Henry M. Leland
From Ford Wiki
Henry Martyn Leland (16 February, 1843-26 March, 1932) (born Barton, Vermont, died Detroit, Michigan) was a machinist, inventor, engineer and automotive entrepreneur.
He learned engineering and precision machining in the Brown & Sharpe plant at Providence, Rhode Island, and subsequently worked in the firearms industry, including at Colt's Manufacturing Company. These experiences in Tool and die maker, Metrology, and Manufacturing steeped him in the 19th-century zeitgeist of Interchangeable parts. He applied this expertise to the nascent motor industry as early as 1870 as a principal in the machine shop Leland & Faulconer, and later was a supplier of engines to Ransom E. Olds's Olds Motor Vehicle Company, later to be known as Oldsmobile. He also invented the electric barber clippers, and for a short time produced a unique toy train, the Leland-Detroit Monorail. He created the Cadillac automobile, bought out by General Motors. He also founded Lincoln, later purchased by the Ford Motor Company.
In 1902 William Murphy and his partners at the Henry Ford Company hired Leland as an adviser, and later asked him to sort through problems on the shop floor. A clash quickly came when he gave orders to Henry Ford. Ford understood he was in charge, however, the partners took Leland's side, and Ford was shown the door. Ford got $900 cash and the designs for a new car he was working on. The partners got the car Ford had been hired to produce. Taking Henry Ford's car they removed his engine and replaced it with the precision single cylinder engine produced by Henry Leland. The directors lost no time in renaming the company Cadillac (automobile). At Cadillac, Leland applied many modern manufacturing principles to the fledgling Automotive industry, including the use of interchangeable parts.
Leland sold Cadillac to General Motors Corporation on July 29, 1909 for $5.6 million but remained as an executive until 1917. With Charles Kettering, he developed a self-starter for the Cadillac, which won its second Dewar Trophy in 1913 as a result. He prodded Kettering to design a workable electric starter after a close friend was hit in the head and killed by a starting crank when the engine backfired. 
He left General Motors over the company's involvement in the World War I effort and formed the Lincoln Motor Company to build Liberty aircraft engines. After the war, the company's factories were retooled to manufacture luxury automobiles.
In 1922, Lincoln became insolvent and was bought out by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company. Ford's bid of $8 million was the only bid at a receivers sale. Ford had first offered $5 million, but the judge would not accept it for a well-equipped company whose assets were conservatively estimated at $16 million. After the sale, Leland and his son Wilfred continued to run the company, believing they would still have full control to run the company as they saw fit. Ford assigned a number of their people to Lincoln, they said to learn. However, it soon became clear they were there to streamline their production and stop the loss of money that had bankrupted Lincoln. Relations between the Henry Ford and Leland workers continued to deteriorate. On June 10, 1922, Ford executive Ernest Liebold arrived at Lincoln to ask for the resignation of Wilfred Leland. When it became clear that Leibold had the full authority of Henry Ford, Henry Leland resigned as well. That afternoon both men were shown out of the factory they had created.
The Lincoln continues to be part of the luxury line of Ford to this day.
- ↑ A Cadillac history by Motorera.com. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
- ↑ Roe 1916:214–215.
- ↑ Lacey 1986, pp. 60-61.
- ↑ The award was actually presented in 1909.
- ↑ The birth of a company: CADILLAC.
- ↑ URL apparently now dead. Retrieved June 30, 2007.
- ↑ Cadillac Model 30, 1912 Model 30 at Conceptcarz.com.
- ↑ Lacey 1986, p. 277.
- ↑ Lacey 1986, p. 280.
- Lacey, Robert (1986), Ford: The Men and the Machine, Boston: Little, Brown & Company, Library of Congress Control Number 86-010642, ISBN 978-0-316-51166-7 .
- Roe, Joseph Wickham (1916), English and American Tool Builders, New Haven, Connecticut, USA: Yale University Press, Library of Congress Control Number 16-011753 . Reprinted by McGraw-Hill, New York and London, 1926 (Library of Congress Control Number 27-024075); and by Lindsay Publications, Inc., Bradley, IL, USA (ISBN 978-0-917914-73-7). Also available online via Google Book Search.