History of Firsts During the 1700-1800s

By | November 28, 2018

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First Ford Motor Company factory. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/Timepix/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Everything came from somewhere – some person or persons had to come up with an idea. From that idea, a plan developed in their mind to create something. Sometimes those ideas were profitable while others were not. Those who were lucky enough to come with original profit-making ideas have become the “firsts” of many down throughout history.

Henry Ford was one of those “lucky” individuals to come with a “first.” He created the first Ford (named after himself). The very first vehicle that he created was in 1896 called the “Quadricycle” which was essentially a big buggy on four bicycle tires. It looked pretty much like an overgrown bicycle. His first successful company, Ford Motor Company, came about in 1903 with 11 original investors and the famous “Model T” was produced.

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Factories during the Industrial Revolution

The first true factory was created in 1769 by Richard Arkwright at Cromford with his patent on his spinning frame. The factory had over 300 people employed and by 1789, had 800 employed with most of its people unskilled. With new machines such as the power loom being created, many people went to work in these factories because their previous skills had been taken over by these machines. By 1850 in Britain, there 250,000 power looms. Because the factories were run for profit, there was no added expense for protective devices such as safety guards. They even employed children because a lot of them were orphans and could be replaced if there were accidents plus they did not have to pay them as much as an adult. Arkwright was an exception to the majority of the factory owners. For the most part, he looked after his workers other than some tough factory rules.