There was nothing like it in the world before and there really has been nothing like it in the world since. Ford’s River Rouge plant stands as an industrial accomplishment so far beyond comprehension it seems impossible. This was the place where iron ore famously went in on one end and finished cars came out the other. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s literally the facts and this video is proof positive of it.
Made in the 1960s it is called “Steel on the Rouge” and it shows the steel making part of the plant. Not the whole making of a car, nope, the steel making operation from the arrival of a great ore ship to the smelting and forming of the eventual steel that is made through the fiery, hellish processes in the foundry.
This plant at times looks like the most impressive accomplishment humanity has achieved and at times it looks like an industrial dystopia. The fact that Henry Ford envisioned this whole thing and then saw it through to completion is beyond anything we can even consider. The levels of brilliance needed to combine every industrial operation used to build a car and then to coordinate them, lay them out right, and actually get them working? C’amon. How is this possible?!
The Rouge plant was so bad ass that it did not just make steel and parts for the cars made at the specific plant, they would supply other plants and places with steel, parts, and whatever else they needed. It’s just another layer of the story of a place that many in the industrial world consider to be the greatest plant of any type ever built. Amazing.