The Night Henry Ford Met Santa

Overview

Could Henry Ford have taken his idea for an automobile assembly line from the elves at the North Pole? Maybe so. Set just before Christmas in 1908, this charming tale finds Henry Ford puzzling over a way to make his Model T affordable for the average family. His little son Edsel suggests that Daddy write to Santa for advice. Since Santa makes toys for millions of children, Edsel points out, he must know a better way. Henry writes the letter just to please his son, but Santa actually answers by taking Henry to ...
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Overview

Could Henry Ford have taken his idea for an automobile assembly line from the elves at the North Pole? Maybe so. Set just before Christmas in 1908, this charming tale finds Henry Ford puzzling over a way to make his Model T affordable for the average family. His little son Edsel suggests that Daddy write to Santa for advice. Since Santa makes toys for millions of children, Edsel points out, he must know a better way. Henry writes the letter just to please his son, but Santa actually answers by taking Henry to visit his North Pole workshop. When he sees the elves working in a line, each completing just one specific task on every toy that's made, Henry Ford envisions an automobile assembly line. The story not only illustrates that children can teach adults how to dream, but it also provides an author's note with factual information about Henry Ford and the Model T.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
The year was 1908 and Henry Ford was admiring his new Model T. He was wishing that more people could afford the car but it was very expensive to produce. Since his son, Edsel, had just written to Santa he suggests that his father do the same. Henry follows Edsel's advice and a few nights later he hears a thud near the parlor fireplace. There is Santa, who takes Henry to the North Pole where he sees the elves busily at work, each one doing a specific task. Henry realizes this is what he needs to do with the production of the Model T. He introduced the conveyor belt and the first assembly-line cars were made at a much cheaper cost. The rest is history, as they say. In "A Special Note to Readers" at the back of the book Hagen talks about her research at the Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, and the liberties she took with dates. For thousands of years storytellers have composed creative explanations for actual events. Hagen follows in that tradition. The little sliver of history tucked into this fantasy just might be the spark for a child to want to know more about American life a hundred years ago. Photographs on the endpapers show the Model T assembly line. Faulkner's illustrations provide period details such as the candles on the Christmas tree, a pen and inkwell for writing to Santa, and the kinds of toys a child would have received for Christmas in 1908. The moon at the beginning of the story foreshadows the fantasy to follow where the North Pole workshop is a bustling place and a jolly Santa is there to fulfill anyone's dreams and desires. This is a welcome addition to the Christmas bookshelf.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585361328
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Series: Sleeping Bear Holiday - Christmas
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 685,724
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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