Was Charles Sorensen close to Henry Ford?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Was Charles Sorensen close to Henry Ford?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 07:26 am:

A description of a typical day for Henry Ford and Charles Sorensen at the Highland Park plant in 1912. Account by Laurence Tefry, Oral History collection of the Henry Ford pages 10 - 11:





Assembly line operations stated in 1913. The Dodge Brothers would have been unwelcome in the plant after mid summer 1913.

Calendar on the wall in the back of Sorensen's office is from March 1913. It is 9:20 AM.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 07:33 am:

This is the executive garage in about 1913. A new '14 touring is in the foreground. Henry and Charles spent many hours here planning the future of the Ford Motor Company.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 08:28 am:

Very interesting Royce. I was sorry when the account by Mr. Tefry came to an abrupt end. Is there more to the account you posted? Thanks again for the account and the pictures. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 04:14 pm:

I read Sorensen's book, "My Forty Years with Ford," and it was probably the most enlightening look into the world of Henry Ford and the people with whom he worked that I'd ever read. It's the only first-person narrative of which I'm aware and is, in that sense, unique. For instance, at the time of writing, Sorensen was the only surviving eye-witness to the Sunday morning decision on the five-dollar day and how it came about.



From the reading, one gets the impression that Mr. Sorensen was under no delusions that Henry was some kind of swell guy. He was one of the few of Mr. Ford's lieutenants who understood from the beginning, and never forgot, that the boss would reward loyalty and blind obedience, but tolerate not one split second of initiative. Sorensen also knew to never, ever take credit for anything, but redirect any positive media commentary toward Henry Ford. That's how Sorensen managed to survive at the company as long as he did. One gets the impression that at the point of his retirement, the relationship had pretty much run its course.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 05:41 pm:

Royce,

Can you ID the folks in the office photograph?

Thanks,

Ted


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 08:32 pm:

Jim,

Here is a link to the page where Lawrence Tefry's interview can be found. Sorensen's actions are recounted in a large number of these oral histories since, after all, he was running the company from the top for several decades. No one else, except his wife Clara, held Henry's confidence for so long.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 08:32 pm:

In Ford Methods and Ford Shops this photo is entitled; "Interior of Machine-Shop Superintendents Office and Group of Principle Officials of the Machine Shop". I can identify a few of the men in the photo left to right; Charles E. Sorenson, Clarence W. Avery, unknown, Peter E. Martin, unknown, August Degener? and unknown.
One additional point, my recollection is Sorenson did not exactly "retire", he was pushed out by HF.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 08:37 pm:

Link:

http://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/order/subjec/page/11


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 08:40 pm:

Sorensen left in a power struggle with Henry Ford's trained thug Harry Bennett. The end result was Bennett being removed and HFII installed. Sorensen was rewarded handsomely in retirement by HFII.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Page on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 08:48 pm:

Ron,
I believe that you have correctly named the people in that early photo. The person standing next to Gus Degener I believe is Charles B Hartner and of course Henry Ford seated to his left. I am still trying to remember who the person is standing next to Clarence Avery.

Regards, John Page, Australia.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 09:21 pm:

I just spent about an hour reading Laurence Trefry's oral history. Its a real treasure trove of information. He certainly retained a wealth of information to be able to recite all those details.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - 10:43 pm:

Thanks a million, Royce. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 10:21 am:

Royce
In Ford Bryans book “Henry’s Lieutenants” here is how Sorenson’s departure from Ford Motor Company is described.
“Henry Ford II was appointed Vice president of Ford Motor Company on December 15, 1943. It was quite clear Ford family members were intent upon ridding the company of men who had been especially troublesome for their beloved son, husband and father- Edsel Ford. This applied quite distinctly to Sorenson. Under pressure he soon resigned from the company. This was on March 13, 1944 while Sorenson was vacationing in Miami”
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 10:23 am:

John Page
I do not believe HF is shown in this photo.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 06:00 pm:

On another thread Rob Heyen said he was unable to find any record of Sorensen in the Oral history collection. After a brief search I was able to locate it. The Sorensen interviews are not yet digitized for online use, so you can't just pull copies up online.

Sorensen was interviewed extensively, and transcripts of his testimony to historian Owen W. Bombard are now kept at the Henry Ford. Here is a list of the volumes and subjects:

Archives (Ford Motor Company) record group
Oral History subgroup
Owen W. Bombard interviews series
Accession 65


Box 66
66-1 Sorenson, Charles E.; Correspondence; 1953-1956
66-2 Sorenson, Charles E.; Photographs
66-3 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Amtorg"; Draft
66-4 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Amtorg"; Final
66-5 Sorenson, Charles E.; "The Banking Crisis"; Draft
66-6 Sorenson, Charles E.; "The Banking Crisis"; Final
66-7 Sorenson, Charles E.; "D.T. & I. Railroad"; Draft
66-8 Sorenson, Charles E.; "D.T. & I. Railroad"; Final
66-9 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Early Years" and "Henry Ford & The Formative Years"; Draft
Box 67
67-1 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Early Years" and "Henry Ford & The Formative Years"; Final
67-2 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Engineering Design and Philosophy"; Draft
67-3 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Engineering Design and Philosophy"; Final
67-4 Sorenson, Charles E.; "European Branches"; Draft
67-5 Sorenson, Charles E.; "European Branches"; Final
67-6 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Henry Ford"; Draft
67-7 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Henry Ford"; Final
67-8 Sorenson, Charles E.; "The Making of Men"; Draft
67-9 Sorenson, Charles E.; "The Making of Men"; Final
Box 68
68-1 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Mrs. Henry Ford"; Draft
68-2 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Mrs. Henry Ford"; Final
68-3 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Organization & Administration"; Draft
68-4 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Organization & Administration"; Final
68-5 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Philosophical Comments on Manufacturing"; Draft
68-6 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Philosophical Comments on Manufacturing"; Final
68-7 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Preface & Introduction"; Draft
68-8 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Preface & Introduction"; Final
68-9 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Rouge Expansion"; Draft
68-10 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Rouge Expansion - Facts From Ford"; Draft
68-11 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Rouge Expansion"; Final
68-12 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Selden Patents"; Draft
Page 28 of 35
Archives (Ford Motor Company) record group
Oral History subgroup
Owen W. Bombard interviews series
Accession 65
68-13 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Selden Patents"; Final
68-14 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Tractors"; Draft
68-15 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Tractors"; Final
Box 69
69-1 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Village Industries"; Draft
69-2 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Village Industries"; Final
69-3 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Diary Notes; 1940-1944"; Draft (folder 1)
69-4 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Diary Notes; 1940-1944"; Draft (folder 2)
69-5 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Diary Notes; 1940-1944"; Final (folder 1)
69-6 Sorenson, Charles E.; "Diary Notes; 1940-1944"; (folder 2)


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