Last modified on 20 January 2015, at 15:19

Talk:Henry Ford

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Any colo(u)r, as long as it is blackEdit

In Henry Ford´s 1923 autobiography "Henry Ford - My life and work" he quotes himself as saying "Any customer can have a car painted any colour he wants so long as it is black.".

According to the BBC program QI the quote "People can have the Model T in any color - so long as it's black." OR: "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." Was never actually said by Henry Ford or at least there is no evidence he did do.

Luke Corcoran, United Kingdom

Really? I won a table quiz on that quote as a kid. I'm disillusioned.

  • He did say this; the quote is from his autobiography. Incidentally, the spelling of colour with a 'u' is intentional. Despite being an American, that is how it is spelled in his autobiography. 14:54, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I think the point being made in QI was that, whether or not Henry Ford said it, it was untrue - early Model T Fords were not black. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 11:42, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Exactly -- he generated this quip after the more fully adopting the assembly line. After he realized that drying paint took the longest of any step, he had his factory switch to the fastest drying paint they could find, which, of course, was black. --JamesDMurray 14:42, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

History and factEdit

Something like "History is just one damn fact after another" (Jared Diamond, Guns, Gems and Steel, p. 420) is attributed to Henry Ford by a few pages on the web [1] [2]. Another (peer-reviewed?) reference from 1991 [3] mentions Woodrow Wilson as the source. Any comments? - Fnielsen 11:44, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

about communism/socialismEdit

I recall reading in a Reader's digest once that he said something in the lines of "Socialism is an attempt to everybody make a living without having to work", but I'm not sure.

Unsourced QuotesEdit

Weren't some of the unsourced quotes from his book? 19:15, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


  • Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
  • It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
    • Variant: If the nation knew our banking and monetary system there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
  • The international financiers are behind all war. They are what is called the International Jew -- German Jews, French Jews, English Jews, American Jews. I believe that in all these countries except our own the Jewish financier is supreme... Here, the Jew is a threat.
    • 1920, Ford to a New York World reporter
  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
  • Let them fail; let everybody fail! I made my fortune when I had nothing to start with, by myself and my own ideas. Let other people do the same thing. If I lose everything in the collapse of our financial structure, I will start in at the beginning and build it up again.
    • February 11, 1934
  • No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality.
  • Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?
  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently
  • there is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something
  • The secret to success is to understand the point of view of others.

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right."Edit

I think this quote is apocryphal. The earliest variation of the quote I can find in Wikibooks is from the Franternal Monitor in 1962. But I found an earlier connection with Henry Ford and the basic quote as part of a poem in Napoleon Hill's The Law of Success, where they appear on the same page in 1946, but clearly is not a quotation of Henry Ford. Thus, I suspect that later attributions originated from this. It appears that the original sentiment came from the poem Thinking by Walter D. Wintle.

I think this should be added to a misattributed section, but I wanted to put it out to the community first. --Jacob J. Walker (talk) 05:17, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Can you cite any notable or seemingly plausible sources that attribute this to Ford, or is it just something found in internet chatter? ~ Ningauble (talk) 11:51, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
According to Google Books, there are around 649 books that attribute that quote to Henry Ford. So the misattribution is fairly common. I started to research it, because my daughter saw the "quote" at her school on a poster. And while I agree fully with the sentiment of it, I don't like inaccurate information to be disseminated in schools. --Jacob J. Walker (talk) 13:17, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I am not impressed by the gravitas of those books, but the attribution does appear to be repeated in print widely enough to be worth debunking.

Franternal Monitor in 1962 does appear to be the earliest known attribution to Ford. The earliest occurrence I found of this exact aphorism (with "'re absolutely right") was a year earlier in a first-person essay, without attribution to anyone, in Field Notes, Vol. 61 (1961: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company), p. 21; but I can't identify the author from Google's snippet view.

Being attributed to Ford just a few months later looks like a classic case of a close corollary to the the second axiom of misquotation: memorable words need famous authors. ~ Ningauble (talk) 14:54, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

"If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse"Edit

Does anyone know if this quote is apocryphal , or did Ford really say it? 16:37, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Ford did say that, but it's "... said faster horses" instead of "... asked for a better horse"

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

I, too, would like to see a source for this. It seems that this quote has become VERY common in the past two years, but was not used at all before that. Can someone look through their quote books to find this pre-2000s, perhaps even pre-1990?

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Tom Wood contacted the Henry Ford Museum which has an archive of his letters and writings. They politely declined to help but with this rather telling statement: “In the past research on this topic has not yielded satisfactory results either for the researcher or the research staff. Mr. Ford wrote numerous articles for a variety of periodicals and newspapers and the quotes attributed to him were varied and often unsubstantiated.'

Source Another source

There is no evidence that Ford ever said this. It only began being attributed to Ford in the early 2000s. Earlier versions of the quote have nothing to do with Ford. Source

"If you need a machine and don't buy it, you will ultimately find that you have paid for it and don't have it."Edit

This one is painted up and down the tubes (google who said "if you need a machine and don't buy it") Haven't located a source. 05:09, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debts.Edit

I cannot find any sources for this, but it's a very important thought.

"nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs"Edit

I see this ascribed to Henry Ford in various places, notably the Civilization game series as an aphorism related to replaceable parts or the assembly line. Any source? 04:50, 15 September 2013 (UTC) == Hitler !?!?!==not true The quote ascribed to Hitler by Bill McGraw has any countercheck? I mean: if Ford was an inspiration to Hitler, how could he never be nominated, not even a single time, in Mein Kampf or in any other speech by Hitler except in this book of the 1999?

important quote not in hereEdit

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand

our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe

there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

Henry Ford"

why is this quote not in here!? i'd have added it right now if i knew what time he made it.

(your spam filter prevents me from entering the quote source!) Wikidrift (talk) 14:04, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

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