Life in the Shadows of the Crystal Palace, 1910-1927: Ford Workers in the Model T Era


This book shows how Ford's first large automotive plant - the Crystal Palace - transformed the sleepy village of Highland Park, Michigan, into an industrial boomtown that later became an urban ghetto, and the first American city whose life and well-being depended entirely upon the employment and production policies of the automotive industry. It shows how in the process of attempting to create a workforce in the likeness of Henry Ford himself, the Ford Motor Company used "scientific management" as the basis for redefining the relations between labor and management, and as the basis for attempting to manage the quality of life of those who worked in the factory, and of those who lived in its shadows. This innovative work makes an important contribution to the study of the quality of life of the pioneers of modern industrial production. Given the recent developments in the automotive industry, Life in the Shadows provides a timely examination of this important episode in the history of American workers, along,with significant details and interpretation of the earliest mass production facility and the local community that resulted from it. The author discusses such issues as what the community was like before the coming of the Crystal Palace, the evolution of the production processes, the development of a new "manager class", and the work of Ford's Sociological Department.


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