06 Selling an Invention
Noticed a large amount of money being wasted on wood used in the manufacturing process of his model A cars.
Looking for a way to use wood profitability, he hit upon the idea of making charcoal briquettes from scrap.
The original inventor of the process for making charcoal briquettes was actually Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer, whose business ultimately failed. Ford capitalized on this opportunity.
Kingsford charcoal briquettes were born
The process of making them was easy and cheap and he could sell them to steel mills and anyone else interested in using them.
More than 1 million tons of wood scraps are converted into quality charcoal briquettes each year.
Making charcoal from scrap led to an environmentally-conscious way of repurposing waste, whether it’s converting wood waste into useful fuels, reusing combustion gases to generate heat for use in production water or containing process water to be reused for the next batch of charcoal.
Technically, Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer of Pennsylvania invented charcoal briquettes and patented the design in 1897. And after World War I, the Zwoyer Fuel Company built charcoal briquette manufacturing plants in the New York and Massachusetts.
Prior to Henry Ford’s revolutionizing the manufacturing of charcoal briquettes, the method of charcoal production generated a large amount of smoke, it was a very long process and at the time, not a very clean one.