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Great 1938 film short -- Ford River Rouge plant


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#1 Magoo

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:59

With the famed Lowell Thomas as your guide, here's a film tour of the giant Ford River Rouge plant in 1938. Rare glimpse of some very cool stuff...plenty of stuff for you engineer boffins...check out the V8 block casting process at 5:00. 
 
 
 
 
 
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#2 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:30

Fascinating. Does any manufacturer actually roll their own steel these days?  Or have their own power station? The one thing we did not see being made was the cylinder heads. nor trim though I am sure they had their own trim plant.



#3 Kelpiecross

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 05:00

Fascinating. Does any manufacturer actually roll their own steel these days?  Or have their own power station? The one thing we did not see being made was the cylinder heads. nor trim though I am sure they had their own trim plant.


I agree - amazing - a car plant that makes its own steel - this really is an "integrated " plant.

#4 Magoo

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:13

Fascinating. Does any manufacturer actually roll their own steel these days?  Or have their own power station? The one thing we did not see being made was the cylinder heads. nor trim though I am sure they had their own trim plant.

 

Yes very close to full horizontal integration...but there were problems. Obviously, all the materials and components require different timetables, so it's sort of a logistical nightmare.

 

The steel mill is still there, but is is operated by a Russian outfit now. 

 

 

And just so show what a constant paradox Henry Ford could be, at the same time he was developing the Rouge, he was also building his collage industry plants. These were small factories near small towns where small components could be manufactured -- instruments, knobs, lamps, trim, etc. The idea was to give rural folk an alternative to menial labor and farmers something to do in the off season. The cottage plants in Southeast Michigan included Flat Rock, Plymouth, Ypsilanti, etc.