Driving a dream
It didnít look like much: a primitive two-cylinder engine, a flywheel, four bicycle wheels and a bare-bones frame. No steering wheel, no brakes, no reverse gear. Yet Henry Fordís 1896 Quadricycle, put together in a Detroit coal shed seven years before the birth of Ford Motor Co., had one feature none of the vehicles of its time could match: a creator with the talent, vision and obsession to put the nation on wheels. Why did Henry Ford, who pursued his dream while working as an engineer at Thomas Edisonís Detroit electric plant, succeed where so many others had failed? Relentless pursuit of low-cost manufacturing, certainly. Perhaps, in part, the encouragement of Edison, his hero. (ďYou have it,Ē the great inventor told his employee after the Quadricycle was created. ďKeep at it.Ē) Plus a pinch of luck and an ample helping of the indescribable element called genius.