Some say that Henry Ford invented the automobile. Others say that he invented the assembly line. Both are actually incorrect. For a man who called Edison a close friend and an inspiration, Ford was an inventor and responsible for transforming the automobile industry into what it is today, but he is often given credit for inventions that he didn’t actually create. To set the record straight, here is a look at some of the patents Ford actually received over the years.
1. Improved Pipe Cleaners
Imagine having to call a plumber every time one of your home’s pipes would clog up. For a long time, that was the reality of every home owner. If they couldn’t take apart the pipes to clean them and then put them back together again, the cost of hiring a plumber would have to be put into the budget. Ford created a pipe cleaning device that was more intended for his automobile factories, but could be used to help remove build-up from virtually any pipe that was in existence at that time.
2. Auto Soundproofing
The first automobiles were very, very loud. Part of this was because there was very little soundproofing that occurred within the cab – assuming there even was an enclosed cab on the horseless carriage. The noises from the engine compartment were also very loud. To reduce the amount of noise that an automobile would create, Ford invented moving mechanisms and gears that had soundproofing included. By creating timing parts that were not fully immersed in oil, he was able to create a quieter, more modern engine like we have today.
3. Cooling Fans
Fans were a natural part of early automobiles and tractors because they could force a lot of air over a hot engine to keep them cool. Ford realized that the initial designs of the fan were not going to be enough for the faster automobiles, so he created a new fan that had four blades where were made from sheet metal. The fan had two parts to it and was specifically designed so that it could be quickly made in an assembly line fashion.
4. The Modern Crankshaft
Crankshafts were being used in automobiles, tractors, and other moving vehicles to help the engine power the wheels so that the invention could move. Ford took a different approach to the crankshaft in 1926 by creating a new version that used static and dynamic balance so that a better overall performance could be achieved. As with many of Ford’s inventions, the purpose wasn’t just to improve the vehicle. It was also to create a mechanism that could be constructed easily and cheaply without compromising on the quality of the item.
5. Manufacturing Pistons
Pistons have been essential part of the automobile since its first invention in the late 19th century. What Ford was able to do with the steel piston was to create one that has less space within the cylinder. This would give the engine more power and because the piston was essentially create from thin sheet metal and other simple components, it would be extremely easy to manufacture on a mass basis as well.