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Old 09-01-2019, 06:05 PM   #1
rfitzpatrick
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Default Henry Fords Pay Scale

Henry Ford paid $5.00 a day in 1914. How many hours would that be in a Henry Fords Day, - what would that pay scale be today's Dollar
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

One site I check gave a daily rate of $25.66 in todays dollars. It did not give values of goods compared to today so I do not know what the buying power of $5.00 would have been. Seems like history thinks it was a good deal.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

The increase to $5/day was actually to reduce his costs mainly due to turn-over. He had a large turn-over with 9 hr days at $2/day.

The $2/day was about average for that type of work from what I understand.

But, the increase didn't really amount to $5/day in pay. Part of that was in benefits which were something new at that time. Ford tried to start controlling most aspects of workers lives.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

I believe the $5 day was a 10 hour day.

While Ford made quite a splash with his headlines - and the commentary "I have to pay my employees enough wage to be able to buy my own cars," the wage scale was self-serving.

In actuality, by the time of the Model A, Charles Sorensen, among others, had instituted more normal pay scales, and working conditions for the time. While not brutal, except for occasional skirmishes with Employee Unionization efforts, Ford was noted for "getting his pound of flesh" and in the tone of the times (Great Depression) employees were easily replaced.

Using the inflation calculator http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1929?amount=5 $5 in 1914 would be $128.29 today, or about $12.80 an hour.

My last numbers for actual wage scales for automobile assembly is about $22 per hour for a 40 hour week, or about $44K per year. Full benefits, including a Union sponsored retirement.

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Old 09-01-2019, 06:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Joe I read where Ford brought in the EIGHT hour work day so that they could have three even shifts of 8 hours, rather than two shifts of ten hours with a four hour lag time: lost time per day.

During the shift change the line did not stop. The next worker poised behind the finishing worker and jumped in and took over his cycle while that last worker took a step back to get out of the way.
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Read about the $5.per day story.It is quite interesting.it was actually $2.34 per day,plus $2.66 profit sharing,(there was plenty of profit)if you qualified.he had around 50 social squads roaming the homes during the day.3 man crews,a driver,a social inspector,and an interpreter for the neighborhood.71%of his work force in 1914 did not speak english.they inspected your home and life while you were working.Any signs of tobacco,or alcohol in your home you didn't qualify.Wife in her housecoat at 8:00AM? no go.Kids not in school or dirty?House dirty?Outhouse dirty?There were a dozen things to disqualify you.When the $5.day was introduced it came with the 8 hour day,down from the previous 10-12.The idea was to bring in the three 8 hour shifts.
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

It's interesting when you balance wages against a time management production system against customer demand,it gives you an indication of the product,and how far out fine point restoration is from reality.


Ford Motor Company was in business to make money,and it did during the T days,more than you can fathom.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Intrigued me enough to write this.

https://soundcloud.com/hotrodfil/the-wild-wheel
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Nice work. My mother was born along the crooked road, Galax Va, the unofficial birthplace of country music. Bristol claims the title but there is a ((recording)) two years before that was made in ironically Barr's fiddle shop on Main Street Galax. I forget the year but it's two years earlier than Bristol. Of course you will mainly hear the style music you are playing in the recording. Art Wooten, Bill Monroes fiddle player (Orange Blossom special) was just across the state line in Sparta.

What's interesting is the roots the music here has over there.


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Intrigued me enough to write this.

https://soundcloud.com/hotrodfil/the-wild-wheel
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

If a guy gave them 'trouble' they had ways of dealing with them..one was to 'pull his number',take his employee badge number.Basically fire him on the spot. Another more devious way was if the worker had a nice clean 'easy' job..they would transfer the man to the foundry,a few hours in the heat cleaning castings did the trick. Word got out and the others took notice..
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Henry Ford was the one who created the 8 hour day.
Before that you worked what ever was demanded and without overtime. Henry Ford really was a blessing to the American workforce.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Charles Sorenson's Book "My 40-years with Ford" has a lot of first hand information about practices at Ford. He wrote a whole chapter on the $5 day and he made mention of all the BS he had read about it from 2nd and 3rd hand sources over the years. He was 1st hand and in the room when Henry made that decision in January of 1914. When Charlie and John Lee, the employment manager at the time, argued over the cost of this change and how it might bankrupt the company, Ford stopped them and told them that he had made up his mind about it and that was that. At the time, they would give any employee that had more than 3-years with the company a 10% profit sharing amount and that would continue after the $5 a day change. This was over and above the pay rate. Charlie's book and the various oral transcriptions of employee historical accounts on the Henry Ford web-site are good reads and they are first hand knowledge.

Harry Bennett handled the security for the work force at the Rouge. There would never be enough time in the day to subject the multitude of employees to supervision as was previously mentioned. Henry Ford only cared about what was happening at his plants. If troublemakers made themselves known in any way then Harry would handle that unless it was in the managerial or executive level where it would be handled by Charlie or Ed Martin. Henry Ford never directly hired or fired anyone. He just got someone else to do it. Managers at the branch agencies were responsible to tow the same basic line. The Social Department of 1918 to 1920 was in force for near 2-years but it was dropped due to it having an an unfavorable effect on production. The fellow that ran it quit and wrote an unfavorable (to Ford) book about it.

