|Главная Случайная страница
Разделы: Автомобили Астрономия Биология География Дом и сад Другие языки Другое Информатика История Культура Литература Логика Математика Медицина Металлургия Механика Образование Охрана труда Педагогика Политика Право Психология Религия Риторика Социология Спорт Строительство Технология Туризм Физика Философия Финансы Химия Черчение Экология Экономика Электроника
Отображения. Образы и прообразы линий 14 страница
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
"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.
Fordson, F. R. Dearborn.
First tractors arrived, when will Smith and others leave? Cable.
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