Henry Ford Company
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (August 2019)
|Predecessor||Detroit Automobile Company|
|Successor||Cadillac Automobile Company|
|Founded||November 3, 1901|
|Defunct||August 22, 1902|
The Henry Ford Company was the second company for Henry Ford, founded November 1901. 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, as Ford was devoting considerable time to the sport of auto racing and his Ford 999 race car. In a final settlement, Ford left with his name and US $900; he went on to start the Ford Motor Company in 1903 at the Ford Mack Avenue Plant.
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 450 Amsterdam Street, at the intersection of Cass Avenue and Amsterdam Street, the original manufacturing plant was designed by architectural firm George C. Mason & Son, and remained in operation under Cadillac until 1921, when the Detroit Assembly factory was built at Clark Street. The factory after Leland made some improvements, was 275,000 square feet, with its own forge, a machine shop, and a foundry for both iron and brass. The factory ran 24 hours a day, producing 40 Cadillacs in that time period. The original location is approximately 2 miles east of the current Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly, where Cadillacs are currently built. It is approximately half a mile southwest from Cadillac Place, GM's headquarters from 1922 until 2001, when GM moved to the GM Renaissance Center next to the Detroit River.
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