If Edison and Ford were such big buddies, why did Henry use Tesla's theories and methods in the magneto in his Model T Ford? Will we be getting an answer to that question soon? And what did Tommy E. think of all that whole deal? huh?
I think the principal theory was demonstrated by Michael Faraday some 25 years before Tesla was even born. Tesla applied the theory and created the AC dynamo and motor. By the time Ford built his first car, Tesla had sold his rights to Westinghouse--Edison's principle competitor. I don't think Ford associated the theory with Tesla or Westinghouse. Ford just needed a way to create mobile electricity beyond the battery.
Long before the Ford came along, JP Morgan had stolen the patents from Westinghouse and Edison used them as he had become an employee of Morgan since he was screwed by Morgan also.
Awe, somebody else is watching the History Channel. Ken you woke me up. I remember my Electronics instructor in Trade School talking about Faraday and Tesla and the boys but it was gone until you told me again. It's been so many years and my age and dementia has cost me so much. And don't ask me what a farad is because I can't remember and I'm to lazy to look it up on the internet. Besides knowledge scares me sometimes. But hey I thought my question was valid.
I thought Spider Huff did most of the groundwork on the magneto system?
I have been watching "The Men Who Built America" too. Great information. Just getting into the Ford Era" on Sunday, Can't wait. Why didn't they teach this stuff in high school?????
By 1908 Edison was a tired, deaf, semi retired man whose business was failing because he did not listen to Tesla. Edison's power plants produced DC power which required a power plant no more than a mile from the end user. Simply stated, DC power is inferior to AC power for many uses.
Edison had no ignition system to offer Ford to use on the Model T. What Ford did use on the Model T - an AC alternator built into the flywheel - was revolutionary and unique to the Model T, making it the most reliable car of the era, and the most successful car of the century.
Had Ford used any of the other ignition choices available to him the Model T would not have been as successful or reliable.
"Had Ford used any of the other ignition choices available to him the Model T would not have been as successful or reliable."
That's opinion, not fact.
Edison was not a math major and he could not understand AC Theory.
Tesla came to this country to work with Edison, but he soon wrote him off as an idiot and went out on his own to sell AC electricity.
Ford use that magneto design because he could buy it cheap and it worked. He kind of conned Spider Huff out of it. The patent lawsuit went all the way to the supreme court, but Henry had better lawyers and Spider lost, primarily because he waited too many years to complain about the original sales agreement and payment plan.
Early on Spider had divorced his wife and he got Ford to write a letter saying he was paid in full for the design and patent, so he would not owe his wife so much alimony, etc.
Unfortunately Ford kept a copy of that letter, which was only meant to be a spoof and presented in court and made the original agreement of $1 per vehicle royalty null and void.
Thanks for the reminder, James.
In 1885, Tesla claimed that he could redesign Edison's inefficient motor and generators, making an improvement in both service and economy. According to Tesla, Edison remarked, "There's fifty thousand dollars in it for you—if you can do it"—this has been noted as an odd statement from an Edison whose company was stingy with pay and who did not have that sort of cash on hand. After months of work, Tesla fulfilled the task and inquired about payment. Edison, claiming that he was only joking, replied, "Tesla, you don't understand our American humor". Instead, Edison offered a US$10 a week raise over Tesla's US$18 per week salary; Tesla refused the offer and immediately resigned.
Henry Ford went to great lengths to avoid paying patent royalties. He was to pay $1 for every planetary transmission, but didn't. The heirs to the patent have been on here complaining about it.
The Model T is a collection of obsolete technology to avoid royalties (i.e. buzz coils) and infringed patented devices.
When they showed J.P. Morgan playing with a 1950s era Lionel electric train in Edison's lab, the show lost credibility. The train was something like 50 years in the future....
Actually the AC generator in the Model T Ford was a unique and new technology. Not until the 1950's did another car come with an alternator from the factory. Ford used it because it was the best solution to the problem of having an easy to start, reliable, and cheap to build car.
Ford bought off the shelf vibrator coils from established companies like Heinz, Jacobsen Brandow, and Kingston. He was purchasing patented units. When KW invented a superior patented coil assembly Ford paid royalties to KW for the rest of Model T production.
I don't see any basis for your statement that Ford was trying to avoid patent royalties? Ford used what was best, and paid royalties on the patented items he selected, or bought the patented items from the manufacturer who held the patents.
"When KW invented a superior patented coil assembly Ford paid royalties to KW for the rest of Model T production."
What evidence do you have of that?
What about Spider Huff and the planetary?
Current is generated by a wire moving in relation to a magnetic field. The magnetic field in magnetos is created by permanent magnets. Most magnetos have coils of wire moving in the field of fixed magnets. The simplest magnetos have brushes and slip rings, and generate AC, Alternating Current. Other magnetos (and DC generators) have brushes and commutators whose output is Direct Current.
