Our 12 T has what we think are its original wheels, all are marked with a k. the fronts have a screw through the rim into the fellow every 2nd spoke. The rears have 2 rivets through the fellow into the rim, the fellow joint plates are riveted. Is this common.
Rivets are kosher, screws are not. Somebody has done some improvising there. K is for Kelsey, one of ford's main wheel suppliers.
Bottom Line Up Front: Is your car Canadian or USA assembly? Yes, screws were used 1909-1912 for USA production to secure/center the rims to the wooden felloes. Canadian production – probably followed USA production procedures. Wheels were NOT produced by Ford but were sourced from outside companies.
If the car you are asking about is the one in your profile picture, it appears to be a Canadian assembled Model T Touring. Ford of Canada was sourcing items such as wheels from Canadian suppliers from the very earliest days when they were producing Model C Fords [ref page 33 “In the Shadow of Detroit” by David Roberts – Chaplin Wheel Company of Chatham supplied wheels and bodies – ref Nov 21, 1904 directors’ meeting see: https://books.google.com/books?id=THOyZ5JwkEQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=In+the+sha dow+of+detroit+by+David+Roberts&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yzQgVcbTLIfVsAWDkYPIAQ&ved=0CCUQ6A EwAA#v=onepage&q=In%20the%20shadow%20of%20detroit%20by%20David%20Roberts&f=false ]. And while often times the parts were the same when made in the USA or Canada in some cases they varied a little or even a lot. For a Canadian Model T the front wheels were never the 30 x 3 that was standard on the front of the non-demountable wheel equipped USA cars until Ford introduced a 30 x 3 ½ front non-demountable very early in the 1926 model year production for a short time before non-demountables were no longer offered with new cars.
Note on page 100 of Robert’s book it says in part, “Between Mar 1912 and mid-1913, Hupp, Overland, Baker Electric,….American Lamp and Stamping, and Kelsey Wheel had all set up branch works …..” I.e. just as Ford Motor Company had set up a Ford of Canada business so had many other automobile related companies. And for the same basic reasons to avoid tariffs. So if your car is a Canadian assembled car, I would suggest that you confirm when Kelsey Wheel Company began supplying wheel to Ford of Canada. From the above it sounds like Mar 1912 at the earliest they would have been supplying wheels manufactured in Canada. But perhaps they were shipping the parts over earlier for assembly in Canada?
At any rate, knowing where your car was assembled would probably help you determine if the wheels could have been supplied on it originally or if they most likely could not have been supplied on the car originally.
Steve is one of our most enjoyable posters – his posting are informative and enjoyable to read. He is also very knowledgeable but even he can over look a small detail every now and then. In the case of question about “a screw through the rim into the fellow”: Yes, screws were used in USA supplied wheels from 1909 to sometime in 1912 when the screws were no longer used and rivets began to be used to center the rim. I do NOT know if Kelsey in Canada did or did not do that, but normally the USA company that opened a branch company in Canada used the same general procedures. Ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/U-Z.htm#wheels see 1911-1916 where Bruce McCalley (R.I.P.) says in part:
“Rims were screwed to the felloes (#10 x 3/4” flat head) in 1909 through sometime in 1912, after which they were riveted with 3/16” rivets with a washer on the inside. Also, perhaps at the change to the riveted felloes, the tire valve holes were specified to be lined with steel tubing (9/16” o.d., #25 B.W. gauge). Spokes were oval-shaped and the felloes were rounded.”
Note the MTFCI “Judging Guidelines 6th Edition” adds that the 1912 USA – “Felloes were screwed to the rims from the inside.” For 1913 USA they stated “Felloes were riveted to the rims from the outside.”
I do NOT know how many screws they used and if they were placed every other spoke as you mentioned or if they were like the rivets that were used later on the rims and only two were used. Hopefully someone more experience with the early wheels can clarify how that was done and if most of the wheel suppliers did it the same or it varied a lot between suppliers.
I agree that the “K” on a USA produced felloe joining plate is for Kelsey. And I would guess, but I do not have documentation to say for sure that the “K” on a wheel used by Ford of Canada would most likely also have meant Kelsey. And yes the joining plate would have been secured by rivets on the USA wheels and if Canada did the same – then for them also. For a photo of a reproduction “K” joining plate please see Lang’s photo at: https://www.modeltford.com/item/2800PLK.aspx . Perhaps someone could post a photo of an original joining plate with the “K” ?
If you have the history on your car that can help a lot also. But based on the very short word description provided and without any photos other than the one on your profile page, I think there is a good chance your have a mid-year 1912 Canadian touring that was produced when Kelsey of Canada was transitioning from the rims being secured by screws to the rims being secured by rivets. Note if you are discussing a USA produced car then it is actually easier as we already know that Kelsey was one of the major wheel suppliers to Ford USA in 1912 and 1913 when that transition from screws to rivets occurred.
Hopefully that will help you with your research on your car. If you can post some additional information and photos of your wheels that might help others to be able to more readily see what you described. If you are having problems posting the photos – if you click on my name my e-mail address is the third line down and I will try to resize them and post them for you.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Hello Hap It is a Canadian built in Ontario It is a sept 12 car and does have some 13 parts on it. I noticed the difference in the wheels when we were redoing the wheels. when ever some one comes up with a 12 part I go and check whats on the car. I have the parts to make a set of wheels just want to do them right Thanks for the info Cheers Colin