Deep in the Brazilian rain forest lie the ruins of Henry Ford’s failed utopia.
When I hear “Henry Ford,” I think of the Model T, the brisk efficiency of the assembly line, and the $5 day. Practical man, right? Not completely. Henry Ford also bought a plot of Brazilian land the size of Connecticut and tried to create an American-style factory town that was more perfect than actual American factory towns.
Even industrial success stories like the River Rouge factory town had their pesky problems in Henry Ford’s eyes — the threat of unions and afterwork alcoholic beverages, for example. Plus, Ford thought he was paying way too much for the rubber in his tires, so he had the bright idea to grow his own.
Motel T: Great idea. Fordlandia: Ehhhhh … (more…)