Fordlandia: Ford's Failure In The Amazon

Fordlandia: Ford's Failure In The Amazon

Ford imagined Fordlândia as a way for his company to produce all of its own natural rubber. In 1927, he began the project in the Brazilian Amazon. He had factories, homes, a hospital, and even a school installed in the jungle, envisioning a town where employees could both work and live. But the indigenous workers often protested Ford's ideology, which included enforcing his own diet plan. Ford also didn't know how to cultivate rubber trees without also supporting pests and disease. Ford was forced to shut down the project in 1945. He never visited Fordlândia himself, and no latex from the town was ever incorporated into a Ford car.

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Henry Ford had midwestern-style houses and streets built in his Amazon factory town of Fordlândia. (0:24)

  • 2

    Fordlândia failed in part because disease plagued the trees and the workers were often sick. (1:03)

  • 3

    Today, colonies of bats roost in the ruins of Fordlândia. (1:42)

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