How Has Ford Motor Company Impacted American Culture?
The Ford Motor Company has been a driving force in innovation and style in the automobile industry for over a century. You can see the company’s influence in vehicle designs, in our entertainment, and in our economic values far beyond what many people might expect.
Exactly how has Ford Motor Company impacted American culture? Continue reading for our guide on the sway the company has on our way of life and find out.
History of Henry Ford Impacted All Avenues of Life
While Henry Ford, the great early 20th-century inventor and businessperson, may not have invented the automobile, he was undoubtedly one of its greatest innovators. The changes he implemented at his fledgling Ford Motor Company in the early 1900s were a revolution in the way of products, consumers' relationships to those products, and the purchasing power of laborers. His influences on our economy have echoed throughout contemporary American, and you can still feel this impact today.
Ford Tinkered With Watches Before Moving To Cars
Ford tinkered with and constructed timepieces for his family and friends when he was younger. If he didn't have the right tool to build a watch, the Michigan native would just make it himself.
Assembly Line Makes Mass Production Easier
Perhaps Ford's most famous innovation, the conveyor belt assembly line was a total shake-up in the manufacturing process. An assembly line is where a product moves down a conveyor belt as workers assemble the same type of parts at each station, moving it down the line until it's finished. It enables factories to produce goods at an incredible rate while simultaneously reducing the number of worker hours required to complete an item.
Doubling His Labor Forces Salary
In 1914, Ford announced that his labor force would be making at least $5 a day, more than double what they had previously made. This wage increase was unheard of at the time and allowed many of his working-class employees to enjoy the luxuries of middle-class life. For the first time, workers could actually buy the very products they had been working on.
Making the Automobile Affordable To All
The introduction of the Model T brought the automobile to the masses in a way they could finally afford. Henry Ford envisioned the Model T as a practical, economical mode of transportation for the average person. It immediately gained popularity for its affordability, sturdiness, adaptability, and ease of maintenance.
Ford Helped Us Reach for the Stars—Literally
Many people may not realize this, but the Ford Motor Company had a massive hand in the first moon landing of one of humankind’s most monumental achievements. Indeed, Ford was heavily involved in setting up and maintaining the Mission Control Center. All the equipment that made the mission possible, including voice communication back to Houston and its transmission to the rest of the world, was because of Ford's involvement.
How the Company Teamed Up With NASA
Ford wanted to expand its sights beyond automobiles and bought the technological innovation company Philco in 1961. In 1963, the business competed against tech behemoths such as IBM, RCA, Lockheed, Hughes Aircraft, and AT&T for the right to develop the Mission Control Center at Houston's new Manned Space Center.
Despite being considered an underdog in the process, NASA chose Philco-Ford as the primary contractor. The company would go on to develop innovative technologies that made piloted space flight possible, including Gemini 3 and all subsequent Apollo missions.
We’ve Come a Long Way Since Then
While you could consider the Apollo Guidance Computer Systems that propelled astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon in 1969 cutting edge at the time, they’d be incredibly primitive today compared to smartphones and laptops. Take any cellphone with 16 gigabytes of memory, and you’ve got a device many times more powerful than the 2-kilobyte computers used back then.
America Falls in Love With the Ford Mustang
Few other vehicles have had quite as memorable an impact on American automotive culture as the Ford Mustang. Introduced in the 1960s, the so-called "pony car" features an iconic design whose initial beefy, souped-up elements are still present in today's versions despite countless transformations. While Ford has produced many other unique vehicles, the Mustang serves as the face of Ford and American ingenuity.
What’s In a Name
Before the Mustang was given its well-known namesake, many alternatives were offered, including Cougar, Panther, Colt, Stiletto, Comet, and Allegro.
Rise of Competitors
Following the Mustang's meteoric rise to stardom, rivals hurried to release identical models. The Chevy Camaro, Dodge Charger, Chrysler Barracuda, and Pontiac Firebird were among the fierce competitors.
The Camaro's arrival was notable since it marked the beginning of a decades-long rivalry that continues to this day. Still, the Mustang is the only one of its kind to have the kind of legacy it had, and you've never seen it pulled from the factory floor.
Why Pony Car?
The Mustang was the first automobile to be labeled a "pony car," a reference to its iconic horse insignia. All of their competitor cars that were developed to try to emulate the Mustang's success also have this designation.
Lasting Legacy in Hollywood
Hollywood started to take notice of both the power and "cool factor" the Mustang contained around the same time muscle car enthusiasts did. The car had its big-screen debut in 1964 in James Bond's Goldfinger, when Tilly Masterson's Mustang meets a tragic end. However, it wasn't until years later that the vehicle was prominently featured and took the world by storm in the 1968 film Bullitt.
The success of the film and the striking images of the Mustang in chase sequences prompted producers to take notice of the car's potency and mystique. Today, you can see the vehicle featured in thousands of movies and television shows, including Charlie's Angels and John Wick.
Ford Continues To Make an Impact
If there is one thing you can learn from Ford's history, it is that the company prides itself on innovation. You can rely on the brand to uphold its tradition and transform the way we drive. It’s hard not to see how Ford Motor Company has impacted American culture and will continue to do so in the future.
Today, Ford vehicles are still incredibly robust, iconic machines. American Modified offers the highest-quality Ford aftermarket accessories for your vehicle to take its style and performance to the next level. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about our products.