Durant-Dort Carriage Company
The industrial adventurers and entrepreneurs who launched Michigan’s automobile industry came from various backgrounds. Some of them began as carriage makers, like William C. Durant who would go on to found General Motors in 1908. The earliest automobiles, like their horse-drawn predecessors, were constructed largely from wood and were built individually until the assembly line evolved to accelerate production and incorporate standardized, mass-produced parts. As automobile manufacturing progressed, the role of the worker changed from traditional craftsman to skilled assembly line specialist. This series of historical photographs traces the evolution of Michigan automobile factories from 1900 until 1961.