Little Bits of History

Model T

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 12, 2011

1908 Ford Model T ad from Oct. 1, 1908 Life magazine

August 12, 1908: The first production Model T Ford is produced. The car was also called by other names: Tin Lizzie, Flivver, T-Model Ford, and T. With the production of this inexpensive car, automobiles became popular in the US. Suddenly, these horseless carriages were affordable for middle class Americans and they purchased them in droves. The first Model T left the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan on September 27, 1908.

There were many other cars produced by Henry Ford as prototypes between 1902 and 1908. The Ford Motor Company began with the Model A car but did not have 19 production models between that car and this. The car just before the Model T was, however, Model S which itself was an improvement over the Model N. Between A and T there were 19 different cars, but some never went into production and were merely prototypes. The Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century.

The car was designed by Childe Harold Wills along with Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas. The rest of the design team included Henry Love, C.J. Smith, Gus Degner, and Peter E. Martin. Production began in 1908 but the model years are from 1909 to 1927. There were 15 million cars produced. The top speed of this early car was 40-45 mph drawn from a 177-cubic-inch engine. This four-cylinder en bloc engine could get 13-21 miles per gallon and could run on gasoline, kerosene, or ethanol stored in a ten gallon fuel tank.

By 1918, half the cars in the US were Ford’s Model T. Between 1908 and 1914 they came in a variety of colors, none of them black. Early Ts were painted grey, green, blue, or red. After 1914, they were only painted black, a durable and cheap color for the cars. Over the years, more than 30 different types of black paint were used. Henry Ford was present on May 26, 1927 when the 15 millionth car rolled off the assembly line at the Highland Park factory. The Flivver had been the first mass produced automobile built on an assembly line using completely interchangeable parts and marketed to the middle class. It revolutionized car manufacturing.

“A bore is a person who opens his mouth and puts his feats in it.”

“An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.”

“Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty.”

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – all from Henry Ford

Also on this day:
NAFTA – In 1992, NAFTA negotiations conclude.
Personal Computer – In 1981, IBM released a new personal computer.

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Model T & A

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 27, 2011

1908 Ford Model T ad from Oct. 1, 1908 Life magazine

May 27, 1927: Ford Motor Company begins retooling plants. The Ford Model T began production in 1908. The car was also called the Tin Lizzie, Flivver, or simply T. The car’s popularity was such that it’s availability marks the general popularity of the automobile in general. It was the first affordable automobile and opened up travel to middle America and in years to come, the world. The assembly line production reduced costs and workers were paid a wage large enough to be able to afford to buy a car. This produced a ready market for the commodity. The first car was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908.

The Model T was not the first car Henry Ford produced. The company began in 1903 and he built a prototype Model A. There were not models built for every letter although the car just prior to the Model T was the Model S, the car the S replaced was the Model N. The Model T was designed by Childe Harold Wills along with Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas and team of other engineers. Within ten years, half the cars in America were Ford’s Tin Lizzie. Most of them were black. The color was durable and lasted well. Thirty different black paints were used, however from 1908 to 1914 and again in 1926 and 1927, other colors (red, blue, green, and gray) were available.

The car got 25 miles to the gallon and had a 20-horsepower engine running a two speed transmission and could reach 45 mph. Vanadium steel gave the car both durability and a lighter weight. In 1914, Ford put out 308,162 cars, more than all the other car makers combined. More than 15 million of the cars were made before production ceased on May 26, 1927. The next day, the retooling began for Ford’s new Model. Again, not quite following the alphabet, the next Model offered to the general public was the Model A.

The first A car rolled off the assembly line on October 20, 1927 but didn’t go on sale until December 2. It was called a 1927 model and came in four different colors, none of them black. Production of the Model A ended in March 1932 after nearly 5 million were made. The 40-horsepower engine got between 25 and 30 miles to the gallon and had a top speed of 65 mph. The wheelbase was slightly wider than the T and it had a 3 speed transmission with a 1 speed reverse. The Model A also came in a variety of styles – 25 of them. After retiring in 1932, it was replaced by the Model B.

“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”

“A bore is a person who opens his mouth and puts his feats in it.”

“An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.”

“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” – all from Henry Ford

Also on this day:
No More Burnt Toast – In 1919 a toaster with a timer is patented.
St. Pete – In 1703, St. Petersburg, Russia was founded.