Henry Ford was an American industrialist who founded the Ford Motor Company in the early 20th century.
In The Big Good-Bye, according to Detective Jim Tierney, the criminals were one step ahead of the police when it came to technology. In his opinion, when Ford was hardly out of short pants, instead of riding horses, the criminals were driving about in automobiles. (TNG: "The Big Goodbye")
The pages seen in the episode were actually from the detective novel,
The Listening Man, by author John A. Moroso. This novel was published in 1924. Information on Henry Ford was from page 111.