“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford.

Written by Neelu Gupta, from Mumbai, India.

On the dusk of the nineteen century and the bright dawn of the twentieth century, the industrial revolution in the United States Of America changed the country drastically, from a rural republic to an urban state. Everywhere in the American continent, big steel industries, large and small scale factories, were developed and due to the good interconnectivity of transcontinental railroads, all businesses flourished well. People wanted to move fast and furious to save their time which was more precious than any other thing. People wanted high speed personal vehicles for travelling, which were energy-saving, time-saving, comfort, and also to show as a status symbol.

Before starting the industrial revolution, the people of America lived through traditional ways, used manual machines and natural transport resources, like the horse, which had taken lots of time, human energy, manpower, and money too. People used horses and horse carts for travel, transportation and carried goods from one place to another which was quite slow and demanded lots of time. Another problem was too many horses meant too much manure production, which made the streets too dirty, wet and stink. It constantly needed solid waste management to decompose the large amount of manure, in order to save and clear the environment from smell, disease and solid waste. It made people try to invent a faster machine-made artificial horse to get rid of this solid wet waste problem and pick up the speed in life with better transportation. Due to fast progress in industrial revolution, people have money and stability but not enough time to spend on traveling and transport, so to travel and transport at a fast rate, they needed very fast and stable transport. Therefore, they needed fast speed automobiles and vehicles.

Henry Ford, a well-known name in the automobile or car making revolution, changed the definition of transport in terms of distance, speed and time. He not only changed the system of travelling and transport, but also gave freedom from cruelty against horse pulling, an unnecessary burden on speechless animals. Henry Ford understood the problem of the common man and invented the machines, which ran on wheels at a very fast rate. He was a pioneer who changed old thinking into new thoughts, simple ideas into new innovative technology and changed natural horse energy into machine horsepower. Now cars, trucks, lorries and other transport vehicles have taken the place of horses.

“If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” –Henry Ford. This also means that people needed clean transport, better technology, fast movement, modern machines and new inventions. People should aim high to improve their lifestyles. People needed to move smartly fastly and comfortably. Ford understood the pulse of people thinking. He started working on people’s demand for new technology on faster machine-made carts and worked on it. He had also taken customer feedback and he altered his idea to make a suitable structure for the new model of cars. Henry carefully research and developed a new range of cars that fitted economically for all classes and budgets of people. Ford approached the new market and was very farsighted, shrewd and fast. He sowed the seed of monopoly in his car making business and became a leader of the new century market. His extraordinary wisdom, and new ways of thinking regarding technology and resources, made him the richest person in America in a few years. He implemented his advanced and latest ideas into application rapidly. Due to his extraordinary wisdom, knowledge and hard work, his car manufacturing industries flourished at an unbelievable rate.  Around 10,000 cars were manufactured in 1908 which raised to around 10,00,000 cars in 1920.

The car was no longer  a luxury, but an essential requirement for daily life. Around four million people were employed directly or indirectly in automobile sector. A huge amount of revenue was generated from these car making industries. Cars were available in all budgets regardless of class. A new solution to use a new type of transport changed human psychology completely. Simultaneously, people’s needs, comfort zones and sedentary lifestyles also increased. Along with all this, natural fuel was depleted at a higher rate and pollution was increasing at an alarming rate. More people travelled in a single-vehicle and car parking was also a major problem, which created traffic jams and occupied lots of space.

People required faster machine horses which consume inexpensive and clean fuel, whereas horses need good food for muscular energy and strength to drive a cart which is quite expensive. Natural fuels used to run vehicles give no residue except smoke, while a single horse produces tons of manure in a year which had to be clear completely. Cars did not take rest and work continuously for long hours but horses demanded rest at a particular interval for maintenance of their health and muscular strength. Cars didn’t need any special driver to drive it but for horses, special coachmen were hired who were experts on riding the horse. The horse cart was an extra financial burden on the owner of the horse. Cars are made up of the material which is metallic steel and lasts long, while horse carts were made of wood which needed to be regularly repaired or changed in four-five years. The horse has limited life to work and need veterinarians for their regular health check-ups but cars had a long life to work continuously and need little maintenance.

Industries consumed lots of steel to made car bodies and other machine parts manufactured by steel industries. In this way, steel industries had a market. Unemployed people got jobs and became financially stable. Many people were directly or indirectly dependent on these industries. Therefore man-made speedy, machine horses not only give rapidity to travel and transportation but also revolve the cycle of money, employment and economic stability among various industries.

So, in the end, I would like to say that, change is always needed with change of time because people’s needs, demands, necessities, lifestyle, mentality, class and status change. In fact human beings always need evolution. In the modern era, traditional and manual methods changed by machine and modern digital methods which make life better and successful.

16 comments on ““If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford.

  1. Zohra Jabin on

    A well written essay, main ideas are relevant and references are clear.An appropriate essay format is used and the writing is easy to follow and well organised. Overall a good read !!

    Reply

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