AUTOS: Farewell to Soybeans

In 1929, Henry Ford I discovered the soybean. Soon he was passionately convinced that it would work brave new industrial miracles. Before long, dumfounded visitors at Ford's drank soybean milk, ate soybean butter spread on soybean bread, came away convinced that old Henry would soon be turning out a soybean auto.

He pretty nearly did. He made soybean gearshift nobs, horn buttons, accelerator pedals—and even experimental bodies. But if soybean plastics were strong, they were also expensive; cheaper plastics were just as good or better. So last week young Henry Ford II pruned...

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