Came home this Monday with this '14 Model T roadster pickup. It started out as a touring but as some point the back seat was removed and a Sears/Roebuck pickup bed was installed. Never painted, original engine (cast 11-20-13), starts and runs on either mag or battery
John, that is a really neat car/truck.
Looks like you struck gold with that one. What a neat truck! Must be from a good-sized town to have a high phone number like 3031.
Awesome patina ! I'll take a vehicle in this condition any day over a trailer queen restored job. Sch-weet !
When did Sears sell metal boxes instead of wood ones, Don?
John, what beautiful find. Please tell us all the history you know of the automobile and how you became the owner. Pictures of the axles, floor boards, engine, coil box, and more would be very interesting.
Very nice. Yes, please post any known history, and thank you for sharing.
When your T starts on "MAG" you know it is running right. Great truck John, can't wait to see it in person.
Regarding the bed, the basic structure is wood but the outside does have a metal cover. Not sure if that was with the original kit or if it was added at some time. The "floor" of the bed is wood and appears to have been there for the duration. I'll take more pictures and post. What a fun T to drive. I brought it home on an open trailer and slowed down traffic all the way. The top comes off easily so I put that in the back seat of my F-150 so it wouldn't blow around. The tool box on the running board was full of old Ford tools. After I'd been home about 30 minutes I took my wife for a short ride. The next day I took a grandson for a longer ride, the day after that I drove to town to have lunch with a buddy. I'd like to drive it to church in the morning but not sure I'm ready to drive it in the rain yet----we'll see.
That is a great looking truck. Since the phone number was mentioned, how did phone numbers work back then?
John, that looks great! Any more pics of it?
Phone numbers became possible in 1896 when the dial phone was introduced. Prior to 1896 you had to talk to the operator and request to be connected to a certain person in a certain town.
Dial phones all work the same way. The rotary dial was set to create a certain number of interruptions in the electric current flowing through the phone wires depending on how far around it was turned; thus, if you stuck your finger through the hole over the “6,” then pulled the dial as far as it would go with your finger still in the hole, then released it, the dial would create six electric interruptions on its way back to the starting position.
These interruptions were detected by the automatic equipment at the telephone exchange and interpreted as a phone number. In fact, they still are—even though most phones have moved on to touch tone dialing (using tones instead of interruptions in the electric current to signal the exchange), telephone exchanges are still set up to properly route calls made with a non-electric rotary dial.
It has already been said, but let me say it once again, A truly great find !!!
Thanks Royce. I remember that in the Navy our rotary dial phones that went out of the plant (in plant phones were sound powered) were always broken but you could dial out by quickly pushing the receiver button in the number sequence and it would call out. For example to dial 1234 you would push the button once, pause, twice, pause, three times, pause, and then four times and then wait for the call to go through.
As far as the old numbers like the one on John's T, how were they issued? I have seen ones like RIverside 3-5555 for example. And then there are ones like 3031 as above. It seems confusing.
That's the one you and I talked about... right?
That's a great looking T it really looks good sitting in front of the old store, it looks like it belongs there is the old building on your property ?
Looking forward to seeing more pictures, tell us about the store as well.
That is WAY cool! Nice find! I hope to see it on some tours.
I was on a tour up in the central part of the state, and there was a really cool '14 touring on the tour. It had been sawed off too, but the owner didn't discard the back half. It's back together as a touring now, and unless you look closely, it's hard to tell.
I LIKE it!
How phones worked depended on the exchange "plant" (equipment) and level of sophistication. Being a telephone historian,
I am a buff of the older, non-automated systems that used the old school operator/s at a switchboard. For these, one would
simply pick up your receiver and the operator would ask you for directions. As Royce said, one might ask for Fred Farkle, and
the operator would either know Fred's number, or look it up and connect you. OR, ... one might ask for a number, such as
the one on the truck, and the operator would connect you.
Many rural areas remained non-automated well past WW2, with the last of the manned exchanges being automated in the 1970's.
The numbering system that looked like: TU-2417 involved a named exchange, the "TU" being "short" for "Tucker", or spelled out
the Tucker Exchange, as a city or area may have several exchanges (each with a different name or "prefix"), and this allowed the
phone company to operate more number combinations int hat given area and organize their routing through the individual exchanges.
I am kinda stuck in the pre-automation era (hence the T interest), so I will let others explain the technical aspects of automated
plant design. I can tell you all about openwire and it's related history, but the later stuff bores me.
