The assembly line is often credited to Henry Ford and the first Model T. While there were some great advances in the moving assembly line, the history of the division of labor go back centuries. An assembly line has multiple workers performing the same task, in order, to produce a result. In early days, a single craftsman would build an object or perform end to end work. Division of labor dictates that each worker does the same task, over and over, in conjunction with others, to produce an output. Think of early settlers chopping wood. Rather than two people chopping up a log, putting down the axe, picking up the pieces and walking over to stack them, one person chops and one person stacks. Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, talks about division of labor.
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