Henry Ford Company
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|Successors||Cadillac Automobile Company|
|Founded||November 3, 1901|
|Defunct||August 22, 1902|
The Henry Ford Company was the second company for Henry Ford, founded June 16,1903. It resulted from the reorganization of the Detroit Automobile Company, his first unsuccessful attempt at automobile manufacture a year before. In March 1902, Ford left the company following a dispute with his financial backers, William Murphy and Lemuel Bowen. In a final settlement, Ford left with his name and 900 dollars; he went on to start the Ford Motor Company in 1903.
In August 1902, Henry M. Leland was brought in by the investors to appraise the plant and equipment prior to selling them. Instead, Leland persuaded them to continue in the automobile business. The Henry Ford Company reorganized that year as Cadillac in honor of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit.
Cadillac's first car was completed on October 17, 1902, the 10 horsepower (7 kW) Cadillac. Based on Henry Ford's design (except for the engine, designed by Leland & Faulconer), it was practically identical to the 1903 Ford Model A.
Located in Detroit at the intersection of Clark Street and Michigan Avenue in a triangle of land bounded by the intersection of two railway lines, the original manufacturing plant remained in operation under Cadillac until the early 1990s, referred to as both "Cadillac Main" and "Cadillac Plant #1". During the last decade or so, the plant was gradually closed down—as the freight elevators in its multi-story assembly buildings were the cause of production bottlenecks, especially when one or more were shut down for mechanical failure (despite an outside maintenance contractor having an on-site office and elevator repair and service personnel).
In the late 1990s, Cadillac completely shut down all operations at that plant, and the land was leveled, to be redeveloped as an industrial park.
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