Monday 24 April 2017

Here's to 100 years: Ford celebrate centenary of Henry's factory in Cork

Ford Model T
Ford Model T
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Exactly 100 years ago next Monday, Henry Ford established the famous factory in Cork. On April 17, 1917 Henry Ford & Son Ltd put down roots at the Marina in Cork, his ancestral home city.

Now they are planning on big celebrations to mark the anniversary. Henry's great great-grandson (and Ford executive chairman) William Clay Ford Jr, arrives in Cork to lead the way.

There will be several commemorative events, with his visit also embracing a call to the 'family' home.

Next week there will be a gala event at Cork City Hall. And at a special event in UCC, a partnership between Ford and the university will be announced. Busy times.

As you are probably aware Henry's father, William, emigrated to the US from Ballinascarthy, Co Cork, during the Famine in 1847 with his siblings and parents.

Henry was born in Michigan in 1863 and 40 years later set up the Ford Motor Company in Michigan in 1903.

Just 14 years later, on April 17, 1917 he opened the first purpose-built Ford factory outside of North America at the Marina in Cork.

The Fordson tractor was the main product from the Irish plant.

However, it also produced passenger models including, of course, the iconic Model T.

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