Childe Harold Wills – Henry Ford’s Early Right Hand Man

Harold Wills, often known as Childe Harold Wills, was not only a metallurgist but also served as the chief engineer during his tenure with Henry Ford. His meticulous nature earned him a reputation as a perfectionist in his craft. One of his most significant contributions was the invention of Vanadium steel, renowned for its exceptional strength and durability. Additionally, Wills pioneered molybdenum steel alloys, further enhancing the quality of automotive components.

Under Wills’ guidance, Ford adopted Vanadium steel and molybdenum steel alloys in the production of every model, solidifying their position as leaders in automobile manufacturing. These innovative materials became synonymous with Ford’s commitment to quality and reliability, setting a new standard for the industry.

In addition to his metallurgical advancements, Wills left an indelible mark on Ford’s legacy through his design prowess. He was the mastermind behind the iconic Ford logo, a symbol that continues to adorn all Ford vehicles to this day. Like his Vanadium steel, Wills’ design has stood the test of time, remaining a cornerstone of the Ford brand.

By 1919, Wills had accomplished much within the Ford Motor Company, playing a vital role in establishing its reputation for producing world-class automobiles. However, driven by his entrepreneurial spirit and desire for creative autonomy, Wills made the bold decision to part ways with Ford. This departure marked the beginning of his journey to pursue his vision of designing and manufacturing his own automobile.

Wills’ departure from Ford signaled the end of an era but also heralded the dawn of a new chapter in automotive history. His expertise and innovative spirit laid the foundation for future advancements in the industry. As he ventured forth to establish his own automobile company, Wills carried with him a legacy of excellence and innovation that would continue to shape the automotive landscape for generations to come.

Wills Sainte Claire Automobile Museum

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