Early automotive assembly operations, seen here at Ford’s Piquette Plant in 1908, were very different than today’s. Workers were separated into stations where they assembled parts and entire vehicles on top of workbenches and sawhorses.
The first week of October always brings two of the most significant anniversaries in Ford Motor Company history: the introduction of the Model T on Oct. 1, 1908, and the introduction of the moving assembly line on Oct. 7, 1913. Though five years apart, the two dates are inextricably linked, as the latter hastened production and reduced the cost of the revolutionary universal car.
The early automotive assembly process was a stark contrast to a Ford facility today. Teams of workers toiled at separate stations, assembling parts and entire automobiles atop workbenches and sawhorses using parts delivered by stock runners. Workers often went station-to-station to complete specific tasks.