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Henry Ford was born on July 30 1863 to William and Mary Ford He was the first of six children He grew up in a rich farming household in Dearborn Michigan He enjoyed a typical childhood spending his days in a one-room schoolhouse and doing farm chores Ever since he was young he showed an interest for the mechanical aspect of things and how they worked and functioned He used to take things apart and put them back together to get an idea of the inner workings of basic mechanical tools Nevins 47 - 50 In 1879 at a young age of 16 he left his home to travel to the near by city of Detroit to work as an apprentice for a machinist He occasionally returned home to work on the farm He remained an apprentice for three years and then returned to Dearborn During the next few years Henry divided his time between operating and repairing steam engines finding occasional work in Detroit factories and working on his fathers broken down farm equipment as well as lending an unwilling hand with other farm work Henry got married to Clara Bryant in 1888 Henry supported himself and his wife by running a sawmill Collier 145 - 152 In 1891 Henry became an engineer with the Edison Illumination Company This was an important event in his life because it signified that he had made a conscious career move into industrial pursuits He was promoted to Chief Engineer in 1893 This gave him enough time and money to devote attention to his personal experiments on internal combustion engines Lacey 13 - 14The high point of this research came with the completion of his own self-propelled vehicle the Quadricycle This bike had four wire wheels and was steered with a tiller like a boat It had two forward speeds and no reverse Although this was not the first self-propelled vehicle it set Henry Ford as one of
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