The "Other Henry" of Detroit Henry Leland (1843 -- 1932), a relative unknown today, was one of the Motor City's greatest pioneers, creating two of the world's most enduring marques: Cadillac and Lincoln. Sometimes called "the other Henry" of...
The "Other Henry" of Detroit
Henry Leland (1843 -- 1932), a relative unknown today, was one of the Motor City's greatest pioneers, creating two of the world's most enduring marques: Cadillac and Lincoln.
Sometimes called "the other Henry" of Detroit, Henry Martyn Leland was one of the most influential pioneers of the fledgling Detroit auto industry, a leader in promoting the concept of interchangeable parts -- and has the distinction of founding both the Cadillac and Lincoln automobile companies!
In the early 1900s, Ransom Olds, Henry Ford, William C. Durant, Henry Leland and John and Horace Dodge were largely responsible for making Detroit the auto capital of the world.
Whereas Olds, Ford and Durant were vehicle makers, Leland and the Dodge Brothers manufactured parts. Henry Leland quickly established his machine shop, Leland & Faulconer, as an early automotive supplier.
Leland & Faulconer was making so many parts for the Detroit Automobile Co., Henry Ford's first company, that Henry Leland was asked to run the company when it fell on hard times. Upon Leland's hiring, he changed the name to the Cadillac Automobile Co.
His passion for precision was later demonstrated when he built three Cadillacs of different colors, disassembled them, mixed their parts together, and rebuilt them into kaleidoscopic -- and operable -- automobiles. This demonstration led to the precise standardization of parts, which all auto companies soon employed, and which laid the groundwork for the moving assembly line.
Cadillac was purchased by General Motors Corporation in 1909. In 1917, Leland left the company following a dispute with GM President Durant and immediately formed the Lincoln Motor Company. Ford Motor Company purchased Lincoln in 1922. Within months, the ties to Ford were also severed.
The founder of Cadillac and Lincoln automobiles now found himself finally retired at the age of 79, frustrated and disappointed at losing the two companies of his making.
Nonetheless, had it not been for the work of Henry Leland, Detroit may never have become the motor capital.
Henry Martyn Leland, leading proponent of interchangeable parts and the founder of both Cadillac and Lincoln, was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1969.
The Automotive Hall of Fame awarded its coveted 2010 Distinguished Service Citations on January 15 to five industry executives and recognized Alan Mulally as its 2009 Industry Leader of the Year.
As the Automotive Hall of Fame's oldest recognition, initiated in 1940, the Distinguished Service Citation recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the motor vehicle industry and to their respective organizations. The 2010 Distinguished Service Citation recipients are: John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America; Timothy M. Manganello, Chairman and CEO of BorgWarner Inc.; Rodney O'Neal, CEO and President of Delphi Corporation; Jack Roush, Chairman of the Board of Roush Enterprises, Inc.; and Mary Ann Wright, Vice President and Managing Director of Johnson Controls' Business Accelerator for Advanced Energy Storage Solutions. In the 70 year history of the award, just 431 industry executives have received Distinguished Service Citations.
Alan Mulally, the Automotive Hall of Fame's 2009 Industry Leader, is President and CEO of Ford Motor Company. The Industry Leader of the Year award, established in 1982, recognizes just one individual in the industry who has demonstrated outstanding business leadership in the previous year.
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