In a January 1910 issue of The Horseless Age, I ran across an ad to improve the Model T rear axle.
We know the T rear axle was weak probably through 1913 so it's no surprise that entrepreneurs were offering improvements, as they were to do by the thousands for the next two decades.
But when did this trend start? What's the earliest that someone offered a "fix" for the Model T, and only the Model T Ford?
According to serial numbers, by January 1910 there were 14,161 Model T's produced. Was Ford the largest US manufacturer at that time? If so, it couldn't have been by much. Buick made 9000-some cars in 1908. Oldsmobile was right up there.
I just found it uprising that enough Model T's were being sold by January 1910 for an accessory to be offered specifically to fix a deficiency on one particular car.
Thoughts from you experts?
I've seen advertised accessories specifically for Fords even prior to the Model T. Aftermarket bodies, carburetors and timers were offered for Models NRS and some parts to "improve" the 1903-1904 Model A. I saw one advertisement for Model T aftermarket parts in late 1908 or January 1909 (that surprised me).
I'll post a few examples if I find them in my electronic filing system (that's not a very good system).
I guess what surprises me is that I don't recall seeing such accessory offerings for cars that are not Fords. Like improvements specifically for Buick, Oldsmobile, Franklin, etc. Maybe I just never paid attention to non-Ford accessories, but if I'm right, why only Fords?? Were they that poorly made? :-)
A few examples. From the November, 1908 issue of "Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal."
On page 225, an advertisement for an aftermarket Model T top:
And in the same issue, on page 214, windshields, tops, fenders, running boards and timers for Ford, Buick and Maxwell:
(Message edited by rob on November 28, 2014)
There were accessories for all sorts of cars that claimed all sorts of improvements. It is not necessarily a true statement to say that these accessories were made to fix defects. They were sold to make money for the part seller. Then, as now, claims made by part sellers are often exaggerated or completely made up of whole cloth.
Here is an accessory Sunderman carburetor that was offered for many makes of cars including Ford, Saxon, Metz and Maxwell:
Comparison of Model T to non - Ford Sunderman carbs:
I have a Gardner truss bracket
Any chance you can post a photo of it? Especially if it's on a car?
I'd like to see a live one. . .
Scott - Is that your car pictured on your Profile?
Here's a picture of one installed on Mitch Owen's 1910 touring.
I see Mitch Owen's '10, the brace is of course mounted over the spool. The ad posted by Scott D shows the brace over an early '09 Babbitt pinion bearing type driveshaft. They probably made them for both bearing types.
I am not sure when Ford took the crown as having built more cars than anybody else. IF I recall correctly, Ford built more cars than anyone else in one year once before the model T. I believe it was 1907, but may be wrong. I think it may have been 1910 when they did that again (could have been 1911).
The title of most cars built in the world in one year has been held by many different companies, both European and USA. Benz was one of the first to make that claim. I believe, if I recall correctly, that Winton was the world leader for a year or two (about 1900). Then came the first truly mass produce automobile! Sorry, it was not a Ford. If I recall correctly, total production of the Curved Dash series of Oldsmobiles was about nineteen thousand in roughly six years.
Buick, REO, and Maxwell all had their turn at largest producer for a given year. All three of them were consistent major producers for many years. But it was several years before Oldsmobile lost the crown of all time production. I do not know who took it from them, or what year.
In 1910, Ford is poised to lead in production for most of the next 30 years.
As to automotive accessories. Again, the first with the most was not Ford, but the Curved Dash Oldsmobile. General accessories for automobiles had been around almost from the first Benz (1886). Being one of the few people around to have read most issues of 'Horseless Age' magazine cover to cover, from 1895 through 1900, I can tell you that there are a LOT of ads for automobile accessories in those magazines. Basically, all of them are for automobiles in general. I wish I had a bunch on my computer to show here. Rob H may be good at that, I am not.
The Curved Dash Oldsmobile's real production began fairly late in 1901. Probably, within a couple months, accessories were being offered specifically for the CDO. I have personally seen, original dicky seats, front baskets, side baskets, front mounted trunks, among other things. I have seen ads for tops, fenders, running boards (the first CDOs did not come with fenders), and even a full coupe enclosure. In addition to all those, general accessories such as lamps, horns, umbrella baskets, and probably a hundred other things were advertised toward CDO owners.
Like I said about speedsters in another thread. It goes almost to the beginning of the automobile, when Ford was still just another hopeful up and coming.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2