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Monday, May 24, 2010

Thank you, Henry Ford, for another fine product.

Charcoal_bagHenry Ford didn't waste anything. Wood and sawdust byproducts from automobile fabrication were used to make charcoal.

While he didn't invent the charcoal briquette (Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer did, in 1897), he did found the Ford Charcoal company, which later became the Kingsford Company.

When E.G. Kingsford, a relative of Ford's, brokered the site selection for Ford's new charcoal manufacturing plant, Ford Charcoal was renamed to Kingsford, in his honor.

Creative thinking and frugality turned a waste disposal problem into a money making opportunity, leading to the founding of a company that today manufactures about 80% of the charcoal briquettes sold in the US, and recycling about 1 million tons of wood scraps, each year.

Thanks to Henry Ford being such a frugal guy, and a smart one at that, Americans have come to enjoy the ritual tradition of going outside on a beautiful summer day and cooking our food there, with a smoky barbeque, rather than in our kitchens and heating up the whole house.