OT - More on C. H. Wills

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: OT - More on C. H. Wills
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 05:25 pm:

I came across this while looking for something else. It fits in somewhat with the thread about C. H. Wills and the Wills St. Claire. According to this website (link below) C. H. Wills built a prototype "bigger better" Ford while the Ford family were abroad in 1912. When Henry Ford returned, he was not happy and destroyed the car (this sounds like the story of HF destroying a six cylinder car Wills and Edsel supposedly collaborated on?).

This explanation says this is the car the Dodge brothers eventually built. I have never heard this version before. Is anyone familiar with this story?

Excerpt:






Link to the website:
http://www.secondchancegarage.com/public4/wills-st-claire-pt1-3.cfm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 05:57 pm:

In the book Tin Lizzie by Stern it say's Sorenson was also in on the car.This story say's the car was a 6 cyl and Dodge Bros built their car from it? The early Dodge was a 4 cyl so over 100 years later what are the facts? Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 07:31 pm:

Unattributed internet pseudo history. Stern's book was written from interviews and first person material, carefully footnoted. This one Rob found is baloney.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 07:48 pm:

Bud,
I wonder if stories have become intertwined? Edsel Ford had a six cylinder speedster:



I don't know if these are the six cylinder speedster mentioned, but they have been labeled as such. And we know a six cylinder speedster has survived that is documented as Edsel's speedster:







I do know some versions of the story say it was a six cylinder car that HF destroyed, and use the story as evidence he hated the six cylinder engine. Never mind that Edsel was driving a six cylinder speedster during the period.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 07:50 pm:

I didn't see the post above mine prior to posting.

I guess the mystery is solved now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 08:57 pm:

For anyone interested, the background of the writer for ""Second Change Garage" who wrote the "baloney" posted above. I have no idea if she is a good writer, however she has an interesting career background:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zneyhzaqrfgwry1/Author%20Information.pdf


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 05:39 am:

Should say "Second Chance", not "Second Change Garage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 09:20 am:

Why would one need to download to read about the writer?? No i did not. Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 09:37 am:

Because the article was labeled "unattributed" and "baloney". I thought the author deserved identification for anyone interested. I have no idea about the accuracy of the piece, but think it was probably researched, considering the author's credentials.

A curious story and events that appear to have several "versions."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 03:02 pm:

Like many legends, probably a few grains of truth in there somewhere.
I have heard or read about different versions of this story for many years. I have wondered for many years what the truth is. I still do.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 04:32 pm:

Well i went and looked and no doubt she must be smart.On the other hand is she smart about what happened over 100 years ago?? I see no reference to a source so what is this author's background as to this subject?? Sorry,I'm not trying to offend anyone i just do not see the connection? I do enjoy this post because this is how i learn.Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 05:06 pm:

Bud,
I don't know how accurate her article is. However, I felt it unfair that another poster was dismissive of her work by calling the article unattributed and baloney. The piece obviously was signed by the author, if a person took the time and effort to read the entire article. If not, why comment?

I don't "have a dog in the hunt" with this, except I'd like to know what really happened, and am not sure we ever will with absolute certainty. Like so much early Ford history, there seem to be many versions of incidents. I just thought it interesting. This isn't directed toward you, just an explanation why I sometimes go to extreme to demonstrate where information comes from that I present.

Sorry if I offended,
Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 05:42 pm:

Actually the author of the internet blather that Rob linked to gave no attribution to the source of her materials. This is distinctly different from Stern's book, which is carefully footnoted and fully attributed to first person sources.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bruce Balough on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 05:43 pm:

Unfortunately no one started to write down the early history until the 1950’s. His name was Owen Bombard and was a Ph. D Candidate at Columbia University; Owen was hired by the Ford Motor Company to take a tape recorder around to as many of the early Ford employees that were still living in the Detroit area. The ones he could not meet with to interview he contacted by mail. When you read the story’s you find not everyone told it the same way. All we can do is read them all, and find out what the general consensus is. The oral history is in The Henry Ford Benson Research Center and you can read some on line. More information continues to show up and we are still learning more.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 06:07 pm:

Rob,I had not seen the link and as you say i'm sure both stories are linked!!!!!!!! I still have doubts about the 6 cyl engine? Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 07:14 pm:

Next Question,Who designed the Model T transmission?? Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Layden Butler on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 09:54 pm:

Wills made great crankshafts. Here is one from a V-8 with added counterbalances and adapted to fit in a T Ford.
t


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 11:04 pm:

Looks strong!! Is it a one off or was there a production run? Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 07:57 am:

Bud,
I believe Joe Galamb receives a lot of the credit for the T transmission, along with several in the group who worked extensively on the new Model T. I don't know that the transmission was changed dramatically from the previous Ford models (enclosed, and flywheel incorporated). Maybe someone well versed in T and pre-T transmissions will give us a better explanation of similarities and differences.

