Looking through the MTFCI Judging Guidelines (old 4th ed) and old discussions here, it looks like a 15 open car front floormat was white. Looking through my vendor catalogs, all the white ones are square and don't have the angled front corners to fit the 15 with a cowl. Is this something not reproduced due to small demand, or has the latest "wisdom" decided they were really black?
Bob's had a few white ones left some time back. Those are the only ones I've heard of in quite a while. You might give him a call.
Bruce wrote it was black from some time in 1912 in the encyclopedia:
Off-white rubber in front; wool carpet in rear of tourings. White rubber mat on rear of mother-in-law seat roadsters.
Off-white rubber in front; cocoa mat in rear of tourings.
Black rubber front mat; cocoa mat in rear of tourings.
Black rubber front mat; wool mat in rear of tourings.
Black rubber front and rear of tourings."
The new version 6 of the MTFCI also says “415 Floor Mat (front): Natural rubber color (off white)” Bur Bruce’s (R.I.P.) book “Model T Ford” copyright 1994 on page 439 has the same comments that the On Line Encyclopedia has and that his CD has --- I.e. black starting sometime in 1912 (the 1911-1912 was still off white). So the MTFCI judging guidelines and Bruce’s information have been at odds with one another on this topic for some time. If you are going for a Stynoski Judging – I would recommend you contact the chief judge and find out what he says. Russ Furstnow’s contact information is listed at: http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17&Itemid=188 . I.e. you do not want to go to the effort to purchase a “white” floor mat and find out it is not considered “off white” and still have points taken away.
If you are not competing for the Stynoski trophy it probably will not matter to folks.
Below is a factory photo from Jan 26, 1915 (date is in the lower right hand corner). It clearly shows the floor mat is not dark black. That same photo is on page 68 of Clymer’s book “Henry’s Wonderful Model T Ford” and also page 164 of Stern’s “Tin Lizzie.” (Note also the early electric headlamps are post mounted and have the electrical connector off center and lower than the later lights.)
But only a few open cars were made in Jan 1915. There is still much to document about the cars. Perhaps someone has some additional information on when Ford USA, Ford Canada, Ford England went to black and how much overlap there was when both black and off-white floor mats were used.
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My '17 torpedo runabout has its original black floor mat. It is the shape of earlier mats, IE it will fit in my 1912 touring.
If you look at the floor mat in the picture of the '15 touring above you can see it is the same shape as 1909 - 14 mats.
Thank you so much for pointing that out. I hope someone can check the archives for us on this one. Or perhaps it has been checked in the past and we just need to find the reference.
Bruce in his “Price List of Parts” [available at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/333725.html?1357665853 ] notes that the following changes:
FLOOR MAT (Front, rubber, 31-3/8 x 27-7/16”)
Part # 3624
Factory # 1616 used 1909-1912
FLOOR MAT (Runabout, rubber, 29-7/16 x 29-7/16”. Old P/N 3712B)
Part # 3624B
Factory #5215 used 1911-1912 Runabout
FLOOR MAT (Front, rubber, 27-9/16 x 29-7/16”)
Factory #5401 used 1913-1914
FLOOR MAT (Front, Touring and Runabout, 28-1/4 x 29-7/16”)
Part #3624E (RHD was part # 3624RE)
Feb 15 – Factory Number 7299 1915 used 1915-23 2.00
Clearly there were some differences – enough that they had a new part number and factory number (factory drawing). I wonder when the tapered upper part was introduced? And like so many other parts how long of an overlap when both styles were used?
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Some early floor mats are embossed on both sides. I don't know if this was earlier or later? Perhaps this is the part number difference.
The floor mat in my '17 is smooth on the back side and about twice as thick as reproduction mats.
My original, un-restored 1915 Touring was assembled in January of 1915 (engine 679,xxx cast Dec 8, 14). It has what appears to be the original floor mat and it is black. It is possible that it began life as a very dark color of Gunmetal Gray... but I doubt it was ever white.
Thank you for the input. Is your floor mat rectangular or does it taper towards the front?
Below is a photo of the original floor mat from the Rip Van Winkle Ford -- a 1917 Touring with a Jun 1917 engine date. Photo from page 32 May – Jun 1991 “Vintage Ford” used by permission to promote our hobby. Also on page 267 of Bruce’s book. [For those new to the hobby and who may not know about this Ford, it had 26 original miles on it when it was pulled out of the garage and the photos were taken. While weathered from the years – the owner had not used it so it was a great time capsule of how “one” Model T was produced around Jun 1917. ]
Royce would you please share the approximate date of your 1917 – I think you have done that before but I just want to make sure we capture that information with the floor mat posting. That will give us a start on some data points when the rectangular mat was still being used and eventually give us a better feel for how much overlap there was when both styles could have been used.
