Catalogue


Recasting the machine age : Henry Ford's village industries /
Howard P. Segal.
imprint
Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, c2005.
description
xv, 244 p., [18] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1558494812 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, c2005.
isbn
1558494812 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction: Henry Ford, centralization, and decentralization -- Henry Ford's village industries: origins, contexts, rationales -- Decentralized technology in the village industries: scale, scope, system, vision -- Farm and factory united -- Buildings and workforce -- Administration and relationship to local communities -- Workers' experiences -- Unionization -- The decentralists and other visionaries -- American industry also preaches decentralization -- Decline of the village industries during World War II and after -- Contemporary renewal of the village industries in high-tech America -- Conclusion: Henry Ford evolves from mechanical to social engineer -- Appendix: basic facts about and present status of the nineteen village industries.
catalogue key
6072916
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 223-230) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-05-01:
Few industrialists have been more studied than Henry Ford (1863-1947), and he remains, with all his achievements and faults, an icon of American business history. Ford and the Ford Motor Company were deeply involved in the development and adaptation of production practices that helped transform American industry, and the automobile industry itself encouraged extensive social, cultural, and economic change in the modern age. But as this interesting book outlines, Ford also envisioned a society that would ultimately move away from the large-scale, urban-centered, and unionized factories that he had helped to foster, and toward smaller, decentralized village industries that would allow workers to be connected to both farming and manufacturing. This study explains why Ford's village industries, though historically less familiar, represent a noteworthy trial of decentralized technology. Segal (history, Univ. of Maine) has produced a scholarly, thoughtful study that appraises Ford's various motives for creating and funding these 19 manufacturing plants. This well-documented, balanced history contributes to the understanding of not only Henry Ford and his company but also the array of connections between social and technological change. This study will appeal to a variety of readers. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through faculty collections. T. E. Sullivan Towson University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2006
Reference & Research Book News, August 2006
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
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.
Unpaid Annotation
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 and become famous in the early twentieth century for his huge and technologically advanced Highland Park and Rouge River complexes gradually changed his focus beginning in the late 1910s and continuing until his death in 1947. According ot Howard P. Segal, Ford decided to create a series of "village industries," each of which would manufacture one or two parts for the company's vehicles. Although he imagined that the rural setting of these decentralized plants would allow workers be become part-time farmers, Ford's plan did not represent a reaction against modern technology. The idea was to continue to employ the latest technology, but on a much smaller scale--and for the most part it worked. All nineteen of these village indusstries helped save their communities from decline, in several case ensuring their survival through the Great Depression. The majority of workers in the village industries, moreover, appear to have preferred their working and living conditions to those in Detroit and Dearborn. 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 industralist.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 decent
Table of Contents
Introduction : Henry Ford, centralization, and decentralizationp. 1
Henry Ford's village industries : origins, contexts, rationalesp. 6
Decentralized technology in the village industries : scale, scope, system, visionp. 17
Farm and factory unitedp. 27
Buildings and workforcep. 35
Administration and relationship to local communitiesp. 51
Workers' experiencesp. 59
Unionizationp. 75
The decentralists and other visionariesp. 87
American industry also preaches decentralizationp. 108
Decline of the village industries during World War II and afterp. 121
Contemporary renewal of the village industries in high-tech Americap. 130
Conclusion : Henry Ford evolves from mechanical to social engineerp. 152
Basic facts about and present status of the nineteen village industriesp. 161
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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