As a non mechanical novice, the diagrams below (pre T and T) look dissimilar, but is the principle the same?




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 09:05 am:

The operating principal is the same whether we are talking about the Model K transmission, the Model T transmission, or the Model T steering gearbox.

It's probably more succinct to say that Galamb or Wills adopted planetary transmission concepts to the Model T and Model K respectively. In the case of the Model K the Dodge Brothers likely had a role in the design too, perhaps the leading role. Planetary transmissions were used in all sorts of machinery prior to the Model K, so it is incorrect to attribute the concept to anyone we've mentioned here. It was an established means of changing shaft speed in things like lathes, elevators, and other machinery long before there were gasoline engines.

One area that I've never seen much information on is any insight into the workings at the Dodge Brothers plant. Dodge was the manufacturer of the entire Ford car from Model A through Model K. After that Dodge continued to supply engine castings, axles, and steering gear along with various other forgings to Ford, through the middle of calendar year 1914.

Rob with so much interest in the Model K I am surprised that you have concentrated on the marketing rather than the manufacture of the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 10:28 am:

Royce,

"Dodge was the manufacturer of the entire Ford car from Model A through Model K. After that Dodge continued to supply engine castings, axles, and steering gear along with various other forgings to Ford, through the middle of calendar year 1914."

Your partially correct. Dodge Brothers did produce various components and parts of all Ford cars (including the Model N) between 1903 and 1913. However, concerning the Model K, DB was contracted to build the chassis, and yes, I have looked into it. DB and FMC contracted for the delivery of chassis which meant engine, frame and driveline. Everything else, including wheels, body, radiator, mag, upholstery, etc etc was contracted elsewhere. As with automakers then and today, few if any concerns "manufactured" their frames, wheels, bodies, and most other components.

One thing that sets DB apart from most suppliers is that they appeared to be more partners with Ford Motor Company rather than simply a supplier. With both brothers on the boards of Ford Motor Company, Ford Manufacturing, and Ford Canada, it's hard for me to imagine them as anything other than an integral part of Ford Motor Company. I don't know, but suspect most if not all their auto parts and components were built primarily for Ford Motor Company after 1904 or 05 (but that's just speculation).

When it was built, Piquette was one of, if not the largest, auto producing plants in Detroit and probably in the nation. However, as Ford became the largest auto producer in the world (by many accounts) during 1907, Piquette became obsolete.

It doesn't appear to me (as several authors quoted by Royce and others, such as C. Sorensen) that DB were responsible for much if any design or development in regard ot Ford models. C. Sorensen claims in the book "My Forty Years with Ford" that as soon as he came to Ford Motor Company he was responsible for, or helped with patterns for both the Model K and Model N, telling me that Ford was designing, refining and then ordering parts to specification for their models.

Of course, these are my opinions,

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 11:43 am:

As read in the Wills story builders were using Wills patents. Would a patent search tell who did what? In the 1950's when many were gone would/did some take a little more credit than deserved? I can see it all now,We are sorry but we have no record of anything spelled that way!! Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Layden Butler on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 12:13 pm:

Kenneth,
The crankshaft was probably liberated from a Wills V-8 at a wrecking yard, counterbalanced and converted to fit a T Ford by an expert as it is a fine job. Yes a strong crank with 1 3/4" journals and 4" stroke ( Wills V-8 = T Ford).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 12:26 pm:

Bud,
I think patent applications provide good information. One patent I looked for, and Art and others helped find, was a magneto with "patent applied for" by Ed Huff, with Henry Ford listed as assignor. As it turned out, Holley Brothers made the magneto, to Huff/Ford specifications (for the Model K) but we would never have known Huff and Ford developed the magneto without the patent information.

I think as with all forensic evidence, pieces of information such as patents provide pieces of the puzzle, and when combined with other "pieces" give us an idea of how events transpired.

Of course, just my opinions,
Rob


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