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					Finding Jobs, Finding Problems

        Migrants and Immigrants
    in the Auto Industry, 1900-1935
Part I: Finding Jobs
          An Urbanization Story
• Henry Ford was only
  sixteen when he emigrated
  from his family’s farm in
  Dearborn, Michigan to
  Detroit, in 1879.
• There he worked as an
  apprentice machinist for 3
  years.
• For the next 9 years, he
  repaired farm implements,
  worked on his family’s farm,
  and occasionally worked in
  Detroit factories.
                             First Official Ford Motor Company Portrait of
                                             Henry Ford, 1904
                                 From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                                             ID#THF36449
          An Urbanization Story
• Henry Ford migrated to the
  city permanently in 1891.
• He went on to provide jobs
  in Detroit factories for
  millions of people, many of
  whom, like him, grew up on
  farms.



                                 Crowd of Applicants outside Highland
                                   Park Plant after Five Dollar Day
                                    Announcement, January 1914
                                From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                                             ID#THF4402
  Define:
 Migration
 Emigration
Urbanization
         Another Urbanization Story

  • Read Byron Moore’s
    urbanization story.


Byron Moore, Head of Ford Rouge Plant
 Aircraft Engine Inspection and Repair,
                  1943
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
            ID#THF68290.
  Farm Life at the Turn of the
         20th Century
• Farm work was hard
  labor and lasted from
  sunup to sundown.
• The tasks farmers had
  to complete were
  different from day to
  day, and season to
  season.
• Most people working on
  family farms owned the
  operation and were
  their own bosses.         Hay Wagon Coming up from a Meadow,
  Some were extra                 Flushing, NY, circa 1900
  workers hired if the
  family could afford it.   From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                                        ID#THF38312
    Farm Life is Changing…
    Pushes From the Farm
• Mechanization and
  technology save labor
  on the farm BUT…
• Now there is less
  work in rural areas.
• There are not jobs in
  rural areas when
  children grow up.       Fordson Tractor, 1917, Used by Luther
                                        Burbank
                            From the Collections of The Henry
                                  Ford. ID# THF72058
   Factories are Changing…
       Pulls to the City
• Luckily for them,
  mechanization and
  technology has also
  created new jobs in
  the city in factories
  and industries.
• If these people come
  work in factories, they
  have jobs and
                        Gas-Steam Engine, 1916, Used to Generate
  manufacturers have         Electricity at Highland Park Plant
  employees.
                              From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                                         ID# THF52667
       From South to North
• The southern United
  States, being primarily
  agricultural,
  experienced this pull
  from the more
  industrialized North’s
  cities.
• Both African Americans
  and whites migrated
                            Mattox House in Greenfield Village. Built
  from the rural South to    about 1880 in Bryan County, Georgia.
  the urban North.          From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                                       ID# THF70905
              Immigration
• Prior to the Civil War, most immigrants to
  America were from Western Europe.
• In the decades after the Civil War and into the
  twentieth century, more immigrants were from
  Southern and Eastern Europe.
  Define:
Immigration
            More Workers
• Immigrants were pushed by mechanization of
  agriculture and pulled by manufacturing jobs.
• Travel across the Atlantic in the steerage
  section of large passenger ships was made
  possible and cheaper by the technology of
  steam power.
• Through letters home, immigrants encouraged
  family and friends to come join them.
              More Workers
• Workers coming from
  places within the United
  States still weren’t
  enough labor to produce
  the number of
  automobiles Ford’s
  customers demanded .
• Learn where Ford Motor
  Company workers came
  from in the document
  “Language and
  Citizenship of Ford Motor
  Company Employees,
  According to Nationality,
  as of January 12th,         From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
  1917.”                                  ID#THF68283
Part II: Finding Problems
              Nature of Work
• When you work on a group project, do you prefer doing
  one small part of the project or helping plan and work on
  the project from beginning to end?
• Do you watch the clock while you’re in school, waiting for
  the day to end? Do you think you would do the same
  thing if you were working instead of learning?
• Do you do better work when you are allowed to complete
  it independently or when you are closely supervised?
  For example, think about in-class work time versus
  homework or think about chores at home.
          Influence of workers’ prior experiences:

