What did Ray Kroc, the driving force behind McDonalds, and Henry Ford have in common?

Both of them applied the concept of the Assembly Line in a new way.

Ray Kroc

An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added to a product in a sequential manner to create a finished product much faster than with handcrafting-type methods. The assembly line was first used in the U.S. by Eli Whitney, in 1797, to manufacture muskets that had interchangeable parts.

The hamburger, a ground beef patty between two slices of bread, was first created in America in 1900 by Louis Lassen, owner of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut. But it was Ray Kroc who first applied the assembly line to preparing hamburgers.

McDonalds was introduced in San Bernadino California by Dick and Mac McDonald in 1940. The concept was further grown into what it is today by their business partner Ray Kroc who bought out the brothers and formed the McDonalds corporation in 1955 with the assembly line production of hamburgers at the heart of his concept.

The first working steam-powered automobile was designed — and most likely built — by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. Henceforth, automobiles were hand-assembled by craftsmen.

Then, in 1907, Henry Ford revolutionalized automotive production by introducing the moving assembly line.

As with all inventions, what’s new is like something preceding it but different in some pre-existing way.

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