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Henry M. Leland

From Academic Kids

Henry M. Leland (16 February, 1843-26 March, 1932) was a machinist, inventor, engineer and automotive entrepreneur.

He was involved in manufacturing as early as 1870 as a principle in the machine shop Leland & Faulconer, and later was the supplier of engines to Ransom E. Olds's company Oldsmobile.

He offered an engine to the directors of the Henry Ford Company when Henry Ford left in 1902. The directors were impressed and decided to build a car with this motor, and the company was recreated as Cadillac.

At Cadillac, Leland pioneered many modern manufacturing processes, including the use of interchangeable, replaceable parts that could be manufactured by machine shops. This apparently independent extension of a principle credited to Eli Whitney allowed automobiles to be repaired by independent garages and owners.

Leland sold Cadillac to General Motors in 1908 for $4.5 million but remained as an executive until 1917. He left in dispute over the company's involvement in the war effort and formed the Lincoln Motor Company to build Liberty aircraft engines. After the war, the company's factories were retooled to manufacture luxury automobiles.

In 1922 Lincoln became insolvent and was bought out by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company. The Lincoln brand continues to be Ford's flagship luxury line today.


External link

Short biography page by a relative (http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfbhl/wiu/henry.htm)
Detroit News retrospective (http://info.detnews.com/history/story/index.cfm?id=152&category=people)
Olds history with a bit on Leland (http://info.detnews.com/history/story/index.cfm?id=176&category=business)
Historical article (http://hnn.us/articles/1646.html)
Another.. (http://www.allautoreviews.com/auto_reviews/incoln/)
Vermont historical marker (http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/HistoricSites/html/markers.html)
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