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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Ford Motor Company


The New York Times
December 23, 1922

$6,000,000 Chicago Outlay is Called Only a Step in a Gigantic Program.

DETROIT, Dec. 22. (Associated Press)—Henry Ford's decision to construct a $6,000,000 plant near Chicago for the building of automobile bodies and assembling of automobiles is only a step in a gigantic program on the part the Ford Motor Company "that will rank as one of the greatest industrial developments the world ever has seen," it was stated at the Ford Company offices here today by persons in authority.

"As long as Mr. Ford lives," it was said, "this expansion program is to go on.  The fundamental idea back of the whole scheme is to create more jobs.  As long as there is a possibility of putting more men at work the Ford policy will be to build more plants."

It was pointed out that other development projects have been undertaken recently by the Ford Company, including the start of a great industrial plant at New Orleans, a contemplated unit at St. Louis, and water power development at St. Paul.  Land along the river at St. Louis is now being condemned with the idea of placing a Ford plant or plants there, it was said.

Mr. Ford has no idea of withdrawing from Detroit, it was made clear.  His interests in this city are to be the hub in a great wheel of industry that he eventually hopes will cover many cities in the country.

It was recalled that the statement was made at the Ford offices some time ago that a corps of engineers and other experts in the employ of the Ford concern were on the lookout constantly for sites that might be adapted to the company's needs.  Water power and other sites are being scrutinized closely.  Coal mine properties are being examined. This is being done with the expansion idea always in mind, it was made known.

Asked how far the Ford development program might go, persons in authority at the company offices replied:

"Mr. Ford himself doesn't even know.  He does feel, however, that as fast as he makes money he is morally bound to put that money back into business, to provide more families with incomes and to enhance the prosperity of the entire country.  The Ford development will go on just as long as business conditions make it possible."

The Chicago project as announced last night includes the erection on a 70-acre tract at Hegewisch, on the Calumet River and Nickel Plate Railroad, of a four-unit plant, each of which will cost $1,500,000.  Sixteen thousand men will be employed at the start.  The first unit is to be in operation by next May, according to Chicago advices confirmed today at the Ford offices here.

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