Ford Oral History Program

OnTheLineThousands of people have worked at Ford Motor Company assembly plants in Minnesota since it started operations in Minneapolis over a century ago. In 1998 the Minnesota Labor Interpretive Center retained Brian McMahon to conduct oral history interviews of retired autoworkers.

Working with UAW Local 879, approximately 25 people were interviewed over a two year period, resulting in over one thousand pages of transcribed notes. Since that time, several other people have been interviewed and other oral history accounts have been located. All told, there are over thirty-five, first-person accounts that provide an incredibly important historical look at the process of making cars. This process is ongoing and additional interviews are being conducted and information continues to be collected. Here are pictures of several of the people interviewed, many of whom have since passed away. These oral history notes are being edited and will be released as soon as possible. As an example, a summary of the interview of Jack Neitz, is available.