January 5, 1916: Henry Ford Introduces $5-a-day Minimum Wage
On this day in 1914, Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company introduced a minimum wage of $5 for an eight-hour workday. The reason? Ford had a rather original notion for the time: his workers were also potential consumers! Five dollars a day was an excellent wage at the time and they soon proved him right by buying their own Model Ts.
Ford was called “a traitor to his class” by other industrialists and professionals, but he held firm in believing that well-paid workers would put up with dull work, be loyal, and buy his cars.
Read “Who Made America?“‘s biography on innovator Henry Ford.
Photo: Henry Ford, leaving the White House after calling on the president, 1927 (Library of Congress).
Serendipity!!! I am reading Napoleon Hill’s book ‘How to sell your Way through Life’ and he speaks about Ford’s attributes as a businessman and how he was considered ‘ruthless’ by others just because he did what he wanted to do and did not care what others said about him. Wish I could do that more often….