Recasting The Machine Age

Recasting The Machine Age

by Howard P. Segal
     
 

ISBN-10: 1558494812

ISBN-13: 9781558494817

Pub. Date: 07/20/2005

Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press

Recasting the Machine Age recounts the history of Henry Ford's efforts to shift the production of Ford cars and trucks from the large-scale factories he had pioneered in the Detroit area to nineteen decentralized, small-scale plants within sixty miles of Ford headquarters in Dearborn. The visionary who had become famous in the early twentieth century for his huge

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Overview

Recasting the Machine Age recounts the history of Henry Ford's efforts to shift the production of Ford cars and trucks from the large-scale factories he had pioneered in the Detroit area to nineteen decentralized, small-scale plants within sixty miles of Ford headquarters in Dearborn. The visionary who had become famous in the early twentieth century for his huge and technologically advanced Highland Park and River Rouge complexes gradually changed his focus beginning in the teens and continuing until his death in 1947.

Ford may well have been motivated to spend great sums on the village industries in part to prevent the unionization of his company. But these industrial experiments represented much more than "union busting." They were significant examples of profound social, cultural, and ideological shifts in America between the World Wars as reflected in the thought and practice of one notable industrialist.

Howard P. Segal recounts the development of the plants, their fate after Ford's death, their recent revival as part of Michigan's renewed appreciation of its industrial heritage, and their connections to contemporary efforts to decentralize high-tech working and living arrangements.

University of Massachusetts Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558494817
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
07/20/2005
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : Henry Ford, centralization, and decentralization1
Ch. 1Henry Ford's village industries : origins, contexts, rationales6
Ch. 2Decentralized technology in the village industries : scale, scope, system, vision17
Ch. 3Farm and factory united27
Ch. 4Buildings and workforce35
Ch. 5Administration and relationship to local communities51
Ch. 6Workers' experiences59
Ch. 7Unionization75
Ch. 8The decentralists and other visionaries87
Ch. 9American industry also preaches decentralization108
Ch. 10Decline of the village industries during World War II and after121
Ch. 11Contemporary renewal of the village industries in high-tech America130
Conclusion : Henry Ford evolves from mechanical to social engineer152
AppBasic facts about and present status of the nineteen village industries161

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