By-Product Discovery: Rework & Kingsford…

While reading a book called “Rework” by by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, I made a fascinating discovery.  In the Progress section, the essay titled “Sell your by-products,” pointed to something that one might classify as either a “fast fact” or a “bet you didn’t know.”

Henry (Model T) Ford was mentioned as an example of someone who came up with a by-product which actually ended up getting a life of its own.  You are probably familiar with Kingsford Charcoal.  What you probably don’t know is that in the 1920s, Mr. Ford learned of a process for turning wood scraps from the production of his cars into charcoal briquets.

Rework Discovery.

Rework Discovery.

So my initial thought was that Mr. Ford was being honored with his name being part of the company name, Kingsford.

Kingsford website.

Kingsford website.

A quick look-up on the Kingsford website set me straight.

Apparently Mr. Ford had a relative named E.G. Kingsford who brokered the site selection for a new charcoal manufacturing plant that Mr. Ford wanted built.  The company producing the briquets was originally called Ford Charcoal, it was renamed Kingsford® Charcoal to honor Mr. Ford’s relative.

Now that’s an interesting little story for sure which triggered some additional online detective work.  I found out that Mr. Ford was a busy man and quite the inventor.  No wonder he got along so well with a member of our Jedemi gang– Tommie — who Mr. Ford considered a friend and hero.

Stay curious my friends!


Here are some more fun links:

Clorox connects Treasures from the Archive

Car camping trip (Edison & Ford)

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