It seems only apt that we write about Fordlandia, the day after, what would have been Henry's 150th birthday, when you think of Ford you think of inspiration, the first auto production line and the Model T, the only car that you can have in any colour as long as its black.
However hardly anyone including myself has ever heard of the legacy of Henry Ford known as Fordlandia - A 6000 sq mile town fabricated in the Amazon rainforest in 1928, The Jungle Rubber Utopia of Henry Ford's Fordlandia, an Amazon rainforest town.
The initial idea for the town was to provide the car manufacturer with rubber for car tyres, without relying on Malayan Rubber, better known as British rubber. The vision was to live and prosper in Fordlandia, through simple morals, and no alcohol. The project steamed ahead with homes being built relatively fast, next running water, electricity even swimming pools, Ford believed leisure was a major part of the economy.
It was an interesting idea, and may have worked if the production of rubber elsewhere hadn't taken off, it would have also been more successful if the people running the show knew about cultivating rubber plants, soil quality and how to fend off predators of the plant, even moving the town wasn't enough. The final blow was with the invention of synthetic rubber making the whole town, surplus to requirement, the land was sold back, Fordlandia just wasn't to be. Today the location is peppered with disused building, of what used to be, Fordlandia: Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City.