Replica of Henry Fords first 1893 ' Kitchen Sink ' engine. Built by the students of Penn state, and being run at the Henry Ford Museum / Greenfield Village.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) was an American industrialist and business magnate, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production.
By creating the first automobile that middle-class Americans could afford, he converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into an accessible conveyance that profoundly impacted the landscape of the 20th century.
His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the Ford Motor Company owner, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism": mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace.
His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout North America and major cities on six continents.
Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to permanently control it.
Ford stated two significant events occurred in 1875 when he was 12. He received a watch, and he witnessed the operation of a Nichols and Shepard road engine, "...the first vehicle other than horse-drawn that I had ever seen."
In his farm workshop, Ford built a "steam wagon or tractor" and a steam car, but thought "steam was not suitable for light vehicles," as "the boiler was dangerous."
Ford also stated, he "did not see the use of experimenting with electricity, due to the expense of trolley wires, and "no storage battery was in sight of a weight that was practical." In 1885, Ford repaired an Otto engine, and in 1887 he built a four-cycle model with a one-inch bore and a three-inch stroke.
In 1890, Ford started work on a two-cylinder engine. Ford stated, "In 1892, I completed my first motor car, powered by a two-cylinder four horsepower motor, with a two-and-half-inch bore and a six-inch stroke, which was connected to a countershaft by a belt and then to the rear wheel by a chain. The belt was shifted by a clutch lever to control speeds at 10 or 20 miles per hour, augmented by a throttle.
Other features included 28-inch wire bicycle wheels with rubber tires, a foot brake, a 3-gallon gasoline tank, and later, a water jacket around the cylinders for cooling.
Ford stated that "in the spring of 1893 the machine was running to my partial satisfaction and giving an opportunity further to test out the design and material on the road."
Between 1895 and 1896, Ford drove that machine about 1000 miles. Ford then started a second car in 1896, eventually building three cars in his home workshop.