I believe those to be NRS car chassis.
Well, if they're T's they've installed the manifolds on the wrong side.
Very cool photo Jay. I don't think of pre-T production on this scale, but obviously Henry was already going great guns.
They have "N" fenders and steps on the frames.
Thanks for posting this great pic.
The June 15, 1908 "Ford Times" cover below announces that Ford has built and shipped 100 cars for the first time. I believe the photo is taken at Piquette, and in addition to a Model N, a Model K (and possibly a few more K in the background) is pictured. Piquette looks like a busy place......
Jay and Rob – thank you for posting the early photos.
The photo Jay originally posted starting this thread is reposted below for reference:
On page 275 of “From Here to Obscurity” and I agree with their observation, the photo above was taken at Piquette, is of Model N chassis assembly, and was taken around 1906. Below note a sales brochure has a photo that was taken at the same time frame but from the other end of the Piquette Plant.
The two photos above and a third photo of the Model N engines all stacked sitting on their flywheels (flywheel was at the front on the Model N,R,S&SR engines and you can see them in the upper left of the second photo) – were taken in 1906 at the Piquette Ave Plant. Note the location of the chassis that have the rear frame sitting on stands rather than the floor. In the top photo those chassis are facing to the left (radiator on the left car frame extending to the right) of the photo. But the chassis with the rear frame on stands in the second photo have the chassis on the stands on the right and facing to the right (radiator on the right and frame extending back to the left).
I cropped the photo above from the 1907 Model R Sales brochure that has it captioned, “Assembling “R” Cars.”
On the same page 275 of “From Here to Obscurity” they shared, “This, and the two other pictures of in-plant production, were used in the sales catalogs of 1906, 07 and 08, the captions changed to suit the date.”
Which is one of the reasons I like photos (at least before photoshop etc.) because often times they show details that were at least present during that photo and allow us to better date when they probably were taken.
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Thanks for those neat pictures! I still remember two years ago when we toured Piquette as a part of our HF 150th. anniversary tour how fantastic it was to stand right in the middle of where all this happened over 100 years ago. Sent chills up my spine! I could almost hear the clinking of wrenches. Need to go back and spend more time there than we had on that day.
You're right, Tim, the Piquette Plant is hallowed ground. All of us Model T'ers (and pre-T'ers) owe a debt of gratitude to those who are now maintaining and refurbishing the plant.
It truly is a most special place in history. Been there once. Gotta go back soon.
For what it's worth, that photo was taken on the third floor.
That certainly is an unusual plant layout. No aisles, how did they move the cars out? Did Mr. Ford wait until the entire run was complete and then spend the day moving them out and setting up the next run? How did the workers move the parts in to assemble the cars? Not much extra space.
Jon, behind the photographer is another smaller room but, in between is a service elevator that is just big enough for a Ford car. I'm guessing they moved the first car in the photo and so on.
I always thought those pictures were posed, not normal operations. The vehicles are just too close together for decent access. The service elevators in Ford's time at Piquette were at the northwest corner (nearest the railroad siding and under the water tank) and just inside the second bay at the south end of the building. The south elevator shaft was converted to lavatories by a later owner.
The north elevator is still there, but is not usable.