If anyone has ever searched the internet they have undoubtedly come across Wikipedia, the on line users encyclopedia. Any one can post an article about any subject and anyone else can edit or add to the article. This on line free form encyclopedia currently has over 2.4 million articles about anything you can imagine (including the Model T).
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a repository for Model T information like Wikipedia? Say an Encyclo-T-edia? I have watched a great deal of expertise pass on into obscurity to be lost forever. I have mourned the loss of a friend and the loss of his lifetime of knowledge and experience. There have been many times I wished that I could ask him a question about a Model T problem I was having.
These forums are a great asset for the Model T hobbyist. I am most grateful for the opportunity to tap into vast repositories of Model T knowledge and experience. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if anyone could easily find there way to just the information they were looking for? Information that is indexed and cross referenced. Wouldn’t it be nice to post an article about a “how-to” that you discovered, or an improvement you devised or an easier way to do something. Wouldn’t it be a real asset to be able to look up the body details with pictures of a ’22 couplet that someone had posted?
I have seen many of us raise concerns about “Who is going to love these cars after we are gone?”. I think an equally important concern is “Where are the following generations going to find the wealth of knowledge like Hap or Bruce and the like”. This is why I think a centralized, ever evolving, well organized and easy to use Encyclo-T-edia would be a priceless tool to generations of yet unborn Model T enthusiasts. It would preserve the very soul of the Model T.
My purpose here is not to spark a discussion of what the rules, policies, logistics and the like should be. I am well aware that there are a thousand details that would have to be addressed before this could ever be a reality. I would like to plant the seeds of this thought and start a dialog about weather or not this is even a good idea.
What do you think?
The "Keyword search" function of this Forum comes pretty close to that. There's a lot of information in this Forum that can be acccessed that way.
Always room for improvement, though...Henry used up a few letters in the alphabet as he progressed. Dave
I think it is a great idea and one that several folks are already actively pursuing (myself included but I am really slow). The technology that Google currently offers and other search type engines have can make it relatively easy to search for online information – and those search engines can be made available on a website so they search only that website and avoid pulling info from other sites.
I am aware of Wikipedia and use it when I need a quick over view about something. I don’t use it for my T and early Ford information as it generally is not as accurate as I would like. That would be an area where it would be important to have a small group of folks be able to review information and help keep it factual, or perhaps have a “posted by xxx but not verified yet” etc. type note. I.e. if someone posted that the 1920 Model T Fords were produced with all steel bodies, it could be clarified that they were steel panels over wood frames with cloth tops etc. And of course even some of the experts such as Bruce and Trent have reviewed the information from the archives, the existing original cars, and other information and have come to different conclusions on minor issues (such as did early 1915 USA production ever have fork mounted electric headlights). And I think it would be great to just share those different views with who holds them and why.
Bruce already has an excellent start on that Encyclopedia at: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/intro.htm and has additional information and pictures on his Comprehensive Model T Encyclopedia CD http://mtfca.com/encyclo/mccalley.htm He has limited the photos on the website primarily due to space considerations. I believe he is more than willing to add anything (ok anything Model T Related and some reasonable accuracy) to the encyclopedia. Perhaps if we as a club provided more money towards server space or whatever is needed – he would consider expanding it. Currently it focuses primarily on production details – what parts were used on which cars etc. But expanding it or starting another section to include the “how to” is an excellent idea.
Many folks will not be concerned with the information. That is ok. But I hope to work with others to help preserve and make the information more readily available to those who would like to review it and learn from it.
Thanks for asking the question. Hopefully we can keep other things in the future from going the way Mel Millers excellent wood plans went (sort of under the table) or from disappearing completely – like many documents that were destroyed in the Ford Archives fire.
Respectfully submitted and will research for food (after I pay for the kids college education)
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Hap;..I'd be gladly to contribute a yearly fee to Bruce for this forum. I have learned more here than reading some books. I pay into a hit&miss engine forum (not required) each year just to help the gentleman out. At present it has 12,658 members, 41,236 threads, 264,209 post. I would guess that less that 10% pay the fee, but you do receive more space.
Great idea, but we need to be careful that the same thing does not happen as happened a couple of years ago when the Forum server provider was being changed over and wealth of irreplaceable information was lost when the entire Forum (several years worth of postings, from the very beginning [1999?] until 2005) was inadvertently deleted. Much information by some revered oldtimers was lost forever and can never be duplicated. We can prevent this from ever happening again by backing up the Forum contents on disc and keeping in a fireproof archive. Thanks. Jim
I would like to see the Stacks put into electronic form and deposited onto the Internet.
So much so in fact that I would gladly offer my time to help do so...
1. I would like to help support/organize an effort to have more of the archives preserved on-line or on-CD etc. but in an additional location away from the current Benson Ford Archives. Not to be in competition with them but to compliment and support them and most importantly to provide a back up in case one of the locations experience a disaster --fire, water leak, etc,.
2. I don't think we should try to tackle the entire "stacks" -- but rather start small (in my case I am also working to capture 1903-1908 early Ford information but also would like to see the 1909 - 1941 Model T information (last recorded T engines were assembled in 1941) (including the earlier Model T prototype information)captured and made available. And to include Canadian information that was recently donated by Ford of Canada to the archives. See Trent's "Visit to the Stacks" for why I say start small rather than trying to do all the archives: http://oz.plymouth.edu/~trentb/HFMGVStacks/Stacks.html
3. The 1928-31 Model A Ford group has been working to digitize the factory drawings for the 1928-31 Model A Fords for some time. The good news – the earlier you go the easier it is to capture a larger percentage of the information that is available. I.e. the car had fewer parts and changes to the parts it had.
4. I am actually looking for someone who has a good relationship with the archives (I haven’t done anything to make them mad – but they also don’t know who I am) to help serve as a coordinator for finding a “win-win” solution or solutions. I.e. where it would help provide continued funding for the archives, make the information more readily available to individuals, make it more readily available for businesses that wanted to reproduce the parts, etc. In the Early Ford Registry, one of our members may actually have copies of the Ford Drawings that are not available from the Benson Ford Archives – we are checking into that. One of the goals would be to expand the amount of information available and access to it. It isn’t a quick fix “30 minutes and we are done” but I think it is worth pursuing. Ok, I’ve already been talking to my wife about how would she feel about moving to Detroit in the Spring through Fall once we “retire” so I could play … I mean volunteer at the archives. But with or without that happening – I would like to support helping to protect the information (i.e. another copy in another location), making it easier for folks to access, and having it help provide support to the archives. If anyone would like to help us start moving in that direction or if you know of someone who is already moving in that direction, please let us know.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC