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Quotes of the day: Henry Ford

Published Tuesday, July 30, 2013 @ 1:52 AM EDT
Jul 30 2013

Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. Ford did not invent the automobile, but he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford to buy. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism": mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.

Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I, and also for being the publisher of antisemitic texts such as the book The International Jew.

(Click for full Wikipedia article.)


A low wage business is always insecure.

A man's college and university degrees mean nothing to me until I see what he is able to do with them.

America is not a land of money but of wealth- not a land of rich people, but of successful workers.

An educated person, I think, is one who not only knows a lot, but knows how to do a lot of things.

Any man can learn anything he will, but no man can teach except to those who want to learn. Education is preeminently a matter of quality, not amount.

Anything that is not right, whether it temporarily favors the employees or the employers, cannot last- because it is not right.

As betting at the race ring adds neither strength nor speed to the horse, so the exchange of shares in the stock market adds no capital to business, no increase in the production and no purchasing power to the market.

But to do for the world more than the world does for you- that is Success.

Cutting wages is not the way to recovery. Raise wages and improve the product.

Depressions aren't acts of God; like wars, they are the work of a small group of men who profit by them.

Education is preeminently a matter of quality, not amount.

Every business is a monarchy with, not a man, but an idea as king.

Every man is entitled to make a darn fool of himself at least once in a lifetime.

I believe in 100% Theory and 100% Practice. Theory without practical application is futile.

I believe that any stock that is sold should have real value as automobile or bushel of potatoes, and stock market should be run as a vegetable market.

I believe that music fills a great place. The teaching of it goes far to restore the balance and richness of life, and- I might add- the unit of life also.

I can visualize the time when almost every family will have a small plane in their back yard.

I don't expect to retire. Every man must work, that's his natural destiny.

I don't like old people. I stay away from them.

I don't like to read books. They muss up my mind.

I don't read history. That's in the past. I'm thinking of the future.

I haven't put a pencil to a piece of paper, working out a problem, in years; I do it in my head.

I wouldn't give five cents for all the art in the world.

Idleness is the reason for many of our troubles.

If the boss stands in the way of men getting what they earn, he is not fit to be boss.

If we could get all religions together on a common purpose- the elimination of jealousies and the things that make men covet another's belongings, we would be a long way toward the goal of outmoding war, depression and poverty.

If we had more justice there would be less need of charity.

If you find out what men want and give them that, you are pleasing them. If you find out what is good for them and give them that, you are performing a service.

In the long run people are going to buy the cheapest and the best article no matter where it is made.

Look beyond the individual to the cause of his misery.

Machines were devised not to do a man out of a job, but to take the heavy labor from man's back and place it on the broad back of the machine.

Man minus the Machine is a slave; Man plus the Machine is a freeman.

Many people are busy trying to find better ways of doing things that should not have to be done at all. There is no progress in merely finding a better way to do a useless thing.

Mark my word: A combination airplane and motor car is coming. (in 1940)

Mass production is craftsmanship with the drudgery taken out of it.

Money will ruin the life of any man who treats it like anything but a tool with which to work.

Most fashionable commodity in US is going to be old-fashioned common sense and work.

Most of the sickness in the world is caused by eating too much.

No American ought to be compelled to strike for his rights. He ought to receive them naturally, easily, as a matter of course.

No one ever wins a war.

No one will ever get anywhere in this world unless he becomes a teacher, one who can show others how to do things.

Nothing can be made except by makers, nothing can be managed except by managers. Money cannot make anything and money cannot manage anything.

Of all the follies the elder generation falls victim to this is the most foolish, namely, the constant criticism of the younger element who will not be and cannot be like ourselves because we and they are different tribes produced of different elements in the great spirit of Time.

Only one thing makes prosperity, and that is work.

Paying good wages is not charity at all- it is the best kind of business.

People will try to fix world but world will fix people.

Should a man quit at 40 he is failure- Retire at that age is sorry failure.

Somewhere is a master mind sending brain wave messages to us. There is a Great Spirit. I never did anything by my own volition. I was pushed by invisible forces within and without me.

Stock market never made business-business makes the stock market.

Teach children not to be gullible.

That man is best educated who knows the greatest number of things that are so, and who can do the greatest number of things to help and heal the world.

The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures.

The best way to make money in business is not to think too much about making it.

The depression was just a state of mind. It is over for everyone who has changed his state of mind.

The farther you look back, the farther you can look ahead.

The home of tomorrow will make women free for work... free to work as they like, not as they are bound to do by the past... work is the only real happiness... industry itself has been modernized so that almost any job in industry may be taken over by a woman.

The most closely organized groups and movements in the world are those which have been the least friendly to the people's progress and liberty.

The only thing you can give a man without hurting him is an opportunity.

The present method of producing milk is too laborious. I believe that we can make milk by scientific process, eliminating the cow.

The remains of the old must be decently laid away; the path of the new prepared. That is the difference between Revolution and Progress.

The sense of injustice, more than the unjust condition itself, is what wears on men's minds.

The unhappiest man on earth is the one who has nothing to do.

The way out of the depression is to start spending and doing things.

The world is held together by the mass of honest folk who do their daily tasks, tend their own spot in the world, and have faith that at last the Right will come fully into its own.

There can be no bosses in our country except the people. The job of the government is to serve, not to dominate.

There can be no lasting peace where hatred exists. Hatreds will continue to arise as long as the causes of war are not rooted out and exposed.

There is nothing ever wrong with ability, ambition, achievement; but they can easily be wronged by being used to bad ends.

There should be no unemployment. There is large percentage of labor now which cannot make a living because wages are not high enough. That is industry's second job. First job is to make good product. Second pay a good wage.

Three most deleterious things of modern life in their present order of importance are: tobacco, alcohol and intemperate eating. Both alcohol and tobacco are taboo in plants.

To be good is not enough; a man must be good for something.

Two classes of people lose money; those who are too weak to guard what they have; those who win money by trick. They both lose in the end.

Wars are necessary to teach us lessons we seem unable to learn any other way.

We are always seeking for those things which are in the clouds, not for those that lie at our feet.

We now know that anything which is economically right is also morally right. There can be no conflict between good economics and good morals.

We ought to know more about the families who founded this nation, and how they lived.

What right have you, save service to the world, to think that other men's labor should contribute to your gains?

When bankers get into business they usually destroy it.

When you once get an idea in which you believe with all your heart, work it out.

Work is our sanity, our self-respect, our salvation. The day's work is the center of everything.

Worry is the most wasteful thing in the world.

You can't tell me you can make any system or country work with low wages and high prices, and high wages with high prices don't mean anything when the prices eat up the wages and don't leave anything over.

Categories: Henry Ford, Question of the day


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