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teach him to save. Most men who are laboriously saving a few dollars

would do better to invest those few dollars--first in themselves, and

then in some useful work. Eventually they would have more to save. Young

men ought to invest rather than save. They ought to invest in themselves

to increase creative value; after they have taken themselves to the peak

of usefulness, then will be time enough to think of laying aside, as a

fixed policy, a certain substantial share of income. You are not

"saving" when you prevent yourself from becoming more productive. You

are really taking away from your ultimate capital; you are reducing the

value of one of nature's investments. The principle of use is the true

guide. Use is positive, active, life-giving. Use is alive. Use adds to

the sum of good.

 

Personal want may be avoided without changing the general condition.

Wage increases, price increases, profit increases, other kinds of

increases designed to bring more money here or money there, are only

attempts of this or that class to get out of the fire--regardless of

what may happen to everyone else. There is a foolish belief that if only

the money can be gotten, somehow the storm can be weathered. Labour

believes that if it can get more wages, it can weather the storm.

Capital thinks that if it can get more profits, it can weather the

storm. There is a pathetic faith in what money can do. Money is very

useful in normal times, but money has no more value than the people put

into it by production, and it can be so misused. It can be so

superstitiously worshipped as a substitute for real wealth as to destroy

its value altogether.

 

The idea persists that there exists an essential conflict between

industry and the farm. There is no such conflict. It is nonsense to say

that because the cities are overcrowded everybody ought to go back to

the farm. If everybody did so farming would soon decline as a

satisfactory occupation. It is not more sensible for everyone to flock

to the manufacturing towns. If the farms be deserted, of what use are

manufacturers? A reciprocity can exist between farming and

manufacturing. The manufacturer can give the farmer what he needs to be

a good farmer, and the farmer and other producers of raw materials can

give the manufacturer what he needs to be a good manufacturer. Then with

transportation as a messenger, we shall have a stable and a sound system

built on service. If we live in smaller communities where the tension of

living is not so high, and where the products of the fields and gardens

can be had without the interference of so many profiteers, there will be

little poverty or unrest.

 

Look at this whole matter of seasonal work. Take building as an example

of a seasonal trade. What a waste of power it is to allow builders to

hibernate through the winter, waiting for the building season to come

around!

 

And what an equal waste of skill it is to force experienced artisans who

have gone into factories to escape the loss of the winter season to stay

in the factory jobs through the building season because they are afraid

they may not get their factory places back in the winter. What a waste

this all-year system has been! If the farmer could get away from the

shop to till his farm in the planting, growing, and harvesting seasons

(they are only a small part of the year, after all), and if the builder

could get away from the shop to ply his useful trade in its season, how

much better they would be, and how much more smoothly the world would

proceed.

 

Suppose we all moved outdoors every spring and summer and lived the

wholesome life of the outdoors for three or four months! We could not

have "slack times."

 

The farm has its dull season. That is the time for the farmer to come

into the factory and help produce the things he needs to till the farm.

The factory also has its dull season. That is the time for the workmen

to go out to the land to help produce food. Thus we might take the slack

out of work and restore the balance between the artificial and the

natural.

 

But not the least benefit would be the more balanced view of life we

should thus obtain. The mixing of the arts is not only beneficial in a

material way, but it makes for breadth of mind and fairness of judgment.

A great deal of our unrest to-day is the result of narrow, prejudiced

judgment. If our work were more diversified, if we saw more sides of

life, if we saw how necessary was one factor to another, we should be

more balanced. Every man is better for a period of work under the open

sky.

 

It is not at all impossible. What is desirable and right is never

impossible. It would only mean a little teamwork--a little less

attention to greedy ambition and a little more attention to life.

 

Those who are rich find it desirable to go away for three or four months

a year and dawdle in idleness around some fancy winter or summer resort.

The rank and file of the American people would not waste their time that

way even if they could. But they would provide the team-work necessary

for an outdoor, seasonal employment.

