It all began more than 80 years ago. In 1927, Henry Ford, the richest man in the world, needed rubber to make tires, hoses and other parts for his cars. then the car magnate decided to grow his own. Fordland was the prefabricated town at the heart of a rubber plantation deep in Brazil‘s Amazonian hinterland – an area of some 2.5 million acres, on the banks of the Tapajós River, a tributary of the Amazon about 600 miles from the Atlantic. It took Ford’s agents approximately 18 hours to reach the place by riverboat from the nearest town. “what the Americans and their Brazilian collaborators couldn’t do was overcome South American Leaf Blight, which started attacking the trees as soon as they matured. An infestation of very hungry caterpillars only added to the challenge. During its best years, Fordlandia’s three million rubber trees produced 750 tons of latex; but every year the Ford Motor Co. consumed more than 50 million tons”, says ” The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City”, by Greg Grandin, one of the many books on Henry Ford´s failed experience in the Brazilian Amazon Forest .
Fordland: the Amazon dream that never came through