On the earlier 1906 thread, we listed a few months registration of cars in New York State. It seems New York was one of the first states to require registrations, and evidently released registration totals by automaker monthly. I had three months totals, from various sources (two news accounts and one Cadillac advertisement). These three months, April, June and July, showed Cadillac leading the pack, with Ford placing 9th, 6th and 6th (of over 100 different makes registered each month).
I just found the article below. It was carried in "The Carriage Monthly" (ironic to find this in a wagon and carriage magazine). The article covers autos registered since the first of the year (1906) in New York, along with neighboring states. The article prints the number of automobiles by make registered for March, 1906. Ford is tied for 15th place with three other manufacturers, a significantly lower spot than they (Ford) will place in the coming months.
Also, David I. Johnson is listed as the 25,000 auto registrant, of Cohoes NY (registering a Ford). If anyone is able to find out, it would be quite interesting to know what model Ford was the 25,000th car registered in New York.
For Ford production reference, audit gain/loss records show no cars sold by FMC for March 1906. I suspect the cars listed in the March number are either Models F, C and/or Bs already in the hands of dealers, or owners who had not registered existing cars yet (although I'm guessing). FMC records show Model K tourings sold from April on (although there are a few references to Model Ks in Minnesota prior to this) and Model N runabouts aren't ready for sale until mid July 1906. Ford proceeds to move up from a four way tie for 15th place to 9th place in April and on to 6th place in sales for June and July (I assume on the strength of Model K sales).
It would be interesting to track Ford numbers month by month if they are available from New York State (or any other state with records) as Ford production is ramped up over the next several years.
Thanks for any help tracking down more info,
New York was the leading state in number of cars registered as of June 1906 according to this article:
John Jacob Astor (who will go down with the Titanic in 1912) had the most registrations with 27 "machines still registered." The average value of his cars equaled over $5500!
The average price of all cars purchased in March (in New York State) according to the article above this appear (if my math is correct) to be about $2200 per car.
Most states did not register cars in 1906. For example Texas began in the early teens. New York, as always, led the nation in creating new ways to tax its citizens.
While New York statistics are useful for telling how many cars were in New York, they don't say anything about the rest of the world. Many New Yorkers would tell you that New York is more important than the rest of the United States, and all people should be treated like New Yorkers. I disagree of course.
If one reads the attachment directly above the last poster, it says about 80,000 cars were in use in the U.S. the article goes on to say over 30,000 cars were registered in New York. However, the article also says only about 66% of registered cars are in "commission". If applied equally, this would indicate about 20,000 registered N.Y. Cars were operational, of the estimated 82,000 autos in use (in the U.S). If this is the case, about 25% of the automobiles in use in the United States were registered in New York. If someone has a better statistical sample showing this data, I'd welcome their providing it.
New Jersey is listed with the second highest number of cars registered,19,500. Again, this information is posted directly above if one chooses to read it.
Registration rank by state: 1-NY, 2-NJ, 3-MA, 4-PA, 5-OH, 6-CA, etc.
This list shows 108,000 cars registered in the U.S. for 1906. The discrepancy with the article above may be due to the article including registrations through June 1906, whereas this clip may only include registrations as of January 1, 1906 (I don't know, but they are ballpark, giving some degree of corroboration.
As for the statement "Many New Yorkers would tell you that New York is more important than the rest of the United States,". I think that rings true for narrow minded people from any state or region of this country, even Texas.
I forgot to mention, the previous poster also said "most states did not register cars in 1906".
If one reads the attachment directly above that poster it clearly says "there were 121,369 automobile registrations in twenty-eight states up to the first day of June" (1906). For corroboration, the following excerpt of a DMV study (1959) shows 26 states required registrations in 1905:
There were 45 states in the union as of 1906, meaning 62% of states required registration. Add to this the fact those (registration required) states were the most populous, the majority of vehicles in the U.S. were registered by 1906.
Right. So there were 22 other states that did not have registration at all. Even in states that did have registration, there would have been many folks who ignored it in 1905, particularly those in rural areas.
Well, actually, 17 other states. Oklahoma became a state in 1907, New Mexico and Arizona in 1912, Alaska and Hawaii in 1959 ;>)
Let's see, 45 states in 1906, minus 28 states with registration laws, equals 17. Yes Mark, your correct, and I didn't even need to take off my shoes to count.
"Even in states that did have registration, there would have been many folks who ignored it in 1905, particularly those in rural areas."
So, would it have been the "Maxwell" people who cheated, and didn't register? Maybe those sneaky Cadillac owners? And exactly what does this "opinion" have to do with anything?
I have one 1906 record for New Jersey, the second largest registration state in 1906. It doesn't give us much background (I don't know if this data covers January through March, April, or just February). However, if we are able to find a June or later record it will be interesting to see how Ford numbers change in relation to the other leading makes.
