The quintessential American businessman, Henry Ford was the founder of Ford Motor Company and the pioneer of the modern assembly line used in mass production. The T model car produced by his company revolutionised the automobile industry and set a precedent for other inventors and engineers.
What’s more, as he rose to prominence and wealth, he and his family gave extremely generously to charitable causes and foundations throughout the United States, such was his philanthropic nature. As many Masons will be aware, Henry Ford was also a Freemason, and his contribution to the history of the Craft is well known to brothers the world over.
Let’s take a closer look at the life of brother Henry Ford.
Brother Henry Ford was initiated into Palestine Lodge No. 357, and progressed to the Degree of Master Mason in 1894. He was a proud and committed Mason throughout his lifetime, which is extremely impressive when you consider his vast accomplishments that must have taken so much of his time and energy.
He was also a brother within the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, achieving his 33rd and final degree in 1940. His commitment and dedication to the Craft is embodied by his almost fifty years of Masonic service.
In spite of the fact that Henry Ford was an extremely wealthy man, he had a mistrust of bankers and opposed the Federal Reserve system. He had a social conscience and was constantly innovating amongst his peers to bring about improvements in the quality of life of ordinary Americans.
His workforce constantly benefited from his entrepreneurial experiments and the fact that he was never satisfied with his lot. A true American innovator, Henry Ford is perhaps the single best example of living the American dream while staying true to your core principles.
Henry Ford passed away at his residence in Dearborn on April 7th, 1947. This was seven years after he completed the 33rd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. But his legacy would live on long into the future, and his contribution to the automobile industry in particular is still felt today.
We leave you with a wonderful quote from Ford, that epitomised his attitude and contribution to life:
“I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.”