Working Class Manhood Henry Ford, the Model T and the Five Dollar Day Fordism: The Five Dollar Day and the Model T Ford • Henry Ford developed the Model T Ford, “the motorcar for the great multitude” around 1908 • Standard Design, High Quality, Simple to operate • By 1916, Ford controlled half of world auto production • Demand required high volume production The Model T: Motorcar for the Great Multitude Production Principles • Used Frederick Taylor’s Method of Scientific Management • The factory was designed as an integrated system • Work was standardized. Moving assembly line was copied from meatpacking industry (which is a ‘disassembly line’) • The ‘autoworker’ was created. Assembling Cars before Ford Ford’s Assembly Line: 1910 Ford’s Assembly Line Assembly Line Assembly Line: Joining Engines to Frames, 1914, Highland Park Ford’s Highland Park Factory Highland Park Plant Kenilworth Building, UWM The Workforce Problems with the Human Element of Production • Taylor’s methods claimed higher rates of efficiency than Ford achieved. • Ford discovered his “labor problems.” – – – – – absenteeism: 10% a day high quit rate (300% turnover in 1913) soldiering and output restriction unionism immigrant culture First Attempts at Labor Reform • Creates an employment office • Develops a wage classification system • Institutes a savings and loan system for workers • These reforms don’t achieve necessary improvements. So the alternative…... Five Dollar Day: 1914 • Prevailing auto worker wage was $2.40 /day • Ford promises $5.00/day if one ‘qualified.’ • How did one qualify? Through an investigation of one’s home life by the “Sociological Department.” – Marriage proved – “Good home conditions” – Good personal habits – Demonstrated thrift – If single, must be age 22, for ‘profits’ Questions: paternalism .vs individual liberty • Can one’s employer enforce living arrangements off the job? • Can one’s employer demand alteration of religious practices? • Can one’s employer demand particular family arrangements of workers?