Does Henry Ford drive a Ford? (1915)

Does Henry Ford Ford? You bet he does! Idah M’Glone Gibson watches him do it

by Idah M’Glone Gibson

Detroit, Mich., July 23 – “I wonder if Ford drives his own Ford?” I asked someone in Detroit this morning.

“Always,” was the answer. “From the time that Henry Ford first drove his first Ford through the streets of Detroit and created something of a sensation he has driven no other make of car than his Ford.

“This year he is driving a Ford touring car. You can see him almost any time about the streets. There he comes now!”

I looked up to see a man without a hat whose thin face seemed to be outlined against a background of waving iron gray hair.

“Ford seldom wears a hat in summer,” was the comment of the man who stood beside me.

“He seems to be breaking the speed laws with that lil’ ol’ Ford,” I remarked.

The man beside me only smiled and although Henry Ford passed everything and everybody on the street he must have been within the speed limit for the traffic cop touched his hat and grinned as the Ford with its gray dressed, gray haired occupant swept by him.

Henry Ford smiled and returned the salute by lifting his hand to his bare head.

“Do all the members of Henry Ford’s family drive Fords?” I asked the gentleman beside me who seemed to know a good deal about the Fords. (In Detroit, they talk about Ford and his affairs as they do about the weather — constantly.)

Vintage IBM electric typewriters from the '60s, including the Selectric with swappable round print heads

“Mrs Ford,” he answered, “drives a Detroit Electric, Henry Ford’s son is at present on his way to California in a Ford, although he sometimes drives in winter an enclosed Cadillac. The family makes use of a large English Rolls-Royce limousine for town purposes when there are many guests to be taken care of or when inclement weather prevails.”

Ford himself, however, probably feels about his car as Lincoln did about his legs. You remember when some woman of more truthfulness than tact remarked upon the length of Lincoln’s legs, he answered:

“Madame, they are the same length of those of everyone else, they reach from my body to the ground and they get me over it.”

Certainly in the case of Ford and his Ford car — it seems to get him over the ground just as effectively as Lincoln’s legs did him. He is a part of it; he only had one hand on the wheel as he whizzed by me and to a bystander it almost looked as though he had only to say “gee” or “haw” to his Ford as he used to do to the horses when he was on the farm.


Top photo: Henry Ford at the wheel. The photograph shows Ford riding in the first auto he turned out in 1897. The rest of the Fords like variety in motors, but for Henry Ford it’s always a Ford!

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