For all his faults and greatness one thing that Henry Ford was years ahead of his time in was animal care and energy.
His home Fair Lane completed in 1916 was a wonder. It had over 500 bird baths that were heated in the winter for the birds. He loved birds all his life and not only built over 500 bird houses on his land but also threw his support behind the migratory bird protection laws of the early 1910’s. He installed bat homes to control mosquitoes and when he would build at a new site he tried to make sure the local wild animals were captured and relocated safely. Sort of interesting isnt it? His water supply came from a well and rain water and to dry your hands or hair there were built in electric blow dryers….. in 1916!!!
But, Henry Ford was not only a animal lover he was one of the earliest alternative energy people. You see he built at Fair Lane a Hyrdo-power damn electric plant that not only ran Fair Lane but was the main energy source for Dearborn, MI for many years. Henry Ford in 1941 developed a car that today would be innovative. You see he felt that a car should be grown from the ground, used and then recycled back into the earth when through. So, using Soybean oil, hemp, flax, wheat he developed a plastic car built of these things and for the fuel used hemp ethanol to run the Ford V-8. The plastic was 10 times stronger than metal and weighed a lot less than metal. His ford car even had the back trunk lid build of this material and there is a film of him and the film below of someone else hitting it with a sledge hammer with no cracks, scratches, dents or any damage even though it is in the middle of winter…..
He also had a suit built from soy beans and it is not well known but in the 1930’s Ford started painting their cars with soy oil based paints and used the oil in the shocks for fluid. Henry Ford was also into recycling. When the Model T was being built the wood chips from the manufacturing were sold to a new enterprise run by his cousin named King. There in a joint venture it was made into Charcoal…. the name is Kingsford!
Henry Ford also when he had parts shipped from other companies requested they be sent in crates with holes in certain places on each side of a crate a certain size. When the crate arrived the the crate was disassembled and the crate sides used for floorboards for the Model T and the pedals fit through the pre-made holes……
Below are a couple of You Tube Films about the Plastic Car… now the Hemp supporters claim it was made of hemp but it was mostly soy and hemp was used also but more so in the ethanol according to one of his associates who worked on the car…..
remember this was in 1941…. what killed it? WWII……