Monopoly on Wheels
Henry Ford and the Selden Automobile Patent
In this classic study of the Selden patent case, author William Greenleaf argues that Ford's defiance of the patent was considered heroic and that his victory in court after a contentious eight-year trade war was historic. Based on Greenleaf's extensive research in the Ford corporate archives, Monopoly on Wheels shows that the real issue at stake in the Selden patent case was the democratization of the automobile as a mass-produced, low-priced commodity as opposed to its former status as the exclusive property of the wealthy elite. Greenleaf shows that the suit was a foundation stone, along with the Model T, mass production methods, and the five-dollar day, upon which Ford's reputation as a rugged individualist was built. Greenleaf also investigates implications that the legal battle had beyond the auto industry for inventions, patents, and technological progress in general.
Monopoly on Wheels vividly illustrates how the Selden patent battle became a landmark in the social and technological revolution of the early twentieth century. On the one-hundredth anniversary of the Selden patent case and fifty years after it was first published, this volume will be a welcome addition to any auto historian's library. This reprinted edition also includes a new introduction by David L. Lewis.
About the Authors
"Kudos to Wayne State University Press for reprinting William Greenleaf's definitive book on the Selden patent suit, which a century ago liberated the auto industry and became a foundation stone upon which Henry Ford's folk heroism was built. Ford later said (and James Couzens, the company's secretary, and Hawkins agreed) that no one factor publicized the company and its products as effectively as the Selden suit."—David L. Lewis, from the Introduction
"Fortunately, Wayne State University Press has now stepped in and reissued Greenleaf's book as an inexpensive paperback (it has done the same for other unobtainable works, including Charles Sorensen's My Forty Years with Ford). Accessible, intelligent, and rich in detail-if occasionally unabashed in its praise for Mr. Ford-Monopoly on Wheels remains the definitive text on the Selden suit. Only now, you won't have to eat instant noodles for a year to afford a copy."—David N. Lucsko, Michigan Historical Review
Other Titles by David L. Lewis
Other Titles from Great Lakes Books
Other Titles in BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate & Business History