This article is part of Yahoo's 'On This Day' series.
When the Model T Ford first appeared, it certainly didn’t seem like it would conquer the world — it was $850 and windscreens and headlights were optional extras.
But the car would go on to become the first motor vehicle to sell a million, becoming the most popular car on Earth.
But even more revolutionary than the ‘Tin Lizzy’ itself was the method by which it was made — on the world’s first moving production line.
Maker Henry Ford had been inspired by similar rapid production in the baking and butchering industries.
His production line, launched on this day in 1913, reduced the time to build a car from more than 12 hours (when done by teams of men working together on one vehicle) to just over an hour and a half.
Vehicles moving between teams of workers down a production line made the process far faster.
Ford said his mission was simple: “When I’m through, about everybody will have one.”
Ford broke down the assembly process into 84 steps: instead of workers doing several, they focused on one or two.
Motors were built on conveyor belts that were pulled along by ropes and pulleys: soon he added a mechanised belt which moved at six feet per minute.
Ford boasted that the invention allowed the work to be taken to the workers, rather than the worker moving to the vehicle.
By 1924, Ford boasted that a boat-load of iron ore delivered on a Monday morning could be a complete car by Wednesday morning and in a showroom by noon.
Ford’s innovations weren’t restricted to the technical parts of the work.
After some workers left his plant, he began paying $5 per day (around double the average wage for workers at the time).
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This meant he had a loyal workforce, and some have suggested that it created the dawn of the American middle-class.
It worked: Ford’s workers stayed at the plant, ensuring he had a steady supply of skilled labour.
His workers could also afford to buy his product.
Ford said: “We believe in making 25,000 men prosperous and contented rather than follow the plan of making a few slave drivers in our establishment multi-millionaires.”
By the time production of the Model T Ford ceased in 1927, it had sold 16 million, a record that would only be broken in 1971 by the Volkswagen Beetle.
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