 

It is hardly possible to doubt that much of the unrest we see about us

is the result of unnatural modes of life. Men who do the same thing

continuously the year around and are shut away from the health of the

sun and the spaciousness of the great out of doors are hardly to be

blamed if they see matters in a distorted light. And that applies

equally to the capitalist and the worker.

 

What is there in life that should hamper normal and wholesome modes of

living? And what is there in industry incompatible with all the arts

receiving in their turn the attention of those qualified to serve in

them? It may be objected that if the forces of industry were withdrawn

from the shops every summer it would impede production. But we must look

at the matter from a universal point of view. We must consider the

increased energy of the industrial forces after three or four months in

outdoor work. We must also consider the effect on the cost of living

which would result from a general return to the fields.

 

We have, as I indicated in a previous chapter, been working toward this

combination of farm and factory and with entirely satisfactory results.

At Northville, not far from Detroit, we have a little factory making

valves. It is a little factory, but it makes a great many valves. Both

the management and the mechanism of the plant are comparatively simple

because it makes but one thing. We do not have to search for skilled

employees. The skill is in the machine. The people of the countryside

can work in the plant part of the time and on the farm part of the time,

for mechanical farming is not very laborious. The plant power is derived

from water.

 

Another plant on a somewhat larger scale is in building at Flat Rock,

about fifteen miles from Detroit. We have dammed the river. The dam also

serves as a bridge for the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railway, which was

in need of a new bridge at that point, and a road for the public--all in

one construction. We are going to make our glass at this point. The

damming of the river gives sufficient water for the floating to us of

most of our raw material. It also gives us our power through a

hydroelectric plant. And, being well out in the midst of the farming

country, there can be no possibility of crowding or any of the ills

incident to too great a concentration of population. The men will have

plots of ground or farms as well as their jobs in the factory, and these

can be scattered over fifteen or twenty miles surrounding--for of course

nowadays the workingman can come to the shop in an automobile. There we

shall have the combination of agriculture and industrialism and the

entire absence of all the evils of concentration.

 

The belief that an industrial country has to concentrate its industries

is not, in my opinion, well-founded. That is only a stage in industrial

development. As we learn more about manufacturing and learn to make

articles with interchangeable parts, then those parts can be made under

the best possible conditions. And these best possible conditions, as far

as the employees are concerned, are also the best possible conditions

from the manufacturing standpoint. One could not put a great plant on a

little stream. One can put a small plant on a little stream, and the

combination of little plants, each making a single part, will make the

whole cheaper than a vast factory would. There are exceptions, as where

casting has to be done. In such case, as at River Rouge, we want to

combine the making of the metal and the casting of it and also we want

to use all of the waste power. This requires a large investment and a

considerable force of men in one place. But such combinations are the

exception rather than the rule, and there would not be enough of them

seriously to interfere with the process of breaking down the

concentration of industry.

 

Industry will decentralize. There is no city that would be rebuilt as it

is, were it destroyed--which fact is in itself a confession of our real

estimate of our cities. The city had a place to fill, a work to do.

Doubtless the country places would not have approximated their

livableness had it not been for the cities. By crowding together, men

have learned some secrets. They would never have learned them alone in

the country. Sanitation, lighting, social organization--all these are

products of men's experience in the city. But also every social ailment

from which we to-day suffer originated and centres in the big cities.

You will find the smaller communities living along in unison with the

seasons, having neither extreme poverty nor wealth--none of the violent

plagues of upheave and unrest which afflict our great populations. There

is something about a city of a million people which is untamed and

threatening. Thirty miles away, happy and contented villages read of the

ravings of the city! A great city is really a helpless mass. Everything

it uses is carried to it. Stop transport and the city stops. It lives

off the shelves of stores. The shelves produce nothing. The city cannot

feed, clothe, warm, or house itself. City conditions of work and living

are so artificial that instincts sometimes rebel against their

unnaturalness.

