The first piece of material I gathered was a picture via the internet. Thispicture is of the River Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Thispicture shows the manufacturing of the fender for a Ford Motor Company product. It also shows the facilities of the Rouge plant and how the plant it self wasstate of the art.
This plant was the largest of its kind at the time of its construction. TheFord Motor Company at the time was one of the leaders in labor relations. Thispicture shows the size of the plant as well as the working conditions in thefacility. When viewing the photograph you can see the array of pipes and collectiondevices to aid in the circulation of air and the collection of dust and otherby products made in the plant.
The next component I found is another picture of the interior of the Rougeplant. This picture is one of many conveyer belts in the plant. This belt ismoving engine parts from the engine assembly to the final assembly. Henry Fordwas a pioneer in the use of the assembly line in the automobile industry, andthe Rouge plant was the ultimate in that use of the assembly line. This photoshows the depth of the plant, being able to manufacture all components of thecars without having to ship parts to or from other locations in the country. The next collection of photographs is of the exterior of the Rouge plant.
These photos were obtained from the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. These pictures are of the Rouge during the switch of all production, from theHighland Park plant, to the Rouge. It was also the time that the Model A wasbeginning production. This collection shows examples of four exterior views of the plant, allude tothe many different factories within the Rouge plant. The Rouge was a steelmill, a foundry, a power producer and, an assembly line.
This all encompassingidea helped ford relegate all aspects of the production of their product. Along with the exterior, the interior showed the extent of the all encompassingRouge plant. The interior photographs, which were also care of the Henry FordMuseum, show more factories within the factory. For example, the four photosin this collection display metal forming, and metallurgical operations. Thesepictures included forging, the blast furnaces, removal of slag and, evensalvaging scrap from metal ships.
The interior had two collections to view and the second reaffirmed what thefirst portrayed. The second collection displays more metal working productionincluding the hydraulic shear, which was used for sheet metal, the open hearthladle and the hearth building. These photos gave an impressive direction ofthe inner workings of the Rouge plant. As said before the Rouge was the largest manufacturing complex in the nationwhen it was built. An aerial photograph of the plant reaffirms that fact. Thephoto was taken in 1930 and you can see by the photo the plant is veryimpressive.
The caption that accompanies the picture gives an actual figure ofthe Rouge’s square footage, the total is 6,952,484 square feet. Before the Rouge plant Ford’s main manufacturing plant was Highland Park. TheRouge and Highland Park were similar in the way of utilizing the assembly lineto produce the Ford product. Many collections of photos were found of theassembly line at Highland. One collection shows the final mating of the modelT, which is similar to the final mating of the model A .
Also the one dayproduction of the Highland Park plant, which was dwarfed by the Rouge one dayproduction total. The next collection of Highland Park photos displays the typical procedures ininstalling components to the automobile. Each of the four pictures shows theinstallation to the car. From the engine to the tires the same principles thatwere used at Highland Park were used at the Rouge plant.
The final piece of material that was compiled through the search of theInternet and other sources was the National Historic Landmark of Michigan webpage. This page has a link to an informational page on the Rouge plant. Theplant is listed as a national landmark since 1978 and a Michigan landmark since1976. Also listed on the site is the date the property was bought by HenryFord and, the date all production was shifted from Highland Park to the Rougecomplex. A significant statement is given about the Rouge on the marvel of itscreation and the full integration of all aspects of automobile manufacturing toachieve vertical integration and self sufficiency.
In conclusion the River Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, Michigan wasand is one of the great marvels of the early twentieth century. Henry Ford wasthe man who introduced the assembly line to the automobile industry and theRouge was his crowning achievement. The major Internet sites used for thiscompilation was the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village home page athttp://wwwhfmgv. org and, the National Historic Landmark in Michigan home pageat http://www. sos.
state. mi. us/history/preserve/phisite/riverrou. html.