Henry Ford

Masonic Biographies

Henry Ford

Born: Thursday, 30 July 1863
Died: Monday, 07 April 1947


Henry Ford was an inventor, businessman, and Freemason who achieved the archetypal role of benefactor of humanity through his innovative practices and endeavors.


“I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.” 

In the philosophy of Freemasonry, it is taught that service to others is the highest ideal of life. This does not always have to take the shape of physical charity; innovation, invention, and genius contribute greatly to the condition of humanity and these qualities are cultivated by the Freemason within his Lodge. Brother Henry Ford was one of the 20th century’s greatest innovators. Revolutionizing production by applying the principle of the assembly line to car manufacturing, Henry Ford could have simply pocketed the lion’s share of the profits from his revolution. Instead, he doubled wages for his workers, cut the cost of his car, and instituted a five-day work week. His reshaping of the auto industry not only improved the conditions for his workers but revolutionized the practice of capitalism globally.  

Ford was initiated into Palestine Lodge No. 357 and was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in 1894. He kept up a Masonic career throughout his lifetime, no easy feat when his many accomplishments and innovations are considered. He eventually received the 33rd and last degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1940 - the capstone of many decades of Masonic service.

Ford had a lifelong distrust of bankers, accountants, and financiers and was adamantly opposed to the creation of the Federal Reserve. He tried many social experiments, including creating a department of sociology within his company to investigate the effects of psychology and tradition on his workforce. He constantly investigated, adapted, and innovated in all areas of his work and life, trying to find the cutting edge of everything he was involved in. This spirit of entrepreneurial exploration is an essential quality promoted in the teachings of Freemasonry. Arguably no one has left a greater imprint on the American consciousness than Henry Ford. His spirit of enterprise, self-determination, and his overriding concern for the society around him mark his as a paragon of American culture and a true believer of the Masonic ideals to which he subscribed.

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"If I have seen further than
others, it is by standing
upon the shoulders of giants."

- BROTHER ISAAC NEWTON

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