I enjoy ferreting out information about owners of early Fords. Particularly, due to the negative association, owners of Model K. On my way to Chickasha this week, I decided to focus on Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas "K" owners.
This is one of those people, Dr. Reginald Huber Meade. Dr. Meade was a true automotive pioneer, who owned and experienced some of the first automobiles in the American west.
This story begins in 1901:
The bicycle craze hits great Bend, Kansas, along with the rest of the country
Dr. Meade relies on horses for his transportation needs:
Dr. Meade demonstrated his interest in technology by using an X-Ray machine. The first clinical use of X-Rays occurred only a few years earlier in 1896:
In 1904, Dr. Meade purchases his first automobile, a steam powered Locomobile:
More to follow. There will be a Ford involved......
Dr. Meade has his problems learning to operate his car:
Within six months, the Doctor buys a gas car:
Dr. Meade enjoys the benefits an automobile affords:
He still has the liabilities of a team of horses:
And leaves his car in a snow bank, waiting on the "vulture wagon: "
The horse problems aren't over:
For 1905, another new car. This time, a Haynes-Apperson:
I don't know if the Haynes stayed, but a few months later, a second Rambler:
Dr. Meade makes good use of his Rambler, both socially and professionally:
I believe Dr. Meade's Haynes-Apperson and Rambler were the two shown below:
Meanwhile, Mrs. Meade, who has battled an unknown illness for several years, takes a turn for the worse:
Mrs. Meade passes in late November 1905. As with the passing of the last Model K owner (earlier thread), another Kansas native, the cause is tuberculosis. Mrs. Meade was in her mid twenties, and the Dr. Meade is thirty years old:
Dr. Meade appears to have developed a reputation as a fast driver:
in mid 1906 Dr. Meade goes to Europe to study:
And returns at the beginning of 1907:
In August, 1907, Dr. Meade buys a Ford. According to this report, the Ford is enjoying a good reputation in Kansas:
Rob - I'm continually amazed where you find all these articles, and the time it must take.
That said, I enjoy them all. Please keep up the good work.
BTW, I really would like a ride in the new-to-you K Roadster some day!
Take him up the hill Rob!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Thanks for posting. Note that the Aug 9, 1907 "Great Bend Weekly Tribune" states "75 horse power Ford racer and will easily develop a speed of 50 miles per hour."
But the Model K was advertised at 40 horse power (Ref: page 19 second line "Horse Power" of the 1907 "Model K" sales brochure shown below.)
Concerning speed the Model K was advertised "All speeds from four miles an hour to a mile-a-minute, may be obtained by simple manipulation of the throttle lever." (ref page 19 above the 12 heading from the bottom and also page 15 below the last sentence on the page.)
I wonder if the reporter got his notes wrong, or the type setter set them incorrectly, or was there some other type of Ford he purchased?
I did a quick check to see if any Kansas dealers were listed in Trent's "Early Ford Database" but I did not see any. They must have been included in the missing 75 per cent or so of the accounts receivable ledgers.
Again, thank you for sharing this and so many of the other stories from the past.
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Always room for you..... Maybe at the Old Car Festival this year?
You mean "that hill?"
Yes, I suspect the writer "got it wrong." The 1906 Model K were advertised to reach 50 mph. For 1907 the engine power was advertised to be improved by 20%, due to increased compression, and the touring was often advertised capable of 60 mph. The 1907/08 K runabout/roadster (the 1907 K was called a "runabout" by Ford, then "roadster" when the 1908 S "roadster" emerged) was advertised as a 70 mph car. The difference between the roadster and touring being larger tires and less weight.
I know for a fact a 1907 touring is capable of 60 plus mph (63 in fact).
I find these "stories" interesting due to the snapshots of history the cars and people reveal. In this case, Dr. Meade is a small town doctor at the turn of the last century. In addition to pioneering automobile use, he also is probably one of the first medical professionals to use the X-Ray. Just as with the last Kansas "K" owner, he won't live to see his 50th birthday, but did live an eventful life.
Giving rides to school age children:
Driving in winter to make house calls:
And as might be expected of a Kansas doctor, treating tornado victims:
In mid 1909, Dr. Meade takes a trip to the west coast. While on a steamship, he sends a "newfangled" wireless message from ship to shore:
In early 1910, Dr. Meade remarries. He is now 35 years old:
And still carries the reputation of being a fast driver:
By 1910, I don't know if Dr. Meade still drove the Model K. However, to this point, newspapers have provided information of his new cars, so it's possible he is still driving the Ford:
In mid 1910, it appears the doctor is looking at new cars:
By 1911, Dr. Meade owns an Overland, according to this account:
I'll follow with the conclusion in a bit,
I meant to add, it is beginning to appear to me that Ford Branch cars are not included in the ledger information Trent has researched. If this is the case, it explains the "drought" of some types of Fords, such as Model K, from the database, in certain areas of the country. We know from news accounts many Model K were sold in New York, for example, with limited numbers appearing in the ledgers.
I've encountered about twenty Model K purchased and owned in Kansas, yet there are none on the ledger information (thank you for the ledger research, Trent). In many of these accounts, Model K are purchased from local agents, and and driven from the Ford Kansas City Branch and delivered to the new owner.
