The Most Influential Person in the 20th Century
Essay title: The Most Influential Person in the 20th Century
Given what we know from history or personal experience, one must acknowledge that an influential person has to be someone with an extraordinary vision, someone that has made an impact on the world. Influence can be defined in a myriad of ways. I define “influence” in terms of direct change in the concrete circumstances of individual lives. It would be hard to identify anyone whose influence has been both more widespread and more beneficial than Henry Fords.
Ford didnt invent modern industry. He didnt invent interchangeable parts or the assembly line. But he combined these elements in a way that revolutionized the meaning of manufacturing. And he did so deliberately. Fords genius was to make cars simple, solid and inexpensive necessities. That philosophy paid off when Fords $850 Model T became the most successful vehicle ever produced in America which helped propel Ford Motor Company to become the largest industrial organization of the early 20th century. By the end of World War I, economies of scale had made it so affordable that half of all the cars in the world were Model Ts.
Fords impact on Twentieth Century business was perhaps most important for the immeasurable impact he had on American life. As Ford adapted the emerging principles of mass production to the automobile and hired tens of thousands of workers to put those principles into practice, he gave rise to an entirely new phenomenon: