Henry Ford Company

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The Henry Ford Company was the second company for Henry Ford, founded November 3, 1901. It resulted from the reorganization of the Detroit Automobile Company, his first unsuccessful attempt at automobile manufacture a year before. Henry M. Leland was brought in by the investors to appraise the plant and equipment prior to selling them. Instead, Leland persuaded them to continue in the automobile business. In a final settlement Henry Ford left in 1902, taking his name and 900 dollars; he went on to start the Ford Motor Company in 1903. The Henry Ford Company reorganized that year as Cadillac in honor of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit.

Cadillac's first car was completed on October 17, 1902, the 10 horsepower (7 kW) Cadillac. Based on Henry Ford's design (except for the engine), it was practically identical to the 1903 Ford Model A.

Located at Clark Street and Michigan Avenue in a triangle of land bounded by two railway lines, the original manufacturing plant remained in operation under Cadillac until the early 1990s, referred to as both "Cadillac Main" and "Cadillac Plant #1". During the last decade or so, the plant was gradually closed down -- as the freight elevators in its multi-story assembly buildings were the cause of production bottlenecks, especially when one or more were shut down for mechanical failure (despite an outside maintenance contractor having an on-site office and elevator repair and service personnel).

See also