I don’t do geometry well – so when you have a chance please snap a photo or two of the 1917 with the rectangular mat. I would assume the mat gets closer and closer to the side of the car as it gets closer to the firewall. But the photo should help me understand it better. Looking at the photo above I was thinking – no way would a rectangular mat fit without the edges near the firewall being turned up on both sides. But taking a look at my speedster – it looks like the mat near the seat would be a quite a few inches from the side of the body and near the firewall it would cover part of the floor board risers and be much closer to the side of the body. Anyway, if you have a chance -- a couple of photos would be greatly appreciated. There is so much still to rediscover and document.
Anyone else have some original floor mats and/or photos of cars with the original floor mats from around that time frame?
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Look at this post - I took measurements of the floor mat from my '17 roadster (May engine number). As you can see, there is a hole worn through it from the original owners heel. Also, there is a square cut out of it on the Ford script because the car had a foot-feet. The extra notch on the top edge on the drivers side was for a cable for an accessory valve on the intake manifold. The notch on the upper right is for the speedometer - I don't know if that notch is factory or not as it is pretty crude. The Rip Van Winkle car was also equipped with a speedometer by the dealer.
My dad had also has the original mat for his July '17 touring - it is the same as mine but in better condition.
My roadster, the Rip Van Winkle touring and my dad's touring are all Minneapolis assembled cars - May, June and July 1917, respectively.
Thank you for the link to your photos of your May 1917 roadster original front floor mat. And especially the measurements of 20 inches wide near the firewall vs. approximately 29 inches near the seat and 27 inches from the seat to the firewall with the mat laid out flat. Erik, when the original mat was installed, could you let us know if it completely covered the wood sills that support the removable floor boards, partially covered the wood sills, or basically just covered the removable floor boards?
It looks like the Minneapolis Branch was using that style front floor mat during that time. For sure on at least 3 original cars that survived. Hopefully we will gain a few additional data points from other branches, times, etc.
Again, we would welcome inputs from earlier times with original front mats, photos etc.
Thank you again for taking the time to add to the information.
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My car was built late in June of 1917, nearly the end of the model year.
It is serial number 2024893.
The shipping date on the original inspector's tag is July 8, 1917.
Hap - My floor mat is tapered and has the notch cut for the bulb horn and Speedo.
It's possible that Royce's 1917 runabout was also assembled in Minneapolis.
It may have been originally sold in South Dakota. It had a 1925 South Dakota plate on it when Royce's father purchased it 60 plus years ago (the car was in Hastings, Minnesota at the time).
I have an original early Feb 1915 touring that had a well worn black original thick mat in it. I was only able to save the Ford lettering area of the mat. I have it stored away at this time, another words I don't know where it is at right now.
Thank you for the additional information about the Royce's 1917 Runabout coming from the same general area. A lot of cars were well preserved there! And Minneapolis is a possible location it could have been manufactured.
Again thank you for posting the photo and information. I read your posting above which said:
"My '17 torpedo runabout has its original black floor mat. It is the shape of earlier mats, IE it will fit in my 1912 touring.
If you look at the floor mat in the picture of the '15 touring above you can see it is the same shape as 1909 - 14 mats.”
I thought from those words you were saying your 1917 also had the rectangular shaped floor mat similar to the 1909-1914 cars [note they varied some as noted above].
Below is the Jan 26, 1915 photo that I rotated to "sort-of" line it up with your photo.
And below is the photo of your floor mat that I cropped off the right side.
Looking at both of those is looks like the left hand edge is straight to me (ok – I wear trifocals). But when we look at your complete floor mat it is clear from the right side, that the edge of the floor mat near the firewall is narrower than the edge next to the seat.
Perhaps that 1915 photo is a similar optical illusion? [I’ve already had more of those this year than I wanted].
Of course I may have misunderstood your original words. Or there is the old “I know you think you understand what I said but did you know that what I said was not what I meant” situation. Anyway I’m trying to better document the 1915-1919 or so front floor mats at the moment so I would welcome your comments, corrections, etc.
Leon -- thank you for another data point for a 1915 with a black front mat. Would you also please let us know the approximate month your 1915 was manufactured if you have that information available. (I'm 90% sure I have the body tag photo filed on my computer -- but if you would let us know the approximate month -- that would be helpful also.)
Also does anyone else have access to an original 1915 front floor mat that they could share what it is like? Thank you all for your help.
