Thank you for contacting us about BBC Bitesize.

I understand you had concerns about inaccurate information within the article titled ‘Who invented the weekend?’

Please accept our apologies for delay in response. We were making sure to raise this with the writer of the piece directly, who has responded as follows:

‘After investigating the story further we have revised the copy to read: ‘Henry Ford, the legendary car maker, made Saturday and Sunday days off for his staff as early as 1926 and he was also keen to set down a 40-hour working week. An altruistic move in part, it also gave his workers the opportunity to spend their down time buying consumer products, keeping cash circulating through the economy.’’

We hope this goes some way in quelling your concerns.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to raise this with us.

Hollie Bann

BBC Complaints

Nom it doesn’t quell my concern. But not going through that shite again.

13 thoughts on “Idiots”

  1. “it also gave his workers the opportunity to spend their down time buying consumer products, keeping cash circulating through the economy.”

    That’s about on a par with the dim-witted belief that he chose to pay them well so that they could afford to buy his cars.

  2. WKPD: ‘The present-day concept of the “weekend” first arose in the industrial north of Britain in the early part of the nineteenth century.’

    Not holy writ, of course, but it might give even a Beeboid pause, you’d have thought.

  3. In 1910, John Hudson Elder-Duncan brought out a book with the title “Country Cottages and Week-end Homes”. This surely suggests that the idea of the week-end was already well-established by then. Still Auntie always knows best

  4. it also gave his workers the opportunity to spend their down time buying consumer products, keeping cash circulating through the economy.

    Why this should be a concern for Ford, let alone a driver of his behaviour, is a complete mystery.

  5. It sounds to me, Ford worked out the productive optimum for a shift on a car production line was 8 hours. I’d be interested to know what happened at Ford plants, Saturdays. Work free Sundays is customary for religious reasons, if nothing else. But id your stopping the line, there’s a whole lot of maintenance/repair you can’t do with the line running. And you don’t want to be paying production workers while you do it.
    If there were the benefits claimed, you’d see the Ford working pattern universally adopted. It hasn’t been. There’s lots of people today work 6 day weeks. Didn’t Ford Dagenham work on a rotating 7 day 3 shift 4 crew system for years?

  6. It’s an improvement in that they’ve replaced something incorrect and ridiculously fallacious – that giving workers weekends meant they would buy more Ford cars and hence Ford would benefit overall – with something incorrect (Ford wouldn’t have cared about the fact that “the money was kept circulating around the economy” so this is clearly not the “non-altruistic” component of his motivation) and merely a non-sequitur.

    It might help if they listed the actual reason he did it, of course, so there’s room for improvement. The proposed “correction” looks like they still wanted to keep the basic gist of the original writer’s point, even though it was clearly nonsense.

  7. My understanding was that Ford increased wages because staff retention was very bad and, as a consequence, much time and energy was being wasted in training newbies to do the job. Paying better meant that workers stayed on and saved the company money.

    Ford increased car ownership by making cars cheaper and therefore making them affordable to a larger number of people. Presumably there would come a point where the income of a Ford factory worker became sufficient to buy a car and it was at least possible that he would buy a Ford. This would benefit the Ford company to a small degree so that argument does make a small degree of sense.

  8. “They needed Satuday off to spend their wages”

    How did people manage to spend their wages to buy eg food prior to Mr Ford’s “alturism”

    Absolutely not an “An altruistic move in part” in any way

    BBC glorifying Mr Ford and his CO2 spewing cars – very strange


    Please do so and keep us updated



  9. When I first started work in 1954,the 5 day week had not long been introduced.The hours of work had also been reduced to 44 instead of 48. I can’t remember when the 40 hour week became common.

  10. When I started in the Merchant Navy in 1967 the normal working week was a minimum of 56 hours, perhaps up to 84 hours or even more depending on how many ports were visited in a week. With the fairly recent introduction of mandatory “Hours of Rest” (a minimum of 77 hours of rest in a 7 day period being legally required) a working week of 91 hours is now possibly the norm. The Hours of Rest regulations were brought in to make sure that no-one is fatigued!!

  11. which was exactly the point.
    Painful bureaucracy is a far more effective way of dealing with dissent than truncheons and pepper spray

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