Took these pictures of the rare Ford 'H' lens that was the limited first production run of that type fluted lens in January of 1922.
The Service Bulletin of Feb. 1922 notes that the new 'H' lens Passes all the requirements of ALL existing state laws.
BUT..that way not true with the first production. The 'H' lens was a design to replace the GREEN visor lens.
All states were accepting 'fluted clear lens' to meet laws of minimizing glare to on-coming cars, but the Commonwealth of KENTUCKY did not allow, beginning late 1921, the use of clear fluted lens, a fluted lens had to be a PURPLE color to meet the KY vehicle laws.
Here is one of those rare early Ford 'H' lens on this T at Chickasha.
Note the Purple color, these lens were made for only the state of KY.
So for the first month of production, Jan 1922, lens were made in purple for Ford T's sold in the state of KY.
Fortunately for Ford, the KY Assembly passed a law eliminating the need for purple color lens in their state, and Ford then made all the lens after February 1922 in the normal clear fluted glass.
You were lucky to find that! They only made them for six days before the law was passed and then Ford dropped them in favor of clear. Nice find!
I've heard they were only used on the left hand side of the cars in question during that time, except if it was a right hand drive car where the lens was fitted on the right hand lamp.
Purple lens are not that rare. I have been told that the sunlight changes the clear lens to purple after long exposure to the sun. I have seen some slight purple lens, some a little darker and some very purple.
I have also seen some very old house glass turn purple.
Thanks, Dan for reminding me to look at my calendar...
: ^ )
An old farmer told me that all the purple lenses turn clear on April 2nd.
Best regards. BE
Oh, I forgot, in 1924 my dad bought a new 1924 TT truck. It has dark purple lens and spend a good part of its like outside. (I still have it)
same thing bottles & gas pump cyls in the sun to long they turn purple.thats just the way it is.charley
They were not made in Purple, but Violet. I see your Truck has one Violet and one non-Violet.
in the old days when the gas pump cyls turned purple or violet they replaced them with clear ones,today they bring $100.00 + more than clear ones.charley
ive been thinking again!!!!!!!.back the old days 50s&60s .when i lived in so.cal. the old timers told me they got those purple lens out in the desert. i guess they could have made it that far from ky. charley
We have had many purple headlight and side light lenses. They will turn that way in UV light over time depending on how much trace elements are present in the glass, I think I was told cobalt or something like that. Some lenses never turn, some turn darker than others. They look neat, but suck to drive with at night. T lights are marginal at best and don't need a darkened lens in front of them. I have sold every one we have had, they bring good money. Max Edmonds made an enclosure with a powerful UV lamp and mirrors to turn them purple fast.
I saw the one at Chickasha and was impressed at the darkness and thought it was the most intensely colored one I had seen. Now I understand why, it was made that way. Always learning new stuff here. Did anyone happen to look at the engine behind that headlight? It still had the pan between the block and frame, and had run with a nasty oil leak so long the pan filled up with oily sludge almost covering the starter. I'll try to post a pic. Maybe even right side up. Still haven't figured that one out.
Here is a pic of the engine on that car. I went to photo resize and inverted it. Maybe you will see it right side up. If not I'll have to get help.
I get the feeling that this thread was started as an "April Fools" joke but, I'll play along.
In the early days of making pressed, or "Depression" glass, it was difficult to refine the silica to remove the impurities. One of the common impurities found in glass-grade silica was manganese.
Over time, exposure to U.V. rays caused the manganese to out-gas within the glass. The gas created by the manganese reflects purple light thus the purple tinted headlight lenses and other items made from manganese contaminated silica.
If one were to take a purple tinted glass, melt it down, and re-shape it, it would return to it's original clear appearance.
Dan, Nice one. You had me for about a minute. Now this is going to become "fact", because we read it on the web. and everything we read on the web is correct. Isn't it ????
"most of what one reads on the Internet is untrue". Abraham Lincoln, 1874
You need to give credit to the Ebay seller that you took that description from :-)
Looks like the jokes on all of the negative Nancys.
I wonder if we would find acceptance among the tuner car crowd running lenses like that. Having a four cylinder engine should help too.
Most purple (sun colored amethyst, or s.c.a.) glass was produced
before WWI. It is unusual that post-war Ford lenses were made using
manganese, as Germany was the primary world supplier and they
stopped exporting it and used it in their high grade steel production.
This caused most U.S. mfr's. to go to selenium as a de-colorizing
agent for their glass. Selenium will cause glass to yellow when UV
exposed, but rarely very dark like some of the s.c.a. glass can get.
It was the iron oxides present in most silicas that caused glass to
naturally achieve an aqua color. Most people today would be familiar
with old fruit jars and pre-1910 patent medicines or telephone insulators
being made in these aqua shades. The users simply did not care if
the glass had color, and thusly did not wish to pay the extra production
cost for decolorizing agents. However, items like lamps, lenses, and
shades WERE expected to be clear, and the extra effort was made
Along with much more stringent batch production and heat times.
Oddly, a few major mfr's. somehow managed to come into large supplies
of manganese after the war and used it in their production. The T lenses
come to mind, as does a huge amount of Whitall Tatum's insulator
production around 1920-3. The glass mfg. industry is pretty tightly
knit and it would not surprise me to learn Tatum or a nearby firm
(Millville, NJ) made lenses for Ford and others during this period,
or perhaps even as an aftermarket parts supply source ???
The lens are available at Vintage Ford of Sacramento. I think I paid close to 20 bucks for mine. They have the ford script on them.
So much for April Fools!
Purple glass ... one more thing:
If the batchmaster was really on top of his game and added just the
right amount of manganese to counteract the iron oxide content, the
glass would chemically balance and remain crystal clear. It was only
when excessive manganese was added to the batch that it purpled
upon exposure to UV rays. Of course, the more in excess, the darker
it would purple.
A common misbelief about this process is that the longer the glass is
exposed to UV rays, the darker it will become. Most glass achieved it's
maximum depth of color within months of exposure, that depth being
determined by the chemical imbalance, not more exposure.
how much are these lenses worth?
Worth heaps to people looking for some.