The First Automotive Assembly Line Was Created By?
Answer: Ransom E. Olds
When it comes to the history of the automotive industry and automation, Henry Ford—American inventor and founder of the Ford Motor Company—is the guy that gets all the credit for the assembly line. Now don’t get us wrong, Henry Ford does in fact deserve a spot in the history of production automation, but he wasn’t the first person to use an assembly line in a car factory.
That distinction belongs to Ransom E. Olds, a pioneer in the American automotive industry and the—as you may have guessed—namesake for the Oldsmobile. Before Henry Ford was using assembly lines in his factory, Ransom E. Olds was; except instead of moving the cars along the line, he moved his workers instead.
His early factories used a stationary assembly line wherein dozens of cars were assembled at once, but instead of rolling down the old assembly line as we have now come to understand it, the workers rolled their carts of tools down the line and worked a bit on each car. This method significantly sped up the production process and the output of his factory went from 425 cars per year to 2,500.
Henry Ford later revolutionized this concept by moving the car instead of the worker, which allowed for even faster production because both the heavy parts, the workers, and the tools, could be kept in place while only the body of the car was moved along the line.
Image Public Domain/Wikimedia.