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Hap - It's an illusion. Look in the picture just above and focus on the pattern embossed in the mat in the upper left corner (Above the marble green shift knob). You will see that the border area design, which is ribbed does not give a 90 degree bend in agreement with the pixel design just inboard of the ribs. The side of the mat cuts off on a shallow angle across the pixel design as it makes it's way down the the juncture of the cut out for the brake lever.. If the mat were straight (or square and not tapered) the rib pattern would run parallel with the other patterns in the mat structure. Hope this isn't too confusing!
Here is a better shot that shows the shape of what is believed to bee an original 1915 floor mat. The shape is cut to fit just inside the floor board shape.
Keep those original pictures of floormats coming. I just love to see them. Now, if someone would just make a 1925 floormat! I've never even seen an original, for tourings and roadsters.
Good catch, the original 1917 mat is clearly tapered, unlike the mat in the picture of the 1915.
James, your mat looks identical to the one in my '17. I bet it is an original mat, but likely later than 1915 model year.
Hap & Royce,
The white floor mat in the factory picture of the early 15 shown above is not a square floor mat... It is tapered.
If you look closely, you can see that the mat goes all the way to the firewall and lays flush on the floor. Also, it is wide enough that the brake lever comes up through the slot cut in the mat. The point where the cowl taper intersects the firewall is approximately 3 inches inboard the brake lever centerline (Axis of forward motion). It would be a physical impossibility for a straight edge mat to wrap around the outside of the brake lever, and also fall within the boundaries of the cowl taper of a 15 touring. A straight sided floor mat would have to be folded up along the inside of the kick panel of a 15.
To prove my point, if you look closely at the Jan 26 factory photo, you can see that the mat material to the left of the square foot pedal cut out is much wider at the bottom of the pedal cut out than it is at the top of the pedal cut out. This clearly shows that the mat has a tapered cut and is not square. You also have to disregard the right side of the mat as any point of reference because the outer edge of the mat is not visible... it is eclipsed by the top of the door.
This is an interior view of a brand new 1914 touring. Photo property of The Henry Ford museum, used here under my license. Again a white floor mat.
For Larry – at the posting Erik referenced at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/213679.html?1306531288 the is a photo of Dan Treace’s original 1924 floor mat.
For James -- Thank you so much for your explanation. I agree with you that the 1915 floor mats for the roadsters and tourings could not be rectangular but are tapered at the front in a similar manner to the 1917 front floor mats are not as wide in the front as the part next to the seat.
Based on your observation about the distance from the edge of the floor mat to the edge of the pedal cut out, I made a PowerPoint slide showing that distance. The red line is the same length – just copied and pasted back in to show the difference.
For comparison below is 1914 front floor mat Royce posted. Again the lines on that photo are all the same length.
Disclaimer – just as the railroad tracks appear to touch in the distance of a photo or when you are just looking at them, there is often some change due to the angle of the camera etc. But in the cases above I believe they clearly support that the 1915 front floor mat is shaped like the known 1917 floor mats. [In the Jan 26, 1915 photo the floor mat is also light in color.]
If you also see the 1915 “off-white” floor mat as wider near the seat and narrower neat the firewall please let us know. Or if you do not see it that way – please let us know that also.
I do not have any reservations about the 1914 and earlier front floor mats – the were rectangular in shape and they were light in color (judging standards say natural rubber color (off-white)) . All the information and early photos I have seen so far agree with that.
But for the 1915 front floor mats, while the Jan 26, 1915 photo clearly shows a light colored front floor mat (assumed to be natural rubber (off-white)) it appears that the small sample size of potential original 1915 front floor mats are black in color and not “off-white.” Additionally Bruce listed them as black and the 6th edition of the judging standards has them listed as “natural rubber (off-white)” for the 1915 and “natural rubber (off-white) or “black rubber” for the 1916. I am hoping to find some additional documentation on the color of the front floor mats 1915 – 1916. I.e. when was the “off-white used” and when was the “black rubber” used.
Again thank you all for sharing. Does anyone else have any documentation about an “off-white” floor mat used in 1915 or 1916? It probably is documented on the original factory drawing and/or change cards for those parts.
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Hap - In continuation of the color discussion, here is a picture of the floor mat in my 1913 Touring. I believe it to be original based on the condition of the mat. It has the same burlap backing as does my 1915 mat. There are two interesting things about the 1913 example... 1, it appears to be black and 2, there is no "Ford" logo in the center of the mat like you can faintly see in the photo that Royce posted. Inputs are welcome.
I did not read every word of this post so if this has been addressed above I'm sorry.
I'm guessing...If the floor mat is embossed on both sides then they could flip it for right hand or left hand drive.
No Ford script = not an original mat. Also I don't believe black mats would have been used any earlier than 1916 model year when WWI dictated the use of carbon fillers in rubber products to save money.