View Full Version : Henry Ford 1914

24th Nov 2006, 00:07
In 1914 Ford Motor Company introduced the 40 hours working week.

Why, despite all the progress in technology and efficiency, 92 years later we can't come up with something better ?

24th Nov 2006, 00:29
'We' have tried, believe me we have tried. There just ain't enough hours in the day (or the week) to do better.
One of my responsibilities used to be for engine dynamometers running tests on engines equipped with new and experimental features. One Friday afternoon I was accosted by the then Chief Engine Engineer, who enquired about the progress of a particular test engine. I informed him that the test was about to begin - the engine had arrived from build and was installed on the dynamometer being instrumented ready to start running imminently.
"I want 100 hours on that engine by Monday morning!" said the Chief Engineer. :ugh:

Even adoption of the decimal metric week (ten days giving a seven-day week in order to finish those jobs needed by Friday and a three-day weekend to get those DIY jobs done) wouldn't have helped much.


Particularly as there were but TEN hours in each day:-

I blame the French. They could quite easily have made it 100 hours per day!

PS It COULD be worse:- http://www.angelfire.com/hi/funline/digitime.html

Lon More
24th Nov 2006, 00:45
G-CPTN. I suspect you must have worked for Vauxhall Motors.

Henry Ford must have had ulterior motives for this, judging by his strike breaking actions. He also had a very warped sense of humour, building a new suburb of Detroit, Inkster, to house the coloured workers.

tony draper
24th Nov 2006, 00:49
When I started work mosy peeps in the UK were still working a 44 hour week, the working day was a tad longer or saturday morning wasn't payed at overtime rates,and at sea we were on a 56 hour week, the national union of seamen (may all who officiated in that organisation rot in hell) agreed to put us back from a 44 hour week to a 56 hour one,which was typical of those baskits as they alus had their noses up the shipowners nether regions,unless Ivan offered them more money to take us out on strike of course,which he eventually did.
The NUS was reponsible for turning Drapes from a hand wringing lefty into a borderline old grump facist.

24th Nov 2006, 00:58
In Oz we’ll be all moving to 80hr working weeks – no minimum wage, no holidays no penalty rates no anything - so yeah – we’re progressive down here.

tony draper
24th Nov 2006, 01:02
Well look at it this way, yer great great grandfathers were not paid for their work at all.

Lon More
24th Nov 2006, 01:05
yer great great grandfathers were not paid for their work at all

But they did get a free cruise half way round the world:cool:

Buster Hyman
24th Nov 2006, 02:13
the national union of seamen

Tee-hee! He said seamen!

24th Nov 2006, 09:02
It is always interesting to remember that Henry Ford was one of the most strident anti-semitics in the US and no American contributed as much to the evils of Nazism as Henry Ford.

In fact he is mentioned in Mein Kampf, Hitler hung a portrait of Ford in his office. Hitler revered Ford, proclaiming that "I shall do my best to put his theories into practice in Germany."

Ford went as far as to buy a newspaper, The Dearborn Independant, to promote his anti-semitic, anti-union, anti-immigrant stance. In the 1920's HEnry Ford was responsible for publishing a set of four bound volumes, cumulatively titled The International Jew, the World's Foremost Problem. In 1938, long after the vicious character of Hitler's government had become clear, Ford accepted the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the Nazi regime's highest honor for foreigners.

Fordmotorwerke used slave labour in Cologne between 1941 and 1945 and that it had also engaged in production of military vehicles and was one of the largest suppliers of vehicles to the Wehrmacht. Papers found at the National Archives show that the company was selling to the SS and the police as well. By 1941 Ford of Germany had stopped manufacturing passenger vehicles and was devoting its entire production capacity to military trucks. In May of that year the leader of the Nazi Party in Cologne sent a letter to the plant thanking its leaders for helping "assure us victory in the present [war] struggle" and for demonstrating the willingness to "cooperate in the establishment of an exemplary social state."

Ford vehicles were crucial to the revolutionary Nazi military strategy of blitzkrieg. Of the 350,000 trucks used by the motorized German Army as of 1942, roughly one-third were Ford-made. The Schneider report states that when American troops reached the European theater, "Ford trucks prominently present in the supply lines of the Wehrmacht were understandably an unpleasant sight to men in our Army." Indeed, the Cologne plant proved to be so important to the Reich's war effort that the Allies bombed it on several occasions. A secret 1944 US Air Force "Target Information Sheet" on the factory said that for the previous five years it had been "geared for war production on a high level."

While Ford Motor enthusiastically worked for the Reich, the company initially resisted calls from President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill to increase war production for the Allies. The Nazi government was grateful for that stance, as acknowledged in a letter from Heinrich Albert to Charles Sorenson, a top executive in Dearborn. Albert had been a lawyer for German Ford since at least 1927, a director since 1930 and, according to the Treasury report, part of a German espionage ring operating in the United States during World War I. "The 'Dementi' of Mr. Henry Ford concerning war orders for Great Britain has greatly helped us," Albert wrote in July of 1940, shortly after the fall of France.

24th Nov 2006, 14:04
In 1941, Ford's Willow Run plant commenced production of the B-24 Liberator bomber, producing 600 airplanes a month. Henry Ford also hired plenty of men of African ancestry. Yes, he was a history denying crank, but a mechanical genius. Charles Lindbergh was also anti-semitic, but a great aviator. Both men made many positive contributions to society, out-weighing their character defects.

tony draper
24th Nov 2006, 14:08
Yer and don't forget despite his faults Old Adolf did get the trains running on time.