Forget the Model T—Ford’s real innovation was the moving assembly line. It didn’t just usher in the age of the car; it changed work forever.
He first fully implemented his innovation on December 1, 1913. Like a lot of his other industrial production insights, the assembly line was met with hatred and suspicion by many of his workers.
Before 1913, Ford and many other car makers put together entire cars at one station. A team of workers labored on each car, writes Tony Swan for Car and Driver. The innovation of the moving assembly line cut the number of workers required and reduced the time it took to assemble a car. It also gave the company more control over the pace. For the Ford Motor Company: amazing. For his workers: Eh, not everyone was impressed.