 

And finally, the overhead expense of living or doing business in the

great cities is becoming so large as to be unbearable. It places so

great a tax upon life that there is no surplus over to live on. The

politicians have found it easy to borrow money and they have borrowed to

the limit. Within the last decade the expense of running every city in

the country has tremendously increased. A good part of that expense is

for interest upon money borrowed; the money has gone either into

non-productive brick, stone, and mortar, or into necessities of city

life, such as water supplies and sewage systems at far above a

reasonable cost. The cost of maintaining these works, the cost of

keeping in order great masses of people and traffic is greater than the

advantages derived from community life. The modern city has been

prodigal, it is to-day bankrupt, and to-morrow it will cease to be.

 

The provision of a great amount of cheap and convenient power--not all

at once, but as it may be used--will do more than anything else to bring

about the balancing of life and the cutting of the waste which breeds

poverty. There is no single source of power. It may be that generating

electricity by a steam plant at the mine mouth will be the most

economical method for one community. Hydro-electric power may be best

for another community. But certainly in every community there ought to

be a central station to furnish cheap power--it ought to be held as

essential as a railway or a water supply. And we could have every great

source of power harnessed and working for the common good were it not

that the expense of obtaining capital stands in the way. I think that we

shall have to revise some of our notions about capital.

 

Capital that a business makes for itself, that is employed to expand the

workman's opportunity and increase his comfort and prosperity, and that

is used to give more and more men work, at the same time reducing the

cost of service to the public--that sort of capital, even though it be

under single control, is not a menace to humanity. It is a working

surplus held in trust and daily use for the benefit of all. The holder

of such capital can scarcely regard it as a personal reward. No man can

view such a surplus as his own, for he did not create it alone. It is

the joint product of his whole organization. The owner's idea may have

released all the energy and direction, but certainly it did not supply

all the energy and direction. Every workman was a partner in the

creation. No business can possibly be considered only with reference to

to-day and to the individuals engaged in it. It must have the means to

carry on. The best wages ought to be paid. A proper living ought to be

assured every participant in the business--no matter what his part. But,

for the sake of that business's ability to support those who work in it,

a surplus has to be held somewhere. The truly honest manufacturer holds

his surplus profits in that trust. Ultimately it does not matter where

this surplus be held nor who controls it; it is its use that matters.

 

Capital that is not constantly creating more and better jobs is more

useless than sand. Capital that is not constantly making conditions of

daily labour better and the reward of daily labour more just, is not

fulfilling its highest function. The highest use of capital is not to

make more money, but to make money do more service for the betterment of

life. Unless we in our industries are helping to solve the social

problem, we are not doing our principal work. We are not fully serving.

 

 

CHAPTER XIV

 

THE TRACTOR AND POWER FARMING

 

 

It is not generally known that our tractor, which we call the "Fordson,"

was put into production about a year before we had intended, because of

the Allies' war-time food emergency, and that all of our early

production (aside, of course, from the trial and experimental machines)

went directly to England. We sent in all five thousand tractors across

the sea in the critical 1917-18 period when the submarines were busiest.

Every one of them arrived safely, and officers of the British Government

have been good enough to say that without their aid England could

scarcely have met its food crisis.

 

It was these tractors, run mostly by women, that ploughed up the old

estates and golf courses and let all England be planted and cultivated

without taking away from the fighting man power or crippling the forces

in the munitions factories.

 

It came about in this way: The English food administration, about the

time that we entered the war in 1917, saw that, with the German

submarines torpedoing a freighter almost every day, the already low

supply of shipping was going to be totally inadequate to carry the

American troops across the seas, to carry the essential munitions for

these troops and the Allies, to carry the food for the fighting forces,

and at the same time carry enough food for the home population of

England. It was then that they began shipping out of England the wives

and families of the colonials and made plans for the growing of crops at

home. The situation was a grave one. There were not enough draft animals

in all England to plough and cultivate land to raise crops in sufficient

volume to make even a dent in the food imports. Power farming was

scarcely known, for the English farms were not, before the war, big

enough to warrant the purchase of heavy, expensive farm machinery, and

especially with agricultural labour so cheap and plentiful. Various

concerns in England made tractors, but they were heavy affairs and

mostly run by steam. There were not enough of them to go around. More

could not easily be made, for all the factories were working on

munitions, and even if they had been made they were too big and clumsy

for the average field and in addition required the management of

engineers. We had put together several tractors at our Manchester plant

for demonstration purposes. They had been made in the United States and

merely assembled in England. The Board of Agriculture requested the

Royal Agricultural Society to make a test of these tractors and report.

