It is generally accepted that Henry Ford was the first to automate production along a line, dramatically increasing productivity and reducing costs as a result.
Not the case.
There were remarkable instances of mass production much earlier, the most interesting and perhaps least known is the Venetian Arsenal, in the 1300’s, as well as Guttenbergs printing presses, and Springfield rifle manufacturing in Virginia in the 1860’s. All are well documented, classic examples of production line techniques, specifically, one-piece flow, that emerged well before Henry arrived to take the credit.
Shows again, that there are very few genuinely new ideas, and there is much to be gained by understanding where we came from, as well as where we are going.