Ford Was Not The Father Of Automotive Mass Production. Gasp!

By Automotive Staff | April 18, 2007
The following is either blasphemy or new information (or both). Two researchers from Cardiff University are saying that Henry Ford was not the father of modern mass car production after all. Instead, says researchers Dr. Paul Nieuwenhuis and Dr. Pete Wells, it was Edward G. Budd of Philadelphia. Who? Autocar reports that Nieuwenhuis and Wells do not give Henry Ford credit because Ford's cars were built around a wooden framework clad with steel, aluminum or plywood, then painted. Budd, though, remove wood from the bodies to truly create the steel bodies of today's automobiles. He would later, with Citroen, used replace the chassis and carry all the mechanical components of the car in 1934.
The two researchers fault Budd not getting the credit because the story of the origins of mass production was written in the 1930s when Budd was still perfecting his process. Note that Nieuwenhis and Wells do give Ford credit for the mass production as well as the moving assembly line. Our take? Just goes to show you. It depends on who is writing history and when they are writing it.