After 102 Years, Ford’s Assembly Line Is Still Incredible

Take a look back at the definitive moment of the “century of the automobile.”

The safety razor, that was a good one. The ballpoint pen, too. No mousetrap, however, could compare to what is roundly regarded as the greatest single technological innovation of the 20th Century: the moving assembly line.

On December 1, 1913, Henry Ford inaugurated the first such system in the world. The higher production volumes afforded by the setup fueled the hegemonic rule of Ford’s Model T over the U.S. passenger-car market for the next decade. Revisiting photos from those early days, we see not only the latent promise of American industry, but the bolts and rivets of every car we’ve ever loved.