Who actually invented the assembly line? Gustavus Swift or Gerald Ford?

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Of the two choices, none of those people invented the assembly line. I believe you are thinking of Henry Ford who was the first to start using a moving assembly line. The concept of an assembly was to speed production and to divide labor. A worker on the assembly line does one specific job in the manufacturing process, over and over each day. By doing only one part of the job and having others do another part of the job, manufacturing can be done faster.

It should be noted that Henry Ford was the first to use the moving assembly line. Ransom Olds invented the first assembly line. He used the assembly to manufacture cars. His assembly line also increased the rate of production of automobiles.

Thus, in your question, I believe you are referring to Henry Ford. It should be noted that Henry Ford invented the first moving assembly line while Ransom Olds invented the first assembly line.

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Most history books would have you believe that Henry Ford was the man that came up with the idea of using an assembly line to make production more efficient. The story goes that Ford revolutionized industry and production by using the assembly line to produce a month's worth of cars in one day. The trouble with that story is that it is not true.

Gustavus Swift built a meat-packing empire in Chicago much earlier than Ford's automobile empire. He was able to do so with the kind of innovation that all great men possess. He was the first to ship food in a refrigerated railroad car, which meant that food could be shipped after slaughter. As for the assembly line, he built an efficient system of slaughter and processing that utilized conveyer belts. At each stop along the line, workers had a specific task. When employees of Ford visited the plant, they convinced him to apply this same principle in the production of automobiles.

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