Henry Ford, a most recognizable name that I remember from the final exam of my high school U.S. History class. The question was, inevitably, "Who invented the assembly line?" My instructor, a particularly clever individual who liked to play the role of trickster on occasion, had provided four possible answers. One of the names was Henry Ford, but it was not the correct answer.
Popular culture often associates Ford with the "invention" of the assembly line. In reality, the concept of breaking up large jobs up into smaller pieces to increase efficiency was invented by Ransom E Olds. Another titan of the auto industry, Old's Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced vehicle in American history, selling around 5,000 units in 1904 alone. However, mass production in the realm of vehicle production had not nearly reached its full potential until Henry Ford tried his hand at the assembly line method. Ford's results were extraordinary, and altered the course of American history forever.