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Old 07-11-2007, 04:39 PM   #1
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Fordlandia

I don't know how many of you are big Henry Ford history buffs, but here is one where he far from succeeded.
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Fordlândia ("Ford-land") was a vast tract of land purchased by American automobile tycoon Henry Ford in the 1920s. Covering over 10,000 km² of land, it was situated near the city of Santarém, Brazil, and approximately 960 kilometres from the mouth of the Amazon River at Belém. At the time all rubber was naturally produced and imported from the tropics. Ford's intent was linked to his manufacturing mentality. Ford intended to secure rubber from source to final product, increasing his bottom line.

Ford intended to use Fordlândia to provide his company with a source of rubber for the tires on Ford cars, avoiding the dependence of British (Malayan) rubber. The land was hilly, rocky and infertile. None of Ford's managers had the requisite knowledge of tropical agriculture. The rubber trees, packed closely together in plantations, as opposed to being widely spaced in the jungle, were easy prey for tree blight and insects. The mostly indigenous workers on the plantations, given unfamiliar food such as hamburgers and forced to live in American style housing, disliked the way they were treated — they had to wear ID badges, and to work midday hours under the tropical sun — and would often refuse to work. In 1930, the native workers actually revolted against the managers, many of whom fled into the jungle for a few days until the Brazilian Army arrived and the revolt ended.

Ford forbade any drinking or even smoking cigarettes within the town, even inside the workers' own homes. A settlement was established five miles upstream on the "Island of Innocence" with bars, nightclubs, and brothels.

The government of Brazil was suspicious of any foreign investments, particularly in the northern Amazonia region, and offered little help. Ford tried again upstream, relocating to Belterra, where better weather conditions to grow rubber existed. But by 1945, synthetic rubber was developed, ending the world-wide demand for natural rubber. Ford's investment opportunity dried up overnight. As a result Fordlândia was a total disaster. In 1945, Henry Ford sold it for a loss of over US$20 million - the equivalent of approximately US$200 million in today's dollars.
from Fordlândia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I was actually watching a big thing on the history channel about this. Ford actually used engineers instead of botanists to grow the rubber. In nature, there is usually only 7 rubber trees per acre due to a leaf condition that occurs when two of the plants are too close and they end up killing each other(tree blight). When Ford's engineers tried to grow the trees for natural rubber, he put several hundred trees per acre. Needless to say, they all died.

Thought it was pretty interesting.
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:22 PM   #2
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Re: Fordlandia

thats interesting.
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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Re: Fordlandia

+1 interesting
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:00 AM   #4
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Re: Fordlandia

I've heard that before as well as the whole Ford controlled his employees lives (no drinking, smoking, adultery, curfew, and had to attend mass, etc.)
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:37 PM   #5
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Re: Fordlandia

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I've heard that before as well as the whole Ford controlled his employees lives (no drinking, smoking, adultery, curfew, and had to attend mass, etc.)
I had heard that but not about the rubber trees in Brazil.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:41 PM   #6
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Re: Fordlandia

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I've heard that before as well as the whole Ford controlled his employees lives (no drinking, smoking, adultery, curfew, and had to attend mass, etc.)
Yup he did the same **** to the people who worked for him down there in Brazil. They also tried to feed them Burgers and ****, and they didn't like American food in the least....
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:30 AM   #7
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Re: Fordlandia

Yeah I wouldn't think Native Brazilians would like burgers, or American ways.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:48 AM   #8
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Re: Fordlandia

wtf everyone likes burgers...
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:11 AM   #9
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Re: Fordlandia

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Old 07-13-2007, 08:40 AM   #10
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Re: Fordlandia

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