1959: Ford Motor Company Announced It Was Halting Production Of The Unpopular Edsel

By Karen Harris
The 1956 Ford Edsel is displayed at The Museum of Failure in Los Angeles. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

In 1957, the Ford Motor Company unveiled its Edsel after 10 years and millions of dollars of research and planning, but instead of being the company's next big-selling model, it flopped like a fish. On November 19, 1959, Ford admitted failure and halted production of the unpopular Edsel.

The Ford Edsel

In 1919, Henry Ford's 26-year-old son, Edsel, became president of the Ford Motor Company. Although he introduced several important innovations to the company's products during his 24-year reign, including seat belts and hydraulic brakes, his tenure—as well as his life—was tragically cut short by stomach cancer in 1943 at the age of only 49. Henry Ford returned as president and immediately directed his research and development team to design a new series of models to be named in his son's honor. It took the Ford Motor Company almost a decade and roughly $250 million to roll the first Edsel off the assembly line in 1957.