You might blame Henry Ford and his hugely popular T-model for sparking our insatiable passion for cars and the environmental degradation it has brought, but did you know that Ford once tried to build a biodegradable car?
Henry Ford was born in a farm and spent his childhood working on his father’s farm. Although he despised farm work as a child, in the middle ages he became fascinated with the notion of merging farming with industry. Ford had a long-standing interest in plastics developed from agricultural products, particularly soybeans. He cultivated a relationship with American agricultural scientist George Washington Carver and built a soybean laboratory in Greenfield Village, where he experimented with soy-based oils and plastics, which he began to use in his vehicles such as in gear shift knobs. But Ford had bigger dreams; he wanted to build a car almost entirely out of plastic. The result is the so-called “soybean car” which Ford debuted in 1941.
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The Soybean Car