The 8-hour day was forced by the unions but Henry had beat them to it. Henry told everyone that he would shut down the plant before he ever let a Union tell him how to run his plant. Henry had already had one stroke in 1938 and his wife Clara had had enough of his hard headed nature with the unions. She made him an ultimatum on the subject and the next day he agreed to all of the union wants with a few added in likely just to surprise them. I don't doubt that Henry would have shut the doors if Clara hadn't intervened. It certainly took the weight off of Henry's shoulders that next day but all the managers were dumbfounded by this action. They never thought he would change his mind.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 09-02-2019 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:22 AM   #13
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff/Illinois View Post
Joe I read where Ford brought in the EIGHT hour work day so that they could have three even shifts of 8 hours, rather than two shifts of ten hours with a four hour lag time: lost time per day.

During the shift change the line did not stop. The next worker poised behind the finishing worker and jumped in and took over his cycle while that last worker took a step back to get out of the way.
See https://www.indiatoday.in/education-...067-2017-07-27

I will say the article reads a couple of things - but this I glean.

The 1914 announcement seems correct in Ford announced $5 for an eight hour day. But the article also states that a 10 hour day was Ford normal and contends that Ford waited until 1926 to institute a formal 8 hour day for all workers.

So like all things Internet - once can find what they wish to see.


I will say I'm glad I don't work for Ford. I've mentioned Sorensen as a name of a Ford "mover & shaker." But there were others, including one name which escapes me who seemed to fill a corporate role as "enforcer." Sort of a corporate "tough guy." He was not scientific in his management methods.


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Old 09-02-2019, 08:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe K View Post
See https://www.indiatoday.in/education-...067-2017-07-27



I will say I'm glad I don't work for Ford. I've mentioned Sorensen as a name of a Ford "mover & shaker." But there were others, including one name which escapes me who seemed to fill a corporate role as "enforcer." Sort of a corporate "tough guy." He was not scientific in his management methods.


Joe K

Wasn't the Enforcer's named: Harry Bennett?
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Bennett was at the height of his power during WW2,he ran the Willow Run bomber plant.Ford did war work at cost plus a dollar to avoid profiteering,but old Harry knew exactly how to run a cost plus operation,he padded it with subcontractors who gave big kickbacks and staffed it with the prettiest women he could find for staff parties..Ford brought in the Liberator cost plus a dollar..the cost was incredibly high..
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Yup. That's the one. Interesting read over there at Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Bennett


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Old 09-02-2019, 09:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

an ounce of gold cost 20.65 in 1930. today 1531.15. is that 5 dollar a day wage equal to the quarter ounce of gold it would buy? would that equal the 382.78 you would have to pay for a quarter ounce of gold today?
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
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an ounce of gold cost 20.65 in 1930. today 1531.15. is that 5 dollar a day wage equal to the quarter ounce of gold it would buy? would that equal the 382.78 you would have to pay for a quarter ounce of gold today?
Actually, if the benefits of employment are included (about 100 percent overhead on $22 per hour) then the fit is about right.

The time honored traditional view of an oz. of gold is that it is equal to a high end men's suit, a nice dinner at a high end restaurant, and a smooth high end cigar. It hasn't changed much since high rollers started keeping track about a hundred years ago.

Gold = possibly life's repository of true value - beyond the relationships with others you develop along the way.

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Old 09-03-2019, 10:07 AM   #19
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

Harry Bennett was strictly security. He had an office in the lower level of one of the Rouge buildings. He knew nothing about manufacturing cars let alone aircraft. One of the first things Henry Ford II did was fire Harry Bennett when he took over Ford in late 1943.

Charles Sorensen helped design and build Willow Run and was the manager there until he retired in early 1944 after Henry Ford II took control of Ford. Mead Bricker took over then.

By the late 30s Ford was already paying $8 a day. In 1941 was when the UAW-CIO was finally given a contract by Henry Ford. If he had shut the doors, the US War Department would have taken over operations at Ford Motor Co so he really had no choice. Clara Ford was the only person in the world that could and did change his mind.

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Old 09-03-2019, 12:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Henry Fords Pay Scale

A lot of Henry Fords "genoristy" had to do with whittling down profits so shareholders would not see any gain and eventually sell their shares back to Ford.This was certainly the case with the Model A buyers rebates after the sales year. Years ago at the car show that used to be at Ford Field by the Ford Mercury Club in Dearborn an old timer told me he had worked at Ford before the union and after. He was a machinist as I was and told me the $5.00 per day may have been more for assembly line workers than what he did.As a machinist he was paid for piece work and the carrot dangling was always moving to higher quotas. He said he once worked for Chrysler or mayby it was someone else he had worked with but when Henry announced the $5.00 per day some quit Chrysler and went to work at Rouge.Supposedly Chrysler was a much better work environment and the machine shop foreman told migrating workers to only take a few tools with them and leave their tool boxes in the shop as they would not be gone long and many were not.
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