As part of our local clubs Centennial year presentations we are showing 6 T's in a local World of Wheels car show later this month.
We are wanting to include signage that shows both Model T and Ford 'firsts'. ie - First true assembly line, $5.00 day, going to 3 X 8 hours shifts from 2 X 10 hour shifts, (so 24 hours utilized), etc. I'm sure we have more that we should include. Any great ones? or hidden jewels?
Ross, I may be wrong, but I believe the introduction of the welded wire wheels was another "first".
Previously the wire wheels were all "tuned" by adjusting the spokes.
First use of Vanadium steel in a USA made automobile. The French used it first. Using vanadium steel the parts could be lighter, hence using less raw materials, making the car affordable yet strong.
First mass produced "en bloc" automobile engine - ie no seperate crankcase from the cylinders. Again the French had done it earlier but for expensive one - off racing cars.
I believe the en-bloc casting of the four cylinders together was a first. Prior engines had cylinders cast in pairs, then bolted to the lower block.
The ten tooth pinion was a real innovation, but probably too technical for the public. You can find it in Fahnestock. It's even too technical for some here...
What with the Selden patent, Ford probably paid the least in patent royalties of any car manufacturer, the planetary tranny being a singular exception. If he could get by with old technology, he did; the buzz coils being a prime example. Otherwise, he invented and patented, such as the low tension flywheel magneto.
This ad is from 1909.
One innovtion was the one piece stamped metal sump for the engine. Earlier cars used a cast crankcase to hold the crankshaft and cam shaft bearings and bolt the cylinders to. The Model T attached the bearings directly to the en-bloc cylinders. Then the sump just needed to hold oil. The Model T was also where ford first enclosed the transmission with a continuous oil bath instead of the "lost oil" method of dripping fresh oil on the lubrication points - or hoping to hit them. Also kept out a lot of road dirt and grit.
That's why the Model T drips less oil than a Model N. ;-)
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Weren't other first the flexible frame which allows you to drive over a ditch long ways without one wheel comming of the ground therfore no loss of steering or traction + plus the added attraction of getting to the other side without being stuck. Also first perhaps is the water pump less engine which has a promotional name like siphon or something like that.
Many of the firsts were in manufacturing methods which produced the first cheap mass produced car for the every man / woman.
Was'nt the T the first car, or first US made car, to have the steering wheel on the left side? That allowed occupant's to exit onto the curb/sidewalk and not into the street, which was a mixture of mud and horse manure back then.