one doing the seducing, if that was what was occurring. Visit the nearest post office with broken items, package, shipping materials and shipment invoice. Like other companies, Ford had made numerous refinements to the process, achieving impressive production totals at the Piquette Avenue plant where the Model T was born in October 1908. They simply reasoned that moving the component at a fixed rate past each station would reduce the number of workers required to build the cars, reduce the time required for assembly, increase volume, and allow the company to control the pace. Starting with 29 workers performing 29 different tasks, the experiment reduced assembly time by about seven minutes per unit.
With each worker assigned to complete a few specific tasks rather than build the entire unit, Ford reduced magneto assembly time from about 15 minutes to 5, and the required workforce decreased from 29 to 14. In Highland Park’s immense spaces, production for 1910 rose to 19,050, despite various hiccups associated with settling into the new facility. The process netted 170,211 examples in 1913, 202,667 in 1914, well over half a million in 1916, and 735,020 in 1917.
Although final tallies vary, the generally accepted total stands at just over 15 million built.
There was open speculation that Henry was only aiming to ensure that his workers could afford to buy the products they were assembling. Moreover, the $5 day attracted job seekers from all over the country, particularly the South, permanently changing the demographics of Detroit.
The availability of an affordable, durable automobile put the dream of unlimited personal mobility within reach of a broad swath of society, setting the stage for the rise of the suburbs and the establishment of a national highway network. The dog was one of thoseA  horrid little pug-nosed things that slobbered profusely and snorted like swine.


A a€?Here we are,a€? Billy said, cheerfully, automatically, moronically.A  He had no more awareness of a€?where he wasa€? than say, a shrimp has, lying peeled and pink in a salad on a picnic table on a Sunday afternoon in . He lifted each foot, one at a time, repulsed by the fact that his bare feet were actually embracing . A His smile seemed a fraction more gaudy than the other two, as if he were permanently bent on some sort of drug. Don Ho hovered over the can, licking its top, tipped it over and began slurping the pop as it poured out.A  After another moment he looked up at her again, belched, and walked away, his pugged nose close to the ground, sniffing loudly. With an effective tracking system and insurance program, EMS is able to offer a secure delivery worldwide.
Ford produced Model Ts in this manner for three years at its new Highland Park plant before adopting the assembly line. But this month, the Ford Motor Company is quietly commemorating a T-related centennial that was the true source of that seismic shift in mobility: the automotive assembly line. This pioneering manufacturing process made automobiles affordable to just about anyone and became the template for the entire industry. And with more refinements, Sorensen was able to reduce the magneto-line workforce to 14 and cut assembly time to five minutes.
The team tackled chassis assembly in August and quickly cut completion time from 12 hours to six.
And the efficiencies established on a small scale with the magneto line translated directly to total production, which exploded. The pricing didn’t include extras such as a top or side curtains and actually increased to $900 and $950 for 1910. Pricing bottomed out at $290 for a 1925 Touring model (the Runabout cost $30 less) and ramped up slightly in the last year and a half of the Model T’s long life. So by the end of the Model T’s 19-year run, it was fair to say that Ford really had put the world on wheels. In 1913, for example, Ford was forced to hire more than 52,000 workers to sustain a workforce of about 14,000. To qualify for the additional $2.66, a worker had to meet company standards for clean living, including sobriety, no gambling, thrift, and a happy home environment. Automobiles were no longer a novelty when the Model T made its first appearance, but they were far from universal. As production honcho Charlie Sorensen observed in his memoirs, “Henry Ford is generally regarded as the father of mass production.
Ford made a number of mechanical and cosmetic running changes to the T over the years, including the introduction of safety glass in 1926, an industry first. Compared with other cars of the day, it was easy once a driver acquired minimal skill in advancing or retarding the spark. Wallace, (Lani had read the name tag pinned below his badge) set the wallet on the counter and began searching through it more thoroughly. You can track your package with the tracking code provided and it will be delivered within a week. On average, that worker could assemble 35 of them in a nine-hour shift, or roughly one every 15 minutes.
Ford actually formed a sociological department whose staff members visited homes to assess workers’ worthiness for the full five bucks. By the time the last T left the line, the automobile was fully integrated into everyday life, and the world would never be the same. Folklore says the black color was a Japanese lacquer chosen for its fast-drying properties.
But the market rebounded in 1920, and Model T production topped one million cars for the first time, at 1,301,067. It retained its two-speed planetary transmission long after competitors were offering three-speed gearboxes with shift levers, the cooling system was via thermosyphon (meaning no water pump), and electric starting wasn’t even an option until 1919. I mean, are you going to get out here and help me, or you going to sit there looking stupid?a€?A  Gripped the collar tighter and twisted it. Output peaked at 2,011,125 in 1923, followed by almost two million units in 1924 and ’25 before demand finally began to tail off.



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