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SC NATS 1760 Industrial Age Part 3

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Natural Science
NATS 1760
Vera Pavri

Copyright © 2009 Vera Pavri NATS 1760: The Industrial Age, Part III I. Early American System of Manufacturing - In the United States, we start to see a really distinctive way of manufacturing that started during the first industrial revolution - Labeled “The American System of Manufacturing” it is characterized by: - A. the use of specialized machinery (single or special purpose machine tools) - B. standardization - C. interchangeable parts - Interchangeable and standardized parts: prior to these developments, most machines were hand-crafted which meant that if something broke, you would have to go to the original manufacturer to have it fixed because each machine is different; no two are alike - With interchangeable and standardized parts, all machines are created alike; this is because each part of the machine is created from a mould and these parts are interchangeable - This means that if a part of your machine breaks, you can now replace that broken part with a standard part that can fit any like machine - the use of highly specialized machine tools were used in factories and arranged in a particular way to facilitate continuous flow of production - Rosenberg: what were economic, social and political developments that created market for mass produced goods in the United States? II. Interchangeable Parts a. History - development of interchangeable parts brings about uniformity and precision - although ideas can be traced back to 18 century France, idea of uniform parts associated with American System of manufacturing - Eli Whitney – inventor and manufacturer of muskets – late 18 /early 19 th centuries - By 1798 Whitney near bankruptcy; wanted to get into arms manufacturing - Approached Secretary of US – offered to build muskets with new design by 1800; would supply 10000 muskets to treasury even though no manufacturer had produced even 5000 guns a year - government gave him capital to set up system - Whitney aware of French experiments and sells idea of interchangeability: instead of having craftsmen, have tools to make tools and produce items that are alike and interchangeable - by 1801 Whitney gives demonstration; by 1809 comes up with guns - yet when researchers started tracing Whitney’s achievements they find that Whitney’s rifles in fact NOT interchangeable; machinery used not modern for time 1 Copyright © 2009 Vera Pavri - Whitney actually getting bits and pieces of parts from all over and then used metal files to get parts to fit (parts would be matched up by filing) - look at Whitney as one dedicated to idea of interchangeability rather than one who created process - one thing Whitney did develop were jigs and gages; for every part you would have a model to hold it up against b. Role of the Military and Intermediary Industries - innovations regarding interchangeable parts really take place at US Ordnance Department, armories - machine made interchangeable parts allows for production of small arms - machine tool industry stems from this small arms industry - *one reason why government takes this up is because initially, practice is not very cost-effective and military one area where there is lots of capital - idea of interchangeability not necessarily linked to cost reductions at this time but more to controlling process - knowledge about these processes were eventually transferred to other industries as people who worked for one company then moved to another - example: Henry Leland – worked at Springfield armory, went to Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company which manufactured machine tools and sewing machines and finally created own auto company (Cadillac and then Lincoln Motor company) - some companies used aspects of above techniques but did not incorporate them entirely – this is what Ford did - example: Singer Manufacturing Company - relied more on marketing and advertising techniques to create business than on interchangeable parts, etc… - for example, used jig, fixture and gauging system developed from arms production, but still used workers to hand fit machine parts together - emphasis on quality of machines- dependence on skilled machinists - used skilled filers and adjusters to create uniform products - one reason why they did not succeed in creating interchangeable parts: could not afford cost of ensuring standards met (i.e. machine care, inspections, etc…) - 1853: 800 machines; 1856: 2500; 1859: 11000 - by 1870’s were producing 100000’s of machines and by 1880 over 500000 - also look at McCormick reaper works, typewriter industries - bicycle manufacturers especially important: forerunner of automobile industry - one important idea to consider in this period: manufacturers were not necessarily selling cheapest goods; in fact, opposite was often true III. The Ford Motor Company and Mass Production a. Early Years - interchangeable parts and mass production really come together with Ford 2 Copyright © 2009 Vera Pavri - changes took place in 1908-1915 - important to focus on changes in factory and machine design AND labor - 1906 experiments began on Model T car and completed by 1908: “car for the masses” - one piece, twenty horsepower, magneto fired engine - simple design and easy to repair, inexpensive - reduction in price: car costs $825 when average price for other cars around $1800; by 1912-13 cost around $613, later years would be $230 - Ford not first to develop automobile; however, in Europe, automobiles seen as toy for rich – elitist mentality – market that people had in mind - Ford had vision that car should be in every person’s garage - never took out profits from company; put them back into production - high skilled mechanics in company were free to experiment in areas like machine tool design and placement, fixture design, gauging, factory layout, quality control and materials handling - prior to mass production: previously purchased parts put together by teams of workmen in three story plant until 1905 b. Ford and ASM - Ford forms own manufacturing company in 1905 with financial wiz James Couzens and starts manufacturing parts - in manufacturing plant, Ford hires Walter E. Flanders who was a machine tool salesman; had previously worked for Singer - helps show Ford the links between buying materials, production, selling - around this time, Ford begins to see importance of interchangeability - uniform parts essential to produce a high volume of goods; benefits of single or special purp
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