Congratulations on your new T! It looks great. And yes, like others have requested please post additional photos when you have time. And if you would please raise the seat cushion and see if there is a body number either stamped into the wood or attached with a tag. If there is please let us know what it says. There might also be a stamping indicating who originally “finished” the car – i.e. installed the upholstery etc. And there is a chance there is a letter by the body number or possibly on the front seat heel panel. Please see the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40322.html It includes photos of the tags that came with a later 1914 but they list the body makers as well as the finishers you may find stamped on the front seat wooden frame (normally in front of the gas tank).
I would also encourage you to tack down as much of the cars history as you can. If you check this month you can probably find out who the person you bought from purchased the car from. And they may or may not be able to give you the name but if they can share the location where they purchased it, it might provide a good lead. If you wait 20 years – most of us will have forgotten all that sort of information on a car we sold that long ago.
And don’t forget to find out (from a previous owner or by checking) if the car had the rear axle thrust bearing checked to see if it is bronze or not. If it still has the original rear axle thrust bearing it would be bronze in a 1914 as Ford switched to the babbitt thrust washers during 1915 [ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rax3 see part number 2528 or factory number 30].
What a great contrast to your restored 1915 Woodrow.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Now, THAT is cool!
Don't think I would ever paint it - just try to preserve the patina on it now. Great find and hope you have many happy years enjoying it.
I agree with Fred, preserve the look it has now. I'm normally a fan of the "new off the line" look, but the patina on your T is perfect, I love it!
Took this picture the day I brought the T home and will post additional pictures but my camera battery is recharging and not ready yet. The little building is in the woods behind our house and was built in 1934 by the Strake Oil Company when the oil boom was really strong in the Conroe/East Texas oil field. I found the building, I call Possum Lodge, in the woods about 2 miles down the road and moved it on a flat bed trailer and mounted it on it's original concrete blocks. The gas sign and grocery sign were on an old station a couple more miles down the road. By the way, the neon in the gas sign lights up. The seat cover, door panels and top on the T were replaced at some time in the past and aren't the originals.
John - That is REALLY nice! I hope to see it someday & would enjoy reading the history of it, how you found it, etc.
Adding a little to phone comments by Royce and Burger, the numbering varied from system to system. In the early days small towns typically used only numerals, no letters. In the smallest places they would be two or three digits, and in larger towns four digits as on John's truck. Here where I live, a business typically would have a phrase like Phone 64 in its advertising. The lettered exchanges were first used in large cities. By the time I came along in the forties the current arrangement of three digits (the first two being letters) followed by a dash and four digits was well established in urban areas across the country. In the Los Angeles area our number in Wilmington was TErminal 8-2170 and we had a dial phone. When we moved to Lomita in 1950 they were just replacing the old system in which you gave the number you were calling to a live operator who connected you, and introducing dial phones there. Our Lomita number was DAvenport 6-3430. By the fifties even the rural systems were adding letters even though they still used live operators and the numbers didn't yet follow the three digit-four digit pattern. Here on the farm Grandma still had a crank phone, and her number was 3012-W4. Around 1960 the dial system arrived here and her number became HI2-1626. At Radio Cab, a business in town, their number was HI2-1620. A lot of folks unfamiliar with the new dial system confused the letter o on the dial with the numeral 0, and Grandma got a lot of calls for Radio Cab. Eventually the letters were eliminated and TE8 became 838, DA6 became 326, and HI2 became 442.
Probably the most famous phone number with a letter prefix was at the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York City. Glenn Miller's band was playing at the hotel, and they recorded a tune with the title PEnnsylvania 6-5000 which became a big hit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_wkxGbL9bA
When I moved to the farm almost thirty years ago I put up a crank phone where Grandma had hers when I was a wee tyke.
Now that I'm on digital cable I can still receive calls on my rotary phone, but I have to use a modern push button phone to call out.
Gee, and I used to feel old because our rural phone when I was a kid was a party line. Half the time when you'd pick up to make a call, our egg man's wife would be on it.
John, that picture of your car next to the old gas station looks like a great picture for the cover of a future Vintage Ford magazine, I hope they contact you to do an article on it!
