In his youth, Henry knew how to help his parents with the farm chores.
However, instead of establishing himself in the agriculture, Henry became more inclined into mechanics, machinery, understanding how things worked and what new possibilities lay in store. As a young boy, he took apart everything he got his hands on. He quickly became known around the neighborhood for fixing people's watches ("Henry Ford"). Although he was deprived of formal education, Henry knows a lot about machinery and he knows how to make small machineries work.
At fifteen, he was able to build his own steam engine and at sixteen years old, young Henry left Dearborn and went to the town's nearby city. In Detroit, he worked as an apprentice machinist. For three years, he remained in the same company working as an apprentice although there are times when he goes back to his hometown and helps his parents with the farm. Being responsible both to his job as well as to his family, he makes time to go home and repairing and overhauling his father's farm equipments at the same time working in Detroit.
When Henry became an engineer at Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit in 1891, he strongly dedicated himself to the industrial business and production. His pursuits were geared towards the further development of the industry that would benefit not only the rich but those who belonged to the middle class. His promotion to Chief Engineer in 1893 gave him enough time and money to devote attention to his personal experiments on internal combustion engines ("The Life").
He had several experiments involving combustion engines, yet it had concluded when he was able to make his own self-propelled vehicle in 1896 - the Quadricycle ("The Life"). It was the first "horseless carriage" that he actually built. It had four wire wheels that looked like heavy bicycle wheels, was steered with a tiller like a boat, and had only two forward speeds with no reverse. It may have been way too far from the vehicles that the modern society now has as well as from the cars that he himself had produced later, yet it was the most significant and the most meaningful accomplishment that Henry had had in the past. It was with this vehicle when the Ford business came to reality. It was only with the creation of the Quadricycle when Henry's experiments became real. With the Quadricycle, his theories no longer remained as is - like the gas engine he built on his kitchen table in the 1890's, which was just an engine with nothing to power. The Quadricycle showed enough popularity and potential that it launched the beginning of Ford's business ventures ("Henry Ford").
Although Ford was not the first to build a self-propelled vehicle with a gasoline engine, he was, however, one of several automotive pioneers who helped this country become a nation of motorists ("The Life").
In 1899 Ford left Edison to help run the Detroit Automobile Company. Cars were still built essentially one at a time. On the other hand, Henry hoped to incorporate the ideas from other industries in order to create a more efficient vehicle. He wanted to mix together the various characteristics from other industries such as the standardized parts as Eli Whitney had used with gun manufacturing or assembly line methods George Eastman tried in photo processing. Yet, instead of encouragement, Henry was left with many criticisms about how absurd and foolish his ideas may be. As such, he quit Detroit