This is what they reported:

 

At the request of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, we have

examined two Ford tractors, rated at 25 h. p., at work ploughing:

 

First, cross-ploughing a fallow of strong land in a dirty condition, and

subsequently in a field of lighter land which had seeded itself down

into rough grass, and which afforded every opportunity of testing the

motor on the level and on a steep hill.

 

In the first trial, a 2-furrow Oliver plough was used, ploughing on an

average 5 inches deep with a 16-inch wide furrow; a 3-furrow Cockshutt

plough was also used at the same depth with the breast pitched 10

inches.

 

In the second trial, the 3-furrow plough was used, ploughing an average

of 6 inches deep.

 

In both cases the motor did its work with ease, and on a measured acre

the time occupied was I hour 30 minutes, with a consumption of 2 gallons

of paraffin per acre.

 

These results we consider very satisfactory.

 

The ploughs were not quite suitable to the land, and the tractors,

consequently, were working at some disadvantage.

 

The total weight of the tractor fully loaded with fuel and water, as

weighed by us, was 23 1/4 cwts.

 

The tractor is light for its power, and, consequently, light on the

land, is easily handled, turns in a small circle, and leaves a very

narrow headland.

 

The motor is quickly started up from cold on a small supply of petrol.

 

After these trials we proceeded to Messrs. Ford's works at Trafford

Park, Manchester, where one of the motors had been sent to be dismantled

and inspected in detail.

 

We find the design of ample strength, and the work of first-rate

quality. We consider the driving-wheels rather light, and we understand

that a new and stronger pattern is to be supplied in future.

 

The tractor is designed purely for working on the land, and the wheels,

which are fitted with spuds, should be provided with some protection to

enable them to travel on the road when moving from farm to farm.

 

Bearing the above points in mind, we recommend, under existing

circumstances, that steps be taken to construct immediately as many of

these tractors as possible.

 

The report was signed by Prof. W. E. Dalby and F. S. Courtney,

engineering; R. N. Greaves, engineering and agriculture; Robert W. Hobbs

and Henry Overman, agriculture; Gilbert Greenall, honorary directors,

and John E. Cross, steward.

 

Almost immediately after the filing of that report we received the

following wire:

 

Have not received anything definite concerning shipment necessary steel

and plant for Cork factory. Under best circumstances however Cork

factory production could not be available before next spring. The need

for food production in England is imperative and large quantity of

tractors must be available at earliest possible date for purpose

breaking up existing grass land and ploughing for Fall wheat. Am

requested by high authorities to appeal to Mr. Ford for help. Would you

be willing to send Sorensen and others with drawings of everything

necessary, loaning them to British Government so that parts can be

manufactured over here and assembled in Government factories under

Sorensen's guidance? Can assure you positively this suggestion is made

in national interest and if carried out will be done by the Government

for the people with no manufacturing or capitalist interest invested and

no profit being made by any interests whatever. The matter is very

urgent. Impossible to ship anything adequate from America because many

thousand tractors must be provided. Ford Tractor considered best and

only suitable design. Consequently national necessity entirely dependent

Mr. Ford's design. My work prevents me coming America to present the

proposal personally. Urge favorable consideration and immediate decision

because every day is of vital importance. You may rely on manufacturing

facility for production here under strictest impartial Government

control. Would welcome Sorensen and any and every other assistance and

guidance you can furnish from America. Cable reply, Perry, Care of

Harding "Prodome," London.

 

PRODOME.

 

I understand that its sending was directed by the British Cabinet. We at

once cabled our entire willingness to lend the drawings, the benefit of

what experience we had to date, and whatever men might be necessary to

get production under way, and on the next ship sent Charles E. Sorensen

with full drawings. Mr. Sorensen had opened the Manchester plant and was

familiar with English conditions. He was in charge of the manufacture of

tractors in this country.

