Women Welders at the Lincoln Motor Company, circa 1918.

Women Welders at the Lincoln Motor Company, circa 1918.

By Martha Maglone:

Ninety-nine years ago, in Dearborn, Michigan, engineer Henry M. Leland and his son Wilfred established a car production company and called it Lincoln, paying homage to the former US President.

The company produced its first automobile in 1917, the luxurious V8-powered Lincoln Model L. But as the United States was still engaged in World War I, its principal source of income relied upon military contracts, notably the assembly of Liberty V12 aircraft engines.

WomenWelders@LincolnMtrCo1918

Alas, during the 1920s Lincoln found itself on its beam ends. Severe financial burdens had forced it into bankruptcy. This misfortune proved to be both glorious retribution and opportunity for Henry Ford, who purchased the company in early 1922. Retribution because Leland had earlier driven Ford out of his second company; opportunity because Henry harbored a desired to have his own luxury car company.

Lincoln with its reputation for the production of fine vehicles and limousines has remained a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company since.

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