Henry’s Big Screw Job: Here’s How Henry Ford and the Dodge Brothers Made Untold Millions While Hating Each Other’s Guts

Henry’s Big Screw Job: Here’s How Henry Ford and the Dodge Brothers Made Untold Millions While Hating Each Other’s Guts

The story of how John and Horace Dodge helped get Henry Ford into business, made millions off of him, and then used his own profits to fund a competing car company is one of the most awesome in the history of the automobile. A very healthy business relationship devolved into an epic battle of ultra-wealthy guys trying to out maneuver each other in the courts and with money.

There are clear winners and losers in this one and the fact that all of them, even the short-lived Dodge Brothers became wealthy beyond their wildest dreams is icing on the cake. This is the story of how business was done 100 years ago and how even then, one man could not load an entire industrial colossus on his back and ignore his investors…even if those investors were using their own dividends to fund a company in the same business as they one they were profiting from.

The capitalists and industrialists of the early 20th century were not the nicest guys in the world but the were smart, tough, and in so many ways fearless. Here’s the story of the the Dodge Brothers and Henry Ford went to war on a battlefield paved in gold.

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6 thoughts on “Henry’s Big Screw Job: Here’s How Henry Ford and the Dodge Brothers Made Untold Millions While Hating Each Other’s Guts

  1. Gary

    “Not the nicest guys” doesn’t quite fit an acurate historical perspective. There weren’t any “safety nets” back then. You want to eat? Grow your food or shoot it. Don’t have rent money? Live in the woods. These guys looked after number one, and I think it was great. I know Henry Ford was a charitable and compassionate man, and he was that way because he knew in the end, it would benefit himself, as well as everybody else. That’s the way it should be. It’s unfortunate that the company he hired to stop the unionization got excessively violent. Had they not, Ford may have kept the union out of his company. Ford employees actually lost wages and benefits when they brought the unions in.

  2. stitchdup

    henry ford was also an anti semite, and tried to support germany during ww2. he may have been a good employer in the beginning but in business he wasn’t such a good person. when the dodge brothers wanted to leave he devalued his company. He wasn’t all bad, he was a strong supporter of racial equality and i believe one of the first to hire black people in skilled manual labour jobs a good 15-20 years before other similar sized companies. I guess he was a very complex man.

  3. old guy

    Fords black hires were traditionally in the foundry end of River Rouge nice work if you can get it ….
    white boy would not have lasted a week

    1. Curtis

      I have a white friend who worked in the hottest part of a foundry and started the same day as a black college football player. Football player didn’t last a full day. Its not about race anyway, its about what you have inside of you. Race is nothing more than the pigment of your skin, thats it. It has no bearing on how tough we are, how honest or smart we are, its simply the color of our skin. Its a tragedy that so many today are fooled into thinking about race the way they do.

  4. john

    The Dodge bros. would supply buckets of cold beer to their foundry workers during hot weather. Take that OHSA.

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