The Crystal Palace in 1914
In East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, fifteen-year-old Frank Marquart and his father were just two of countless laborers astonished and inspired by Ford's momentous announcement of the Five-Dollar Day. They immediately joined the throngs from all over the United States and Canada headed for Highland Park.
My father hated his job as a common laborer in the chain mill and he hated me for not finding a steady job, and life became a living hell for me. Then came that memorable day in January 1914 when my father came home from work excitedly waving the Pittsburgh Press and shouting at us: “Look, in Detroit Henry Ford is paying five dollars a day to all his workers. I'm going to quit my job tomorrow and Frank and me will go to Detroit. We'll both get jobs at Ford's—why, we'll be making 10 dollars a day, think of it, 10 dollars a day!” Then he read aloud excerpts from the front-page story about the Flivver King philanthropist, who was revolutionizing wage scales in America. The more my father talked the more enthusiastic he became.
My mother, however, did not share the enthusiasm. “But how do you know you'll get work in Detroit?” she ventured. I don't recall all that was said but I do remember that her misgivings threw my old man into a rage. He accused her of not cooperating, of not lending moral support; he said she wanted to hold him back. “How to hell can we ever get ahead if you always pull back like that,” he demanded, half in