Ford Motor Company (1913)
Showing the American way of life to the world
The American industrialist Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, gathered the entire 12,000-strong workforce of the Ford Motor plant at Highland Park, to photograph them all together outside of the building. This photograph was taken in 1913, when the world’s first fully-fledged assembly line was installed at the plant. The photo cost thousands of dollars to organize and produce which was fitting for a company whose axiom was “Time equals money”,. The Workers were paid $2.34 a day and employed for a nine-hour working day. Assuming a working day was lost because of the photo, Ford paid out $28,080 in daily wages, almost equal to the amount of venture capital he had to initially start the company in 1903. In addition, Ford lost out on making 600 cars (in 1913, Ford produced 250,000 cars annually), each of which cost $600. In total, the cost of the photo was over $9 million in 2013 dollars.