The history of the Henry Ford Trade School, 1916 to 1952

The Henry Ford Trade School, which opened in 1916, was planned to give needy boys an opportunity to help support themselves and to learn a trade that would be useful in adult life, according to an article in the Detroit News.

“Ford believed that the American worker had lost the use of his hands and his trade school would teach the boys to use their hands as well as their heads, just as Henry Ford had taught himself to do,” the article said. “Ford, an ardent supporter of education, opened 54 other educational facilities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.”

In 1947 the Henry Ford Trade School revised its curriculum and was able to grant high school diplomas. As a result its training became more concentrated on teenage boys from age 14 to 18. The Henry Ford Trade School closed in 1952.  The Henry Ford Trade School merged with the Dearborn Junior College. This College was formerly the Fordson Junior College until 1946 when the Dearborn city schools merged. It was an outgrowth of Fordson High School and occupied a building on Michigan Avenue and Lois Street that also served as an elementary school.

The school graduated more than 8,000 tradesmen before it closed in 1952.

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