 

Mr. Sorensen started at work with the British officials to the end of

having the parts made and assembled in England. Many of the materials

which we used were special and could not be obtained in England. All of

their factories equipped for doing casting and machine work were filled

with munition orders. It proved to be exceedingly difficult for the

Ministry to get tenders of any kind. Then came June and a series of

destructive air raids on London. There was a crisis. Something had to be

done, and finally, after passing to and fro among half the factories of

England, our men succeeded in getting the tenders lodged with the

Ministry.

 

Lord Milner exhibited these tenders to Mr. Sorensen. Taking the best of

them the price per tractor came to about $1,500 without any guarantee of

delivery.

 

"That price is out of all reason," said Mr. Sorensen,

 

"These should not cost more than $700 apiece."

 

"Can you make five thousand at that price?" asked Lord Milner.

 

"Yes," answered Mr. Sorensen.

 

"How long will it take you to deliver them?"

 

"We will start shipping within sixty days."

 

They signed a contract on the spot, which, among other things, provided

for an advance payment of 25 per cent. of the total sum. Mr. Sorensen

cabled us what he had done and took the next boat home. The 25 five per

cent. payment was, by the way, not touched by us until after the entire

contract was completed: we deposited it in a kind of trust fund.

 

The tractor works was not ready to go into production. The Highland Park

plant might have been adapted, but every machine in it was going day and

night on essential war work. There was only one thing to do. We ran up

an emergency extension to our plant at Dearborn, equipped it with

machinery that was ordered by telegraph and mostly came by express, and

in less than sixty days the first tractors were on the docks in New York

in the hands of the British authorities. They delayed in getting cargo

space, but on December 6, 1917, we received this cable:

 

London, December 5, 1917.

 

SORENSEN,

 

Fordson, F. R. Dearborn.

 

First tractors arrived, when will Smith and others leave? Cable.

 

PERRY.

 

The entire shipment of five thousand tractors went through within three

months and that is why the tractors were being used in England long

before they were really known in the United States.

 

The planning of the tractor really antedated that of the motor car. Out

on the farm my first experiments were with tractors, and it will be

remembered that I was employed for some time by a manufacturer of steam

tractors--the big heavy road and thresher engines. But I did not see any

future for the large tractors. They were too expensive for the small

farm, required too much skill to operate, and were much too heavy as

compared with the pull they exerted. And anyway, the public was more

interested in being carried than in being pulled; the horseless carriage

made a greater appeal to the imagination. And so it was that I

practically dropped work upon a tractor until the automobile was in

production. With the automobile on the farms, the tractor became a

necessity. For then the farmers had been introduced to power.

 

The farmer does not stand so much in need of new tools as of power to

run the tools that he has. I have followed many a weary mile behind a

plough and I know all the drudgery of it. What a waste it is for a human

being to spend hours and days behind a slowly moving team of horses when

in the same time a tractor could do six times as much work! It is no

wonder that, doing everything slowly and by hand, the average farmer has

not been able to earn more than a bare living while farm products are

never as plentiful and cheap as they ought to be.

 

As in the automobile, we wanted power--not weight. The weight idea was

firmly fixed in the minds of tractor makers. It was thought that excess

weight meant excess pulling power--that the machine could not grip

unless it were heavy. And this in spite of the fact that a cat has not

much weight and is a pretty good climber. I have already set out my

ideas on weight. The only kind of tractor that I thought worth working

on was one that would be light, strong, and so simple that any one could

run it. Also it had to be so cheap that any one could buy it. With these

ends in view, we worked for nearly fifteen years on a design and spent

some millions of dollars in experiments. We followed exactly the same

course as with the automobile. Each part had to be as strong as it was

possible to make it, the parts had to be few in number, and the whole

had to admit of quantity production. We had some thought that perhaps

the automobile engine might be used and we conducted a few experiments

with it. But finally we became convinced that the kind of tractor we

wanted and the automobile had practically nothing in common. It was the

intention from the beginning that the tractor should be made as a

separate undertaking from the automobile and in a distinct plant. No







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