Henry Ford vs. Walt Disney

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Difference between Henry Ford and Walt Disney

Comparisons between Henry Ford and Walt Disney aren't often made, especially since the two historical figures seemingly belong to entirely different fields. Nevertheless, both are pioneering figures in their own respective areas, and they actually have significant parallels in the controversies that have hounded them at various points in their lives. In this comparison article, we take a look at these controversies as well as the most notable accomplishments of these two remarkable figures.

Profile

Henry Ford was an American industrialist born on July 30, 1863, who was most notable for being the founder of Ford Motor Company. He was also a key figure in the development of the assembly line technique of production. Ford died on April 7, 1947.

Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901, and achieved renown as a film producer and director. In addition to those roles Disney was also a noted screenwriter, animator, entrepreneur, and even a voice actor for cartoon characters including Mickey Mouse.

Accomplishments

Among Ford’s most notable accomplishments was the introduction of the Model T automobile, which represented a turning point in the transportation industry in the United States and worldwide. Ford was also a key figure in the development of mass production techniques that resulted in inexpensive products, and introduced the concept of higher wages for workers, a business model that later came to be known as "Fordism". This was in fact instrumental in making Ford one of the richest and most famous people in the world. According to his global vision, consumerism was one of the key factors in promoting peace, and his efforts to lower production costs brought forth numerous innovations in business and industry.

Disney for his part achieved a considerable degree of fame for his work in the field of entertainment in the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy, Disney founded Walt Disney Productions, which to this day is one of the most recognizable motion picture outfits in the world. In addition to his work as a film producer, Disney was also a key figure in the early years of animation and even the theme park industry. Many of the characters that Disney conceptualized along with his staff remain popular to this day. 

Controversy

While many recognized Ford’s significant contributions in the automotive industry, he was also known to be a supporter of anti-Semitist causes, particularly in the 1920s. In fact, accusations of anti-Semitism continued to haunt him throughout much of his life. Ford was also instrumental in promoting the use of oil based fuel in his automobiles in opposition to a movement proposing that vegetable oil (for diesel engines) would be a more practical and less polluting source of fuel.

Walt Disney was also the target of anti-Semitism accusations, and to this very day, he is still seen in the same light by many people. That being said, there is actually no hard evidence to support these rumors, which was largely due to his association with an anti-Communist and anti-Semitic organization called the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals in the 1940s. Although Disney later sought to distance himself from the organization, rumors about his leanings persisted even after his death.

Similarities and Differences

Henry Ford

  • An American industrialist who as a key figure in the development of the assembly line technique of production
  • Promoted consumerism as a solution for peace
  • Accused of anti-Semitism in the 1920s

Walt Disney

  • A film producer and director who was also a noted screenwriter, animator, entrepreneur
  • Many of his characters remain popular to this day
  • Was also the target of anti-Semitism accusations

 
 

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