I'm sure there were Ford Model K owners who went on to own Thomas Flyers and other high end automobiles. I've had the good fortune to find two owners who went the other direction.
This story begins with a young family, the E. B. Dean's of Scranton PA.
In 1904, the family announces the celebration of their son's third birthday:
By June 1905, the Dean's are listed as owners of an Elmore car:
And the family is reported taking an auto trip during the summer:
Next, the Dean's buy a new car. Any guesses what kind?
(off to Church for now, to be continued)
Notable is the admission in the newspaper clipping that registrations are a only small number of automobile owners in the county. As such, registrations in the early days of motoring are a poor method for documenting car sales or ratios of car ownership.
Anyone outside a city center would have ignored registration or licensing.
"Anyone outside a city center would have ignored registration or licensing"...THAT IS JUST ONE MORE OF THE MANY UNDOCUMENTED AND NONSENSE TYPE STATEMENTS YOU USUALLY MAKE!
So what your saying is that if you didn't live in or near a city you had no reguard for the law and could do what ever you wanted. So us country folks are all crooks and law breakers.
Automobiles were rare and everyone would have known who owned one so I'm guessing that the law enforcement would too! Most folks probably bought their car from a dealer in a CITY. Gee I guess they just would sneak in and out of town when they needed service.
I posted a portion of the article to show the type of car the Dean family owned. The only thing "notable" is the article does list the 32 cars registered at this point in the year. Interestingly, no Fords are included:
Now back to the story..........
Before getting back on track (on topic to my off topic thread), the article also mentions what will be the most expensive county in the county. Mort Fuller has ordered a Mercedes costing $14,000. In todays dollars that is about a $350,000 car.
Car in county, not "county in county".
Kinda hard to post with tears in your eyes after that Nebraska game huh.
It is January of 05. A lot of cars are probably in a garage until the weather warms up. Rob is right, where are the Fords. Why does it appear that the cars that are registered are the more expensive brands?
1905 - Weekly wages are probably less than $10/week for most people. What was the least expensive car available at that time?
Dennis - Ohio State vs WI in Big Ten championship? Do you have a prediction?
Yes. Certainly not a close game to agonize over, just an old fashioned beat down....
Now, back to the past......
By the spring of 1906, E. B. Dean and family order a new car:
Following the account of Mr. Dean's new Flyer, mention of the first Model K demonstrator arriving soon at the Scranton Ford dealer, Conrad Brothers.
And over the summer into the fall of 1906, the Dean's continue to travel, and have another birthday party for their son, now five years old:
It appears the Dean's are well monied. The following articles cover Mr. Dean's business dealings during early 1907:
Actually it is documented. My dad lived in northern Minnesota and bought his drivers license at the local bank in 1930 (there was no driving test, just a fee).
One of his favorite stories is when he was chased by a police car while driving through a nearby town. He didn't have any license plates because it was the depression and he didn't have two nickels much less the several dollars it would take to buy plates for his Model T. There was no sheriff in Eagle Bend, and no one bothered to buy plates for their cars in a rural Minnesota county. He paid the owner of the town dump about $4 to gather enough T parts to build the car. License plates would have cost more than the car was worth!
Dad avoided capture by the cops by driving up a railroad loading platform and jumping a set of railroad tracks in his T. By mistake - he did not have working headlights and it was dark.
If you doubt the story I can give you his phone number. He loves to talk about this episode.
This takes place in Pennsylvania, 1905-1909. Obviously the circumstances and conditions have no relationship to depression era Minnesota.
I'm not going to high Rob's thread over such a notion that everybody didn't get registered just because your father didn't.
Now back to the topic....
I understand that the Elmore Motor car was only a 12 hp Thomas was a 50 hp and the K was a 60 hp so was Dean enjoying more power and speed as he changed cars?
The Scranton Truth newspaper article states in black and white that the thirty two registered automobiles are a small number of the automobiles that exist in the county. If that statement is not true then we can conclude the entire article is untrustworthy as well. Right?
Yes, the Thomas Flyer for 1906 was 50hp. The Ford Six (Model K) was rated 40hp, although probably closer to 50hp for 1907. Shortly after the articles above, the Dean's are reported to be buying a Ford Model K. For what ever reason, another Thomas owner buying a "six cylinder Ford:"
The Dean's Ford arrives:
Several prominent cars from Scranton attend the Wilkes-Barre hillclimb, including the Dean and Conrad Ford six cylinder touring cars:
Other Dean Ford outings reported in the local papers:
(Message edited by Rob on November 16, 2014)
Time to wind this one down. We know Mr. Dean moved from an Elmore to Thomas Flyer to Ford Six between 1905 and 1907. In May 1908 he is involved in a court proceeding involving his car and chauffeur:
In June 1908 another incident. Mr. Dean accidentally starts a fire, burning down his garage with his car in it. I'm unable to find reports that confirm if this is the Model K, but suspect it is.
This is the last definite information I've found concerning the Dean family. Below is a 1901 newspaper photograph of the couple at the time of their marriage:
Indeed, city license plates were required by many jurisdictions in the early days of motoring.
Many of the photos on Shorpy come from the National Archives in Washington DC, and the photo collection contains a multitude of images taken in and around Washington DC. Motorists in that area often had three license plates. If they were residents of Maryland or Virginia they might have a state license plate and city plates for Baltimore and Washington DC.
Pretty good story Rob.
Example of Model T's with multiple license plates in Washington DC:
The well-driller who recently drilled us a new well came over quite often during the drilling in his T. It did not have a current registration and he admits to driving all over the back roads and through a state preserve. Both county and state police patrol our area
and he has never been stopped. It seems the old way still works today