Some of you may know that along with my 1915 Ford, I have a 1905 Queen automobile, built by C.H. Blomstrom, in Detroit. I recently found, on line, a transcript of a recording made in 1977 and kept in the Grand Valley State University's archives. It has been posted on line for anyone to see.Here's the link:
It is a wealth of info for me, and it comes directly from Carl Blomstrom's son, Lowell. Blomstrom states that sometime after the Queen car's demise, the Blomstrom's patented and sold an aftermarket Ford steering device. This is info from that interview:
Interviewer: What did he do after he went out of the car business?
Mr. Blomstrom: Well he and I designed a steering gear reversible, irreversible steering gear for
Ford Model-T‘s and we sold thousands of them. I had the patents and I signed to the company.
And I still have one in the basement in my store room down there. And you know the Ford was throw it out of your hand, they‘d tip over on you the Model-T‘s. I've seen them tip over. You couldn‘t have no control, no resistance see? It was too direct. And we made, we sold thousands of them; had a company make them for us. And we had a lock on it and it would tilt up you know so it would get in and out easy. Then it had a Yale lock on it so you lock your steering you couldn't steer, it someone broke in. Well they were all open cars in those days. Pretty near all open cars, very few closed cars.
It would be very interesting to find what name the accessory was sold under. A photo of one of these devices would be wonderful to have! Perhaps someone on the forum has one in their collection(?) or knows how to identify one. How would one go about finding out the patents that Carl Blomstrom successfully applied for?
Without a better description would be hard to nail down.
There were several steering gear cases made to replace the lower bushing bracket and to incorporate gears at the frame.
The one below is the Ross
This other type is the Sprague
Thanks for posting Dan!
The talk about a tilting and locking steering wheel connected to the irreversible steering function made me think about the Philip irreversible steering clutch that was mounted right below the steering wheel in between the Ford steering gear housing and its cover:
Pictures from Jay's accessory of the day posting 12/04/09: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/116309.html?1260165378
But since the Philip gizmo was produced in California, it's unlikely it had anything to do with the Blomstroms in Detroit? Maybe both were variations on the same theme as with so many other accessories for Fords.
With the 'weight-saving' (or insert your own adjective here) design of the stock steering components of the T, I would have some concern about a system that locks up hard. If the force from a strong bump can't be dissipated by the steering wheel moving with your hands, it may find the next-weakest point, resulting in a bent tie rod, drag link, etc.
(Don't Hate Me, It's Just A Thought)
Could this be the device that Lowell Blomstrom was talking about?
US Patent 1187964
This patent was listed with his father as its sole inventor, but Lowell only stated that he was involved in its design. Both father and son were listed as co-inventors on another device,
US Patent 1225307
but it didn’t seem to be involved with steering.
For what it is worth, I have one of the Philip Irreversible Clutches on my boat-tail. I like how it works and feels when driving. It does not stop all steering wheel kick-back, but does reduce it a bunch. My guess is that after a lot of miles, wear will reduce its effectiveness. When rolling the car in and out of parking slots, you quickly learn to not try to steer the car by pushing on the front wheels. Unfortunately, it does not stop the wheels from creeping back to straight ahead, so you have to keep going back to the steering wheel to continue turning as you push. The unit looks well made and I feel safe with it on the car. I initially put it on the car because the seat sits far enough back I wanted the extra inch and a half for the steering wheel. Now I would like to get a couple more of them (if only I wasn't too broke to buy them).
There were several combination tilting and unlocking anti-theft steering wheels offered during the model T era. And there were a few other anti kickback devices as well. But I don't recall ever seeing a wheel with all three devices in one.
Guess this makes that beautiful Queen "model T related"?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
NOS Phillip steering clutch on eBay now for 12 hrs.
and bottom of the page a steering control also NOS
in box. Look under model t Ford steering.
Welcome to the forum Christian, and thanks for the update on Blomstrom's patents.
Unfortunately it seems like the first patent is a front wheel drive for some non Ford car and the second some kind of worm gear/planetary transmission similar to a TT Ruckstell in function, but neither that one seems to be intended as a Ford accessory. Maybe the Ford steering accessory were designed later as the Ford aftermarket business grew towards the 20's?
Art may have left the board
(Message edited by Roger K on November 08, 2015)
I forgot about ending the last sentence in my above post.. We had a forum member, Art Bell, who used to search patent databases as a hobby and posted lots of patent info on all kinds of Model T accessories, but he hasn't been seen here the last year. Hope he's OK.
I love to learn more about this stuff and anybody who has ideas on how to search for more Blomstrom patents or ads is welcome
this must be the patent in question:
US Patent 1352868
Again, this one lists only the father as the inventor.
One relatively simple way to search for US patents is to use Google’s advanced patent search page. For some reason, searching only by inventor name doesn’t bring back all of the patents for that inventor, so adding relevant keywords and restricting the date range could be helpful.
Great, there it is!
Thank you for posting the link for google advanced patent search. I was just going to do a search on an old tool. Now all I have to do is check to see if it has a patent number.
I hope that that link will come in handy.
I have been wondering about Art Bell for awhile now myself. I do hope he is well.
Thanks for that audio link. That was a fabulous history lesson.