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True or False: Among Ford's many contributions was the introduction of mass production,...

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lkballer24 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted September 23, 2013 at 1:30 AM via web

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True or False:

Among Ford's many contributions was the introduction of mass production, using the concept of interchangeable parts and division of labour.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2013 at 1:55 AM (Answer #1)

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The answer to this question depends on the source you are looking at and the exact way in which the statement is interpreted.  I would argue that the statement is false.  This is because Ford did not “introduce” any of the things mentioned.  He might be said to have perfected their use, but he did not use them for the first time, which is how I interpret the word “introduce.”

Henry Ford is typically credited with having invented the use of an assembly line to engage in mass production.  However, this is not really true.  Many people had used assembly lines of sorts before Ford.  People going back as far as Eli Whitney had used interchangeable parts.  Adam Smith wrote about division of labor in 1776.  Thus, none of these things were new with Ford.

Ford did, however, create major advances in the process of mass production.  Most notably, he created a continuously moving, conveyer-driven assembly line.  This meant that his assembly line moved much more quickly than any before it.  This makes Ford very important in the history of mass production, but it does not mean that he introduced the process.

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