The account receivable ledgers are missing approximately 75-80% of the ledgers. For the 1904-1914 ledger books they have 9 volumes and estimate there could easily be 10 or even 20 more volumes that are missing )ref page 2 of Trent's introduction to the "Early Ford Database." So unless the ledgers that are still available had the accounts for one or more of the branches we will not have any Account Receivable record for what was shipped to that branch. Note a quick scan of a couple of pages I did not see any state listed that started with a "K". Also I do not know when the Ford Branch in Kansas was opened. It is listed in the 1911 book but I did not see any branches listed in the 1907 books that I skimmed quickly. So the account receivable ledger with the Kansas Branch is still missing or they were not a Branch in 1908 or earlier which is the period Trent covered. Or possibly some other explanation.
But because the cars shipped are listed by agency and perhaps branch if one or more is listed, the data base still provides a good reference for approximately how many and what serial number range cars were shipped when. If an agency is listed, then most of the cars shipped to that agency should be listed.
Note, I consider Ford of Canada to be a assembly branch at that time -- but I cannot locate a quick source to verify or correct what it was called in 1907. From memory, there are several cars listed in the Ford of Canada archives at Windsor Univ [available on the CD in "Pate's Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia" that are NOT listed in Trent's Early Ford data base. I.e. quite a few engines/chassis etc. are not listed in the USA accounts receivable ledgers that were built into cars and sold by Ford of Canada. My theory (guess) is that Ford of Canada may have obtained those parts directly from the Dodge Brother's Machine shop or later from the Ford Manufacturing Company rather than through the Ford Motor Company. That is all a guess at the moment on my part. But that is one of the theories I am trying to find additional information to support or correct as appropriate. I would welcome anyone else's ideas and especially documentation to help us know why the USA USA Accounts Receivable ledgers and the Ford of Canada ledgers appear to have different numbers of serial numbers (cars) recorded.
We would also welcome information on the USA Accounts Receivable Ledgers. Wouldn't it be grand if they could find a few more of the ledgers stashed somewhere?
There is always so much more to be discovered and better understood.
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Thank you for the information.
According to this page from "the Ford Times," Vol 1, #4, June 1, 1908 (courtesy "The Henry Ford," all rights apply), the Kansas City Branch opened January, 1905.
Reference Model K parts to Canada, I have another document I'll post when I'm able to locate it (too much stuff, too little organization).
Dr. Meade joins the U.S. Army as a Regimental Surgeon serving in France during WW1. He is wounded in a gas attack, taking several months to recuperate:
In 1922, at the age of 47, Dr. R. H. Meade succumbs to heart disease:
The short but remarkable life of a country doctor.....
Thank you so much for posting the information on when the Kansas City Branch opened (Jan 1905). Based on that date and a slightly longer look at about the last 20 pages of Trent’s “Early Ford Database” the ledgers do not contain the Kansas City Branch. I stopped looking at the states and instead looked for Kansas City because I wasn’t sure if the branch was in Kansas City, Kansas or Kansas City, Missouri. If there had been a Kansas City anything I should have spotted it. And many of the dealers (agencies) were repeated in those 20 pages.
Again, thank you for your help and encouragement.
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And to make it easier to find later, I have included a link to the information Rob posted showing a list of items for the Model K Ford and who supplied them to Ford of Canada and their cost is located at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/527638.html
I suspect that when the engine, transmission, etc. was not purchased or obtained through Ford USA, that the Ford USA records would not include that engine number.
I believe the K.C. Branch was in K.C. Kansas. I know in about 1908 it moved to a new location, and I believe that was also in Kansas. As the article mentions above, the Branch area included the states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. I was only able to copy some pages from "Ford News" number one, and unfortunately, don't have the next page that appears to name the other areas, and probably give more information about the branch.
I've suspected Ford Branch sales are not included in the surviving ledgers. My reasons for that stem from the fact New York (particularly the southern part of the state and city) do not show Model K sales, and news accounts report many New York Branch Model K sales (one account says twenty Model K runabouts were sold by the New York Branch in the summer of 1907 alone). The same for Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston sales (lack of) regarding Model K.
My guess is branch ledgers (or some system of record keeping) were kept separate from general agency (dealer) sales.
As for Kansas, I am compiling a list, but it looks like close to twenty Model K were sold in the state based on news accounts alone. 1907 Ford sales policy required agents to put a $200 payment on Model K. My guess is small town agents, many who were just beginning the automobile business, could not afford to keep inventory, and pay an advance that equals about $5,000 in today's dollars. As a result, another way to conduct business would have been to order through the branch, as sales were made. Several accounts report Kansas agents and/or car purchasers taking the train to Kansas City to drive their new car home.
Since Ford commission structure provided the same commission possibility for agents purchasing through the branch (20% on Model K directly from the factory, 25% for Model K to branch managers), the commission may have been very similar (I guess depending on the arrangement between the branch manager and agent).
Much to learn. Thank you for your research and assistance with early Ford history,
This photo was taken in front of the Kansas City Branch in late September, 1908: