A BRIGHT and chilly fall morning, 1879. Henry Ford and his teenaged pals have gathered early before another day of lessons at the Miller School in rural Springwells Township, northeast of Dearbornville, Michigan. Henry, wiry and slight of build, is crouched down at the muddy slope of a ditch draining behind the schoolhouse, busily assembling a miniature waterwheel to run in the dammed stream. Just as the stream begins to rise—the wheel hooked up to an old coffee mill with a rake handle serving as a connecting rod—the bell rings, summoning the reluctant boys to abandon their work and enter the one-room cabin crammed with ten rows of wooden double-desks and stuffy from the heat of an old wood stove. That night, the waterwheel would jam and the ditch would overflow, flooding the neighboring farmer's potato patch.
For the moment, it was time to continue reading in Lesson LIX