When my father started his business in Seattle, his phone number was 72, then a few years later they added 2 numbers at the front to designate the area of the city. The number became 5072. A few years later they added names to the number, then it became Main 5072. In the mid 60's they added a 5th digit then the number became Main 3-5072.In the 80's they dropped Main and changed it to all numbers 623 5072, which was the number he had until he sold his business. All told he had the same basic number from the 20's until the 90's
I grew up in rural Northern California,in the town of Dunsmuir. Eight miles up the road was/is the town of Mt. Shasta, and about 20 miles north-east is McCloud, a former Lumber Company town. Until about 1965 we could just dial 4 digits to call around town, in spite of knowing our number was actually CEdar5-2721. If you wanted to call Mt. Shasta, or McCloud, you called 0 and the operator connected you, and it was a toll call. Around 1965 we got "direct remote dialing" and had to dial the 7 digit number, I think MtShasta was WAlnut6, and we also got an area code added, 916 (used to cover all of northern California, now it only covers Sacramento, and the rest of us now have 530--I always thought it should have been the other way around! I bring up McCloud because it became a local car shortly afterwards (independent phone company), but Mt Shasta stayed toll. Nowadays you can call clear to Weed as a local call (17 miles away).
BTW, the operators were in Phone company buildings in each town too! Usually you knew the operator.
I still have rotary dial phones in my shop, and I can still call out on them--but they don't have caller ID, so I'm reluctant to pick up a call there as I don't want to listen to a sales pitch!
Great truck John. I side with those who say don't paint it, just make it safe to drive
Since I spent my corporate days in the telephone industry, I have also been interested in the thread deviations covering the old telephone days. I still have a telephone directory from the Gaston Home Telephone Company that served our Indiana farm when I was a kid. Here is a verbatim excerpt from that directories "General Information, Rules and Instructions" pages: "RULE 22 The operators are instructed to ring parties called for THREE TIMES ONLY; If they are out in the garden, summer kitchen, working or at the barn feeding or milking or out of the house, we could not get them at all, so it is useless to waste ringing power and time beyond three times".
"RULE 25 If your service is unsatisfactory, make your complaint to the management of the company, and not to the operators. They have troubles enough without listening to yours".
Needless to say, I enjoy my copy of the directory. Incidentally our telephone number was 57 ring 7 which made our "ring" short - long - short.
Just thought I would share
I was born in 51. As a little kid my mom was worried about us getting lost so drilled our phone number into us. Now at 63 I still remember that number. Prospect6-0649
Same here, Steve, Jackson2-0841.
When our family lived in Ferguson, MO (!), our mother's best friend was far enough away that a call from her house to ours was a toll call. However, my mother could call her friend without a toll charge.
So, when my mother's friend wanted to talk, she would call, let the phone ring once, then hang up. That was the signal for my mother to call her toll-free.
It's rare for me when I see one with the "patina" you have that I'd have to fight the urge to get out the spray gun but it looks like the lettering was done after the paint got into it's present condition and I would not under any circumstances change it a bit. It's the first time I've ever said let it be. (OK maybe I'd black the rear spokes).
The small town of Edwards, NY where I grew up and still live used the 4 digit phone numbers until the late 1970s. When we got married, 1969. We were on a party line with the next house on the road, both phones rang when either were called. We had 2 short rings, theirs was one long.
I still have a rotary dial phone in my garage. I can still dial out on it and receive calls. This thread seems to have changed from a very nice "T" to a discussion about phones.
John -- Mark has a good idea about the cover shot. The only thing is, the car needs to be on the right side so it shows up on the front cover of the magazine. Please take a shot or two that way with high resolution and send them to Jay Klefoth, the Vintage Ford Magazine editor. (A link to contact info is on the MTFCA home page.) It'll be worth the trouble to have your "new" car on the cover of our national magazine!
Bill, that's why I started another topic on phones. I didn't want to take away from the nice T that started this. The phone stuff is also interesting to me though!
Took a few more pictures of "Otis" in the garage. Not nice out today so inside. As Bill suggests above, if I do anything to Otis it will be necessary mechanical only, nothing cosmetic for sure. Anyway, here are a few more pictures, not the best but I'm no photographer. Also, Hap, if there are any numbers stamped I haven't found them yet but will continue to search. In one of the pictures you will see an exhaust bypass button on the floor. Never used one before, however when driving back from town on Wednesday I stepped on it and noticed just a bit more noise and a bit more energy. Handy when on an incline. Curious about the black rubber gizmo on the firewall. No idea what that is. Comments? Also, the control just below the mixture knob. Appears to have had an outlet toward the inside of the car. Comments?
The car is even more photogenic on the left side, which would work great for the cover shot.
