- Historic Sites
—a complex man
December 1954 | Volume 6, Issue 1
As the years pass and as we gain perspective, the absurd blunders and shabby misdeeds in Henry Ford’s record will arouse less interest. His social primitivism will seem more a part of the general ignorance and gullibility of our adolescent American civilization. His great achievement, in the direct line of Watt and Stephenson, Eli Whitney and Cyrus McCormick, yet in some ways transcending theirs, will loom up as the really significant fact of his career. By his labors in bringing mass production to birth, by his gospel of high production, low prices, and large consumption, he became the key figure in a far-reaching revolution. This fumbling artist actually did remold the world according to his vision. Talking with Edsel one day, he said of his great company: “Well, we’ll build this as well as we know how, and if we don’t use it, somebody will use it. Anything that is good enough will be used.” Of few of the industrial path-hewers of his time can it be said that they produced so much that is permanently and profitably usable.