- Apr 11th 2007 at 7:03PM
Henry Ford disputed as father of mass production
Henry Ford's historical standing as the father of mass production has come under fire by a new paper published by Dr. Paul Nieuwenhuis and Dr. Pete Wells of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at the Cardiff Business School. The paper posits that Philadelphian Edward G. Budd (shown at right) first implemented the use of the pressed steel car body and mass production. The doctors don't dispute the fact that Ford was responsible for developing mass production of certain mechanical componenets and sub assemblies, but at the time Blue Oval cars were built around a wooden framework that significantly slowed the assembly process. Supposedly Budd was the first to hold a patent in 1914 for a steel pressed body that required no wood, thus making assembly faster and cars more safe, durable and, of all things, easier to paint. It appears the intent of the paper is to shine some light on an early innovator in the automotive industry that historians, for one reason or another, have failed to acknowledge for his contributions.