In 1928, Henry Ford founded a new settlement deep in the Amazon rain forest called Fordlandia, hoping to use the Brazilian site for a ready supply of tire rubber. Ford Motor Co. employees would work and live in this location, enjoy hamburgers and sit on front porches behind white picket fences. Ford’s wanted to create an Amazonian paradise based on the American lifestyle.
In Fordlandia, employees were not allowed to drink alcohol, use tobacco or engage with women. Workers felt out of place, out of sorts, and their discontent resulted in numerous riots. By 1945, synthetic rubber had been discovered and Ford’s dream and investment in the Amazon region was over -- without him ever even visiting the site.
Ford sold Fordlandia back to the Brazilian government for $250,000. But today, the town is still somewhat as it was. Large parts of it are occupied. Many homes that were built on the site remain. International Business Times reporter Christopher Harress sat down with IBTimes TV to discuss this unique place in the Amazon: a place in the jungle where you can see and feel the presence of the early automotive industry and one of its greatest leaders.