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Photo journal: Rise and fall of mass production

Mass production began in Detroit in 1914 when Henry Ford discovered that a moving assembly line using interchangeable parts could radically reduce the cost of making motor cars.

He sold 18m Model T Fords, transforming America into the first car-owning democracy, at a price that dropped from $600 to $250 over 15 years.

Mass production was unpleasant work, with high turnover. To to retain his unskilled workforce, Ford doubled their wages to $5 per day - justified by higher productivity.

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