Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire

By Richard Bak | Go to book overview

23
Rearview Mirror
The Last Years
of the Flivver King

John McIntyre, a Scottish immigrant, worked a quarter-century operating
the powerhouse on the Fair Lane estate, a position that made him privy to
the daily lives of Henry and Clara Ford.

Edsel and his father seemed to be very great pals. Whenever I saw them around, they appeared to be real friendly. I never saw them argue or anything like that. When Edsel Ford was ill, that was when I saw Mr. Ford drop back himself. After Edsel died, I met Mr. Ford on the path going up into the kitchen, and I wasn't six inches from him; he walked right past me and looked down at the cement. He didn't even see me. It just seemed to me that his mind was on the boy, and he was gone. When the boy left, it just seemed to take something out of him.

Many years earlier, I dug a basement for Mr. Ford and put all the drains in over there in what they called the old plumber shop on the Fair Lane estate. He used to come down there every morning between 7:30 and 8. He'd come back at lunch time and also before we would go home. He seemed to be very interested in this old plumber shop. There was a kitchen in it, a cooking stove and a refrigerator. Mr. Ford used to speak to me quite a bit down there. I used to say, “Oh, the mosquitoes are awful, Mr. Ford!”

He'd say, “Keep working; you'll chase them away.”

-275-

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Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • 1: Farmboy, Tinkerer 1
  • 2: The Horse is Gone 18
  • 3: Rearview Mirror Ford the “automobileer” in 1900 32
  • 4: Who Can't Afford a Fordmobile? 38
  • 5: Hunka Tin 51
  • 6: The Five-Dollar Day 64
  • 7: Rearview Mirror the Crystal Palace in 1914 78
  • 8: War on Several Fronts 83
  • 9: Joy Ride 106
  • 10: Farewell, Lizzie 125
  • 11: Chronicle of the Neglected Truth 141
  • 12: The Little Man in the Basement 154
  • 13: Rearview Mirror the Crown Prince at Work and at Play 163
  • 14: Airships and Time Machines 172
  • 15: An Invitation to Organize 188
  • 16: Bullets and Frescoes 200
  • 17: A Matter of Style 210
  • 18: The Overpass 221
  • 19: Rearview Mirror Battling “fordism” in 1937 231
  • 20: A New Social Order 238
  • 21: You Know How Father Is 250
  • 22: Running on Empty 261
  • 23: Rearview Mirror the Last Years of the Flivver King 275
  • Postscript - Ford After Ford 284
  • Notes 293
  • Selected Bibliography 302
  • Picture Credits 305
  • Index 307
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