Economic Approaches in the Age of Industrialization (1870-1940)

Assignment 2: Economic Approaches in the Age of Industrialization (1870-1940)

Choice One:  Innovative Entrepreneurs—Walker and Ford

HIS 105: American History After 1865

For my topic, I picked was one: Innovative Entrepreneurs Walker and Ford. First, I want to talk about Madam C.J. Walker created and specialized hair products for African American hair care. During the 1890s, Sarah Breedlove, who changed her name later to Madame CJ Walker, formed a scalp disease that caused her to lose much of her hair, and she began to test both home remedies and store-bought hair care treatments to improve her condition. Madam C.J. Walker was born on December 23, 1867, which I did not know until now, her birthday is one day after mine! Madam C.J. Walker was born four years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and two years after the end of the Civil War. In 1878, Madam C.J. Walker invented a line of African American hair products. She promoted her products by traveling around the country; she gave lectures and demonstrations that landed Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to produce cosmetics and train sales beauticians. Madame CJ Walker had a great idea because African American women did not have that luxury of having their hair done and having the proper hair care.

Her business intelligence led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. She was also known for her humanitarian efforts, including a donation toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913. In1905, Walker became a commission agent by Annie Turnbo Malone, a growing, black, hair-care product entrepreneur. By this time, she moved to Colorado. Her husband, Charles, assisted her in creating advertisements for hair care treatment for African Americans that she was developing. Her husband also encouraged her to use a recognizable name, Madam C.J. Walker.

In 1907 Walker and her husband traveled around the South and Southeast, promoting her products, including her formula for pomade, brushing, and the use of heated combs. As profits proceeded to grow, in 1908, Walker opened a factory and a beauty school in Pittsburgh. The Madam C.J. Walker Company had grown uncontrollably successful, with profits that were the modern-day equivalent of several million dollars. In Indianapolis, the company created cosmetics and trained beauticians. The Agents were well known within the African American communities of the United States. Walker grew her empire by having organized clubs and conventions for her representatives, which increased successful sales. She was a teacher and humanitarian among African Americans.

Now the business endeavors of Henry Ford were phenomenal.  Started the twenty-centuries client’s story, Henry Ford instituted the assembly line technique to the world of automobile production. The method was so triumphant it allowed mass production on an exceptional system. But it is imperative to learn that Ford was not an inventor; he was an innovator. He did not create the automobile or the assembly line, but he did change how they were produced and utilized. He had the idea to take something that already existed, improve it, and re-sell it as something new. What helped Ford become so victorious was building his company as a director in what was then a corner market. Once he determined on his product, Henry Ford spent considerable time investigating his client’s goal and looking at affordability and acceptable interest in his first motor cars before building them.

Henry understood that by understanding his customers, he could save time and money by giving them a product that offered a solution to a problem they didn’t realize they had. As well as identifying your target market, it is also essential to keep in mind the significance of promotion and how you sell your services or product. When the Model T Ford introduced on October 1st, 1908, Ford set about creating a massive publicity campaign that would guarantee every available newspaper would want to carry stories and adverts about the new product. A mixture of smart marketing and a rapidly growing positive reputation meant that by 1918, half of all cars owned in America were Model T’s.

I feel that they both were innovators, but they went into two totally different directions when it came to being successful. Walker went and promoted her product and did conventions to show how well her products work, that’s how she made her money. And she only came across it because she had a hair disease. While Ford just took something that was already there and made it better and took a brand and made it better in looks, speed and overall what people wanted.


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