   Changing Nature of Work
    with Industrialization
         Farm
• Involved in almost all
  aspects of farm work
• Task focused
• Most workers are
  independent

         Crops at Firestone Farm in Greenfield Village.
     From the Collections of The Henry Ford. ID# THF53081
    Influence of workers’ prior experiences:

Changing Nature of Work
 with Industrialization
         Factory
• Completes small step
  in a long process
• Time focused
• Supervised by a
  foreman
    Time Clock, made 1916-1925, and Used
     by the Shelby Division of Copperweld
    From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                ID# THF72059
                   Nature of Work
• Letter from wife of a Ford
  factory worker




Letter to Henry Ford from the Wife of an Assembly
                Line Worker, 1914
    From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                ID#THF32100
              Influence of workers’ language

        Language Barriers
• For student-workers: What was it like to not be
  able to communicate while you worked? Was
  it hard to learn your task? Did you feel you
  were doing as well as you would have had
  you been able to communicate?
• For supervisor: What was it like to not be able
  to communicate with your workers?
• For observers: How did you notice the
  language barrier affecting the assembly of the
  planes?
   Immigration Restrictions
• Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 – banned Chinese
  immigration to U.S.
• Basic Naturalization Act (1906) - made speaking
  English a requirement for citizenship.
• Emergency Quota Act of 1921 – set quotas per
  country for immigrants to US, favoring those from
  northern and western Europe, limiting those from
  southern and eastern Europe, and altogether banning
  those from Asia. Movement to and from Mexico, and
  Central and South America was quite free.
  Permanent quota system finalized in 1924.
                 Influence of workers’ race:
         The Great Migration
• In addition to being
  pushed from the rural
  South by a lack of jobs,
  African Americans were
  also pushed by racism
  and a lack of education
  opportunities for their
  children.
• The movement of African
  Americans from the
  South to the Northeast,
  Midwest, and West is       Mattox House in Greenfield Village. Built
  known as the Great          about 1880 in Bryan County, Georgia.
  Migration.                 From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                                        ID# THF70905
        Why Families Left Home




Source: Forrester B. Washington.
The Negro in Detroit. 1920
 Opportunities for African-
 American Workers at Ford
     Motor Company
•Ford Motor Company
was largest employer in
Detroit of African
Americans
•In 1919, Ford Motor
Company employed 1700
African-American
workers, 3% of its total            Workers in Ford Rouge Plant Cyanide
workforce                                      Foundry, 1931
Source: Forrester B. Washington.   From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
The Negro in Detroit. 1920                     ID#THF68318
    Life for African-American
             Workers
•Foundries had some of the
largest percentages of African-
American employees in Detroit.
•Some businesses limited African-
Americans to janitorial and the
most unskilled jobs.
•Some companies segregated
their facilities.
•Blacks not allowed to join social
organizations within many              Workers at the Ford Motor Company
workplaces                                 Rouge Plant Foundry, 1935
                                     From the Collections of The Henry Ford.
                                                  ID#THF68318
    Other Problems for
African-American Migrants
•   Rent profiteering
•   Terrible housing conditions
•   Overcrowding
•   Tension between native-Detroiter and
    native-Southern African Americans
 Immigrant and Migrant
Worker Problems Summary
                       Problems Faced by
                      Migrants from Rural US




  Problems Faced by
                                               Problems Faced by
   African American
                                                   Immigrants
        Migrants
 Immigrant and Migrant
Worker Problems Summary
                              Problems Faced by
                             Migrants from Rural US




                               Changed Nature of
                                     Work
                      Discrimination      New language

                                           New culture
     Problems Faced by                                   Problems Faced by
 African American Migrants                                   Immigrants

				
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