If you want to get technical -
In 1906, a state may have required automobile registration, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the state registered automobiles.
The example I am most familiar with is Minnesota state law which required automobile registration starting in 1903. Under the state law, originally the registration of automobiles was under the jurisdiction of the local boiler inspector. Later, it became the responsibility of the municipalities. It was not until 1909 that the state of Minnesota registered automobiles and that is the first year that the state issued license plates.
So, you see, in Minnesota vehicle registration was required starting in 1903 but it was not a function of state government until 1909.
Also - I would take the early automobile registration statistics compiled by the US Census bureau or in a period publication with a grain of salt. I believe there was no uniformity in automobile registration or the reporting of those numbers. A state that managed and issued the registrations could report an accurate number whereas a state that required registration but did not act as the registrar may not have had the ability to report an accurate number. It depends on who was doing the record keeping and who was reporting the numbers.
N.Y.S. in 1901 Had make your own Licence Plates (REH-01) and foe 1 DOllar you got a Gold Medallion you affixed to it.
Richard Henza Historical Vechical Association;
Collector N.Y.S. Pioneer Cars 1900-1904
1902 Buffalo Jr.
1902 Remming Jr. Speedster
1902 Fort Plain Spring and Axel Dr, Runabout with Tiller
1903 Fort Plain Spring and Axel Dr. Runnabout with Steering wheel.
Write Pioneer Car Articles for my Classic Car
I agree standardization between states may or may not have existed. The good things about using New York registration numbers are:
1. New York registered cars beginning in 1901. By 1906 their processes should have been beyond the "experimentation" phase.
2. With about a quarter of the cars purchased in the U.S., they give a representative number. Granted, the cars purchased in a "rural" state such as Nebraska, Texas, Wyoming probably were different cars on average than those purchased in NY. Again, people in these states probably didn't posses many cars at this point in time.
3. The "major" car makers probably had a presence in New York State. The same may not be said (I don't know, but suspect) in many lightly populated states.
However, if anyone has a better set of numbers for cars sold, month by month, car maker by car maker, I'd be happy to see those numbers too. It is a simple thing to point out why any statistics, data or other information may be incorrect, but difficult to find better information (from 1906).
If Ford numbers are off, in all likelihood (absent a "conspiracy theory") other car makers numbers are also skewed, and with a large enough sample, should wash out. Of course, I'm not a statistician, and these are just my opinions, and not meant to be represented as facts (although I do provide sources and copies to back up my opinions).
What the "trend" should show (if I am able to find other months for New York) is Ford numbers improving vs. the rest of the industry. With only four "samples" or months, the trend seems to support that (even though the Model K is the only new model sold at this time). As with any information, a person may choose to give it as little or much weight as they choose. It's still intriguing information (from my perspective).
Ford was selling the Model B through June 1906 and Model F through May 1906.
So Rob are you saying that the Model K could only be sold in states with registration? What about territories? What if they didn't have a newspaper?
Just kidding, I do find it interesting, but I fail to see much that tells us anything of relevance to the Model K. Ford could have been dumping unsold Model B's at bargain prices in New York only, right?
We know how many models B, C, F and K were reported sold by FMC for each of the months above, April, May, June, July and August. We also know how many Model N Runabouts were sold:
From THF, Acc 1938 Microfilm:
Above - March 1906 - Models C and B listed, with no sales of any model for the month.
April 1906 - The first Model K, 17 K sold. No other models reported:
May 1906 (below), 11 Model F, 11 Model B, 86 Model K and 2 Model C sold:
June 1906 - 6 Model F, 101 Model K and 11 Model B sold:
July 1906 - The Model N finally appears. 63 Model N, 50 Model K and 2 Model B sold:
August 1906 - 276 Model N, 31 Model K:
What does all this mean? Ford was 15th (tied among 4 manufacturers) among registered makes for March 1906 in New York State according to NY records. By June and July, Ford moves up to 6th place among all manufacturers. Meanwhile, no Model N have reached the market place. Some Model B and F (and a few C) but Mostly Model K are the primary model being sold during this time.
I believe this shows a couple of things. First, that it didn't take many cars sales for a manufacturer to be among the leaders in car manufacturers. Second, that the Model K, branded as a poor selling car, or certainly not a "sales leader", actually was the primary reason for Ford's move up the "ladder" among manufacturers in term of sales for most of FY 1906.
I'm fortunate to have NY records, because it appears about 25% of all car sales were in New York State, and the state had maintained registration records since 1901, so these probably weren't accumulated sales that were just being recorded by the state due to a new registration law.
What's the importance? Probably not very important, other than another reason the Model K (in my opinion) was not a failure, but was another important cog in the progression of Ford Motor Company's success as Henry Ford moved toward the Model T.
Things I don't know (and would like too): Each month of New York State registration numbers. It would be interesting to see how Ford numbers increase as the Model N makes it's way into the marketplace.
