Ford Highland Park Plant, Michigan
In 1907 Ford purchased 60 acres of land (later increased to 230) in Highland Park, a small community several miles north of Detroit, for a new factory which would be designed in such a manner that production could be greatly increased. Although the new plant's design was largely the work of Albert Kahn, soon to be hailed as one of the Nation's leading industrial architects, a number of Ford engineers, particularly Edward Gray, influenced its design as well. Actual construction did not start until 1908 and proceeded slowly because of Ford's determination to finance building costs entirely out of company profits.
On January 1, 1910, Ford operations were shifted to the Highland Park Plant, and here over the next 5 years the principles of modern mass production were developed. Ford and his associates, among whom were men like Peter E. Martin, Charles E. Sorenson, Carl Emde, Clarence W. Avery, and future General Motors president William S. Knudsen, spent much of their time on the factory floor where they rearranged machinery, men, and materials in such a manner as to systematize production, reduce unnecessary motion, and cut costs. Machines were arranged according to their function in the manufacturing process rather than by type; overhead conveyors, gravity chutes, and belts were used to transport materials from one work station to another so as to bring the work to the man rather tahn the man to the work; and each worker's task was constantly simplified by an increasingly minute subdivision of labor.
Photo of Highland Park Plant sometime between 1900-1920