The Huff magneto is different in that it rotates the magnets adjacent to fixed coils of wire. That eliminates the slip rings, leaving just a single flexible contact to the outside of the transmission. It's different, with a different set of compromises than the stand alone HT magneto, such as the Bosch or Eisemann. That doesn't make it better, or cheaper to build, or more reliable.
The extra support required for those heavy rotating magnets was a further compromise. Without the magnets and coils, the flywheel could have been much closer to the #3 main bearing, reducing strain on the crankshaft.
Here you go. If you had been a member of the MTFCA you would have read this years ago when it came in the mail Ralph.
If I recall correctly from pulling Model T engines, removing and replacing the flywheels, the rear of the block is offset forward of the third main bearing so that the flywheel bolts directly onto the flange. The flywheel is offset so that the transmission shaft is flush with the flywheel. Therefore the flywheel is attached directly behind the 3rd main bearing as it is on most other engines. So I don't think the problem with the strength of the crankshaft is derived by the orientation of the 3rd main bearing to the flywheel. The problem is caused by the small diameter of the bearings and the flexibility of the crankshaft leading to metal fatigue. The flexibility of the transmission mounting to the back of the engine is also a contributing factor.
The Ford AC flywheel magneto was NOT new technology. There are several patents for very similar devices that pre-date the Model T. It was only unique in that it was used in an automobile and even more unique in that it also timed the ignition points.
I have long wondered if Spider Huff & company realized that the AC pulse occurances needed to align with the ignition timing or, was that learned through much experimentation.
By the way. Having viewed some of the History channel program last night, I was also ticked at the 1950's Lionel train.
Also, impressed to see that Edison apparently invented the horned radio speaker, seen in the background, long before the radio was invented. Very forward thinking!
Also, wondered what genius built Tesla's AC motor out of tuna fish cans and a large V-belt pulley. Who knew, that's all you need for an AC motor!
Also, liked that period photo of the Edison's supposed DC dynamo being assembled. Problem was, the photo showed a Westinghouse style AC generator!
Sadly, he History channel has turned into an entertainment channel with a loosely based history theme. Generally speaking, PBS does a better job on historical programing. Despite the historical flaws, the show does have entertainment value and that's what generates revenue.
Couldn't sit through it. can't stand the "re-caps" after every commercial.
They have to do the recaps because there are so many commercials I forget what I was watching.
I agree with Charlie! Why on about half of the History and Discovery channel shows do I have to sit and be reminded of something that just happened? My wife says I forget stuff, but it usually takes at least an hour,not just two minutes!
Interesting side note
There is a stone monument dedicated to Thomas Edison off remote Battle Highway near the northwestern Colorado/Wyoming border.
In his youth, Edison visited the area more
than once, it is located right off the highway
(opened during the summer months) overlooking
the lake, really beautiful ....
Interesting that Edison and Tesla both loved Colorado ...
Review the Seldon Patent History to see how Ford avoided patent royalties.
The starter was patented in 1912.
Patent protection is good for 7 years.
The first Ford with a starter was produced in 1919.
Was that because the patent had expired or because Edsel took over the company?
The Selden patent was an invalid patent, proven in court by Henry Ford's legal team.
Ford did not need to add a starter before the end of WWI. They could not keep up with demand, there was no reason to improve the product, and Model Ts start very easily with a crank if the car is in good condition.
When the starter and charging system was made optional it was the beginning of the post war recession, and competition was keen for car buyers.
Ford had announced he was going to start a new car company in 1918 and said that was the reason for giving this company to Edsel, and sales were hurting for that reason as well. Of course it was just a ploy to drive stock prices down to hurt the Dodge Brothers and other minority stock holders, but the buying public did not know that.
I really enjoyed reading Part 1 on Model T ignition & coils.
Is there any chance of reading the other 2 parts?
Manuel in Oz
you can find both part 2 and 3 n John Regans Fun Projects Tech. Info webpage:
together with a lot of other useful documents.
I should have said the Selden patent was not valid when applied to Ford or any other four cycle equipped automobile.
The Selden Patent was applicable to any manufacturer whose car had a Brayton cycle engine. As the court found no manufacturer using that type of engine, Selden's patent was deemed "valid but not infringed" and therefore worthless.
This goes back to the problem of youngans rewriteing history.
The history channel used to be interesting,but I only get to watch it when I visit friends that pay for that high dollar tv programing.
There are some folks on here that take the time to dig out the OLD,original paperwork and that is what should be read and interpreted by us because it should be as close to the truth as is avaliable.
Manuel in Oz
Recaps allow them to stretch an otherwise good 1/2 hour program into a 1 hour boring show with more commercials.
Gary, I have to agree with you. At least it gives us a bit more time too go to the fridge or the bathroom! Dave