The more pics I see of it, the better I like it. Lots & lots of correct '14 pieces there! And I especially like the fender patch. The mounting brackets underneath those fenders trapped mud in between, and most of them are rusted out there. That's the nicest patch I've seen on any of them. The owner obviously wanted it to be a neat job, whether he did it himself or had someone else do it.
I love little touches like that which help to tell the car's story.
Some past owner really wanted people and/or animals to get out of his way, three horns!?
What a special car, I love the fender patch!
Mike Walker has a good point about putting the car on the right of the garage for the cover pic. They can't just reverse your existing picture, the lettering would be backwards and the car would look like it was RHD.
Soon as I have a nice day I'll get Otis out by Possum Lodge again and take a proper picture. Forgot to mention in the last post that the box in the bed is for the battery. Any one have a comment on the black rubber gizmo on the firewall or the extra thing under the mixture control knob?
Thanks for looking for the body number. If you find one later please let me know.
Please confirm you are asking what item 1 & 2 are shown below:
I believe “Item 1” is probably some sort of pump. Does it have a handle that goes up and down? If so probably a pump. What type? Could be to prime the engine with gasoline (similar to the way light general aviation gasoline powered airplanes have a primer and are primed today before starting). Could be to pump air to the gas tank to pressure rise it for better hill climbing on a low tank. Might be to pump oil? From a previous photo of the car, it appears the dash was cut larger. I suspect, but I do not know, that it may have had an overhead valve setup on it at one time.
As for “Item 2” --“if it is about the right size for a pocket watch – maybe it was to hold the pocket watch? If you could add some dimensions for it that might help?
Also do either of the items have anything coming through the firewall on the other side?
Hap l9l5 cut off
Very envious John! My 26 ute (pickup) is in a similar condition with all mechanicals made safe and usable. It will be on the road by end of year.
They are still out there. Chris.
I believe item 1 is, as Hap suggested, a pump used to pressurize the fuel tank to enable climbing hills with less fuel in the gas tank than might otherwise be required.
Neither fixture goes through the firewall. A pump makes sense for item 1. The rubber overall is 2 1/4"outside and 1 3/4 inside---watch holder makes sense too. Thanks
What a sweet little "T" and the neat little store, it all really speaks to a person. Like Steve's Tele-eees too! thanks for sharing.
Thanks John, got to ask, where was it and how did you hear of it.
Put my wife's grandfather's old pocket watch in the rubber gizmo and, if the rubber was still soft, would fit right in. Even has a slot at the top to accommodate the stem. Thanks Hap. Another question: How concerned should I be about the thrust washers? The previous owner, a widow, doesn't know anything about the car. How should I approach that concern? The T was advertised in Hemmings and was from Michigan. Called on the ad and, after several conversations, made a deal. I met the transport just south of Dallas and hauled it to Conroe, Texas, which is about 40 miles north of Houston.
If you don't know for sure the rear axle has been done, you have to open it up. It may be perfectly fine, with bronze washers already installed, but you won't know until you look.
What a great truck John, that patina is simply amazing!..best of luck on what truly is a great find. Enjoy it.
John, You could use one of those camera probes to look inside and check it.
You guys commenting about the fender patch .... HELLO !
Can't you read the advertising on the sides ?
SHEPP'S FIX-IT SHOP ?
Ol' Shepp needs to show his clients he does good work, right ?
I'm not much for the earlier cars, but this thing is darling ! I love the bed side rails. Awesome find !
Steve, I started my young life on that rotary phone in KansasCityMO, Benton 1-3477
Holy mackerel, I thought Steve Jelf stole my
phone just kiddin its here, always been here.
Just a point, here the phone no. was your
address so my phone still says 31 my phone no.
and house no.31 easy to remember huh......
anyways real nice keep it like that..
One more additional comment regarding the "pump" on the firewall, next to the mixture control: The top sorta reminds me of the air pump on a Coleman lantern--turn to unscrew, pull up then stroke up and down to pressurize----I guess. Thanks for all the comments on the T, it has been a great learning experience for me. Thanks again, and God bless America.
In my opinion, that pump is too small to be useful to pressurize the gas tank.
Also, you can't put pressure in the tank unless the vent is plugged so there would have to be a corresponding flap or valve in the gas cap that closes when pressure is introduced into the tank.
Some higher end cars used a small pump mounted to the dashboard as part of a system to dump gas into the intake for ease of starting.
My dad had one sitting on the shelf. I'll have to see if he still has it.