Another big question I'd like answered. When looking at Trent Boggess ledger research, it seems ledger sales run well ahead of Ford Gain/Loss reports (shown above). I wish I knew how each, ledger and audit report, were compiled. Did the ledger report show every shipment from Ford to a dealer (and branch)? Did the audit report only report when Ford Motor Company actually was notified the car was sold and the revenue was owed Ford?
Always more to learn,
Found May. May continued to have Ford move up the rankings of cars registered in NY State. A couple other things, this report says the average cost of the cars registered is $2400. At $2500 the Model K is just over the average cost. However, I assume the Cadilacs and Maxwells (by far the leaders in numbers registered) pull the average down significantly.
The Ford is doing well, moving toward the top ten, while only selling Model K and a few remaking Model F, B and C (gain loss records above):
Revised total with May added:
The Accounts Receivables ledgers show all sales. Some ledger pages have a single entry, for example a hardware store orders a Ford, and never buys anything else.
There are a few ledger pages that show sales to individuals, but they are very few.
The vast majority of sales were to dealers. The sales were recorded at the time the car left the factory. This does not indicate the car was sold by the dealer at all. The accounts of each dealer were in dollars, shown in total by month. The dollar figures do not represent anything other than dollars owed to Ford Motor Company. As Ford received payment the ledgers would show the dealer account reducing to zero.
Occasionally, and this is very rare, a dealer account will show a car, or group of cars, ordered for a specific individual or entity.
If a dealer bought 20 Model K's and then sold one a month for the next twenty months it would not show anything in the Accounts receivables except that all the cars were sold on the date of shipment.
Rob,I wonder if one of the Locomobiles sold was Old 16?? Good on ya.Bud.
Bud, I noticed a few references to a Vanderbilt racer Locomobile, however it didn't mention a car number. I should have known the year it ran, to save the references (to many cars, too little time).
Royce, I'll post a couple of Trent's line items. If Trent happens to "stop by", maybe he'll enlighten us as to his findings too. One example that sticks out for me, K number 348 is listed in the ledger prior to Oct 1 1906 (FY end/begin date). Ford news releases said 350 Model K were sold in 1906 (however it doesn't say fiscal year or calendar year). The documentation of #348 would seem to confirm that 350 cars were "sold" (or sent to dealers) prior to Oct 1, 1906.
However, Ford Motor Company Gain/Loss (audit) Reports (monthly examples above) report 301 cars "sold". So, does this tell us that about 350 (at least up to car #348, and ledger records for Model K are about 25% of the total) Model K were produced/shipped to dealers/branches and individual buyers?
Reference your earlier comment about states not reporting/registering cars, it seems my state was noted for not registering cars:
It looks like we are going to have to send Rob back to college for a degree in accounting. Then set him down with all the ledgers and see what he can come up with.
I wonder what was the common number of cars ordered by dealers? Did the vast majority of dealers only order 2 or 3 at a time? Did they get a break for ordering a carload?
The Model T's can be broken down and loaded up into a boxcar. You cannot do that with a Model K, but I assume they were still shipped primarily by rail. I doubt more than a couple of dealers, maybe in New York, would order more than 1 or 2 Model K's at one time.
There are a lot of photos of early dealerships with only a couple of cars out front and were those all new cars or some of them used? Nothing like the car lots you see today.
Ford cars were not intentionally, or accidentally sold in numerical order. It could be that #348 was simply in the end of the storage area where it could be rolled out for shipment while 49 (or more or less) other Model K's with lesser or greater serial numbers remained on hand.
Look at the first Model A Ford sold in 1903 for example. It was not serial #1.
Yes, unfortunately, when dealing with things such as accounts receivable, ledgers and audit reports, I'm an unarmed guy at a gunfight. Fortunately there are smart folks out there who can take my raw data and turn it into something that makes sense.
For the most part, early Fords were manufactured sequentially (although not all the time). As a result, I am still able to look at Trent's ledger information (example) and come up with a reasonable estimate of the latest Model K made in a fiscal year or calendar year, and an idea as to how many cars were built/shipped/sold as a result. While not exact, better than nothing.
This is an example from Trent Boggess Ledger database. The date, followed by car number (engine and flywheel on Model K):
I used this example because in Trent's ledger research, the entire page (all the entries above) were Model K sales, with no Model C, F or B commingled. With the exception of number 83, the cars are essentially sequential (at least enough to generally tell where Ford car numbers are on assembly/shipping the cars).
Interestingly, the first Model K listed has a date of 4/16/1906, and is K number 2. Currently, K number 2 is owned by a frequent poster on this forum, and he tours the car in Australia.
Look what happens by May 1907. Just found this, Ford now leads with 222 cars registered, compared with 143 and 142 for Cadillac and Maxwell respectively. The previous May Ford ranked 11th with 63 cars registered, compared with 175 and 121 for Cadillac and Maxwell.