DETROIT — The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, birthplace of the Model T, was built in 1904. Ford’s dreams were accomplished here. Several experiments using the moving assembly line were a brainstorm of Ford. Even though the actual assembly line was built and first used at the Highland Park plant just a few blocks up the road.
It took workers 10-12 hours a day to produce one car. Eventually more than 100 cars were assembled here by hand in one day. The Ford Motor Company assembled car models B, C, F, K, N, R, S and T at the Piquette Avenue Plant. In 1905, Ford was the fourth largest car producer in the United States, behind Cadillac, Rambler and Oldsmobile.
The tour guide explained that the building is 90 percent original like it was back in 1904. The building is three stories high, and contains 355 windows, had maple floors and square oak beams. As they were sanding the original maple floor, they discovered white lines shaped in rectangles painted on the floor. The rectangles were the exact size and width of a Model T with three workers standing in each rectangle putting the car parts together. We know that for sure because there was an actual picture taken back then showing those white lines. The plant also had a sprinkler system, which was unheard of at that time. This was Ford’s idea as a safety measure as he learned some other factories in the area had burned down.
Henry Ford had his office here, although he was rarely in his office. He never liked or handled paperwork; he had his son, Edsel, open up his mail. He preferred to walk around the plant trying different ways experimenting ideas to make the cars better. He hired the best of the best to work with him.
Henry Ford made his first million at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. In 1910, only six years later, the company quickly outgrew this facility and moved to the Highland Park plant. In 1911, the Piquette Avenue Plant was sold to Studebaker.
I enjoyed touring the Piquette Avenue Plant. I have learned a ton of information from our tour guide and would recommend everyone visit it. People from all over the world and the United States have visited this plant.
By the way, wedding receptions can be held in the plant also. I happen to be there that day when a wedding reception was about to begin.
Visit the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant at 461 Piquette Avenue, Detroit Michigan 48202. For tours and more info, go to https://www.fordpiquetteplant.org/