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  1. Ford's investment opportunity dried up overnight without producing any rubber for Ford's tires, and the second town was also abandoned. In 1945, Henry Ford's grandson Henry Ford II sold the area comprising both towns back to the Brazilian government for a loss of over US$ 20 million (equivalent to $288 million in 2020).

    Fordlândia - Wikipediaândia
  2. Henry Ford established Fordlandia and Belterra in the Brazilian rainforest to supply rubber for automobile production. He began shipping machinery and supplies to the Amazon in 1928. Ford paid the indigenous workers good wages and supplied various amenities -- he also imposed foreign work traditions and behavioral restrictions which the workers ...

  3. › wiki › FordlândiaFordlândia - Wikipedia

    Ford's investment opportunity dried up overnight without producing any rubber for Ford's tires, and the second town was also abandoned. In 1945, Henry Ford's grandson Henry Ford II sold the area comprising both towns back to the Brazilian government for a loss of over US$ 20 million (equivalent to $288 million in 2020).

    • 1928
    • Pará
    • The Rise of Rubber
    • Ford Sets His Sights on Brazil
    • The Founding of Fordlândia
    • Fordlândia’S Workers Revolt
    • The End of Fordlândia

    With the invention of the pneumatic tire and the combustion engine at the end of the 19th century, horseless carriages were, at last, a reality. But for years, the car remained the preserve of the wealthy and the privileged, leaving working and middle-class people to rely on trains, horses, and shoe leather. That all changed in the 1908, when Ford’s Model T became the first affordable automobile, priced at just $260 ($3,835 in 2020), with 15 million soldin less than twenty years. And each of those cars depended on rubber tires, hoses, and other parts to function. From about 1879 to 1912, rubber production in the Amazon boomed. However, that changed thanks to the English rubber tapper Henry Wickham who transported rubber seeds to British colonies in India. Wickham figured the trees could be grown more efficiently there, in the absence of the native fungi and pests that plagued them in Brazil. And he was right. British plantations in Asia were able to grow rubber trees much closer tog...

    In a move that now seems blatantly dystopian, Ford named his rubber town Fordlândia. Ignorant of the difficulties of creating a British-style rubber plantation in the Amazon, Ford reasoned that rubber ought to be grown in its natural homeland, Brazil. In fact, Brazilian officials had been courting Ford for years to attract his interest to rubber growing. And Ford believed that in Brazil, he could use the land as a kind of blank slatefor his vision of the city of the future. “We are not going to South America to make money, but to help develop that wonderful and fertile land,” said Ford. His utopian aspirations weren’t entirely unfounded. By 1926, the Ford Motor Company was at the forefront of a revolution in transportation, labor, and U.S. society. Apart from his innovation in cars, Ford’s ideas about how to treat his workers were a marvel at the time. Employees at his Dearborn plant earned the unusually high wage of $5 a day. Plus, they enjoyed excellent benefits and a healthy soci...

    In 1928, the British backed out of the Stevenson Plan, once again leaving rubber prices to the free market. The plan to begin rubber production in the Amazon no longer made financial sense, but Ford carried on with his vision nevertheless. Ford secured 2.5 million acres of free land, promising to pay 7% of Fordlândia’s profits to the Brazilian government and 2% to local municipalities after 12 years in operation. Though the land was initially free, Ford spent about $2 million on the supplies he would need to build a city from scratch. Next, he sent two ships to Brazil carrying every last piece of equipment needed to build a rubber-producing town from the ground up, including generators, picks, shovels, clothing, books, medicine, boats, prefabricated buildings, and even a gigantic supply of frozen beef so that his management team wouldn’t have to rely on tropical food. To supervise his new project, Ford appointed Willis Blakeley,an alcoholic exhibitionist who scandalized the inhabita...

    The 3,000 local employees of the Companhia Ford Industrial do Brasilhad come to work for the eccentric industrialist expecting to be paid the $5 their northern counterparts enjoyed, and thinking they would be able to live their lives much as they had before. Instead, they were dismayed to learn that they would receive $0.35 per day. They were forced to live on company property in American-style homes built on the ground, instead of in their traditional dwellings which were elevated to keep tropical insects out. Workers were also forced to wear American-style clothing and nametags, had to eat unfamiliar foods like oatmeal and canned peaches, were denied alcohol, and were strictly forbidden to associate with women. For entertainment, Ford pushed square-dancing, poetry by Emerson and Longfellow, and gardening. On top of that, the workers, used to the slower pace of rural Brazil, resented being subjected to shift whistles, timesheets, and strict orders for efficient movement of their ow...

    In 1933, the Ford Company’s management shifted most of its rubber production 80 miles downriver to Belterra, where factional rivalries within the company continued to hinder productivity as the effort struggled on. By 1940, only 500 employees remained at Fordlândia, while 2,500 worked at the new site in Belterra. Employees at Belterra weren’t subjected to the same restrictions as the first Fordlândia workers and happily kept to more traditional Brazilian customs, food, and working hours. Only in 1942 would the commercial tapping of rubber trees in Belterra begin. Ford produced 750 tons of latex that year, falling far short of the 38,000 tons he required annually. During World War II, rubber production in British colonies stalled. Unfortunately for Ford, a leaf disease epidemic in his rubber plantations hurt his production numbers as well. In 1945, Ford sold both his rubber plantations back to Brazil for just $250,000, although by this point he had spent about $20 million on the proj...

    • Morgan Dunn
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  5. Feb 10, 2020 · Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, turned to the Brazilian rainforest in the 1920s to construct a rubber plantation that would serve as his personal supply of the material.

  6. Date: ca. 1903 - ca. 1954Creators: Ford Motor Company. (Most Recent)From: Series: Motion Picture Films Relating to the Ford Motor Company, the Henry Ford Fam...

  7. Aug 30, 2011 · Just like that, Ford’s investment was rendered obsolete. In 1945, Henry Ford II sold the Fordlândia property back to the Brazilian government for $250,000 ($200M in 2011 dollars). For all that money and trouble, not a single ounce of rubber from Ford’s Brazil operations ever made its way onto a Ford car.

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