Business & Finance: Ford Wages & Profits

On Jan. 5, 1914 Henry Ford was just a successful manufacturer of a popular low-priced car. By the next morning he was the most-discussed man in the world. On that date Henry Ford announced a minimum wage for all employes of $5 per day.

Coming at a time when $2 was a good day's pay and mass production was yet unnamed, "the Ford idea" was a frontpage sensation, overshadowing Mexican war news and provoking violent controversy. The Detroit automaker was praised as an "inspired millionaire," accused of shrewd self-interest, damned as a dangerous Socialist....

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