Henry Ford can be documented lying to the press in nearly any newspaper article you can find where he is interviewed. This is a special example of this, where Henry was lying to the press in order to cover himself and Ed "Spider" Huff from being discovered as perjurors in the Selden Patent lawsuit.
This is a problem for novices who are new to the subject of Henry Ford and the media. Fortunately the Henry Ford Museum has made most of their collection searchable online so that it is easy to show the extent and scope of Ford's dishonesty to newspaper reporters.
Thanks for posting this interesting information. Henry Ford was well versed in "spin" to protect his legacy. It appears he went to great lengths at times to try to suppress information.
And here I thought Henry was a superhuman, above all common downfalls of man. What a let down !
What Royce brought up is news to me, and probably most who have heard of the Selden patent. I thought it was invalidated by the fact that Henry built a copy of the patent car, and it couldn't run.
(Message edited by adminchris on July 14, 2014)
Henry was a man. A tycoon. He built an empire and covered his axx as best he could. He had friends, he had enemies, and he wasn't above speaking his mind at times.
I have a slightly different take on this. Why go to the trouble of telling a newspaper man the truth ? He'll just twist it around to fit his own template anyhow.
My experience with reporters has been that they only half listen and couldn't get the story right if they wanted to. Just because it's written in a newspaper doesn't mean that Mr. Ford said it. Not defending Ford, just giving a caution about what you read in the paper.
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I'm not much of a fan of Ford the man, but he had a point disputing the patent. Selden was a patent lawyer, and knew the ropes of the process pretty well. His delay in finalizing his patent until others had autos on the road mad sure he would make money from his patent.
As for the lie, was it the employment records from Edison ELC or the date his first car wad built? Also did he lie in court, or just to the press/public?
A general statement such as "Henry Ford can be documented lying to the press in nearly any newspaper article you can find where he is interviewed" has nothing to do with Ford history either. The entire premise of this thread is, the years are incorrect when Henry Ford is quoted saying he built the quadracycle. Expanding from this to suggest everything Henry Ford said to the media was a lie is preposterous.
Reading the Ford Oral Histories provides wonderful insights about Henry Ford and the people associated with him. Royce was not aware the "Remininsces" existed online until it was pointed out to him a short time ago, and now he's using a tremendous asset to support wild claims. Why? That's a question I'm unable to answer. Certainly not to further our understanding of the people and events leading up to and including the production of the Model T.
I recommend anyone who wishes to learn firsthand what associates, friends and employees of Henry Ford recalled about him and Ford Motor Company read some of the transcripts themselves. There are over 230 transcripts, with recollections including one from the last living original Ford Mo. Co. investor (C.H. Bennett), childhood friends of Edsel Ford, and a large number of Ford employees. They recount stories about Henry Ford, recall well known Ford history, and generally add a human touch to the story of Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company.
As with any human recollections, there are inconsistencies and incorrect dates and events. However, we are able to read how people perceived Henry Ford and historical events as they recalled them.
Oh now THIS is cool! Thanks Rob!
The fact is that Henry Ford can be documented over and over again telling whoppers to reporters. You have posted at least a half dozen examples of that this year. It is a normal thing to find Ford saying something to a newspaper man or trade journal that is completely false.
This is just one very well documented example, including proof that Ford and Huff conspired to commit perjury.
He also lied to his investors saying he was starting a new company so his wife and son could by all the stocks in ford so he can be in full charge of his own company.
Henry Ford's personal secretary, E. Liebold said the following in his oral history "Reminiscences" about Henry Ford and the manipulating press:
While this doesn't tell us anything about the voracity of his (Ford) statements to the press, it does suggest a sense of ethics as far as pulling advertising if press were not favorable or forthcoming.
Ernest Liebold provides a wealth of information, and I doubt he was overly enamored with Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company to embellish about Henry Ford, since he was fired from FMC in 1944 (the interviews occured in the early to mid 50s):
An interesting sidebar about Ernest Liebold.
He started working at Ford about 1910 and soon became HF's personal secretary. In 1918 he was given a broad Power of Attorney for all of HF, CBF and EF personal affairs. Liebold retired in 1944, but had long ago fallen out of favor with HF during the 1932-1933 banking crisis. From then on he retained little power.
When he retired it was discovered Liebold still retained the power vested by the POA from the Ford family members. Needless to say it was hurriedly rescinded. In my Ford collection I have one of the notorized copy of the HF, CBF and EF "rescission of POA"
Now, I want all you to carefully read this document and try to imagine the breadth of the powers (and the amounts of money involved) Leibold commanded.
Ron the Coilman
Since Henry's passing, the automobile industry has certainly been a model of truthfulness and honesty right down to the latest ignition switch fiasco .