I am looking for an accessory tail light as sold by Ford in 1926. I posted on the Classifieds but have a question about how they were made.
This is from Bruce's Encyclopedia and does not appear to have "STOP" as part of the lens cover.
On the original accessory tail light sold by Ford, was the word "STOP" molded into the glass or was it part of the lens cover?
The stop portion is made of tin and is held in place behind the lens by the Same screws that hold the rim on.
Dennis, The picture you posted is of the taillight on my '27 Fordor. Bruce took the picture on the Madison, WI MTFCA Tour in 1987. It's identified by the Wisconsin license plate # 931, and by the small dent in the housing on the upper left towards the rear of the housing.
It doesn't show in this picture, but there is a metal "stop" piece behind the lens so the light shows "STOP" clearly when lit.
That light was NOS when I bought it in the early 1970's.
Dennis, I really applaud your quest for authenticity on your '26, but you may be chasing the Holy Grail here. Those drum lights from Brattons are darn near identical to the Ford lamps to the point I wonder if Duolight didn't make them for Ford. You might save yourself a whole lot of effort and anguish by picking up a set of those drum lights and just keeping an eye out for the elusive dealer accessory ones. Gust grind off the lip of the mounting bracket and you almost have a perfect match. Then you can have a little more piece of mind driving your car and the wiring will already be in place when, and if, you find the originals.
That tail light was patented by Charles E. Godley of Detroit, Michigan and the patent was immediately assigned to the C. M. Hall Lamp company of Wisconsin.
The patent was filed July 25, 1924 and granted June 7, 1927, so not a lot of those lights were ever made.
The patent number is 1,631,678 if you want more details of the lamp insides. The 1928 tail light is so close to the same light that it was likely made by the same company.
This letter suggest that Henry Ford was very late in using that lamp.
MAR 3, 1926 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch
"We have added a new accessory to our line which is the Combination Stop and Tail Lamp Assembly, and believe us, "ITíS A DANDY." A sample lamp is being forwarded for your inspection.
"Careful consideration has been given to the appearance and durability of this Lamp and the Bracket included in this assembly is constructed of a heavier material than the standard bracket in order to carry the increased weight.
"We want to draw your attention particularly to the type of switch used in conjunction with this Ford stop lamp. It is very simple in construction and very easily attached by clamping to the Bendix cover and tightening one screw. A rod inserted in the switch is actuated by the lateral cam action of the brake pedal, this obviating the necessity of using clamps, pull wires, etc., which are a constant source of annoyance and trouble when used.
"The price of the assembly is $2.50, subject to the usual 40% discount."
Maybe so few were sold, the 1928 parts catalog does not show any replacement parts for them. ( oil lamp parts up to 1927 are ) I would think the reason that there are so many with the DB stamped on them is it might have been standard equipment. (?)
Mark, the same light was sold with DB or Dodge, Huppmobile and Studebaker stamped where the Ford stamp is located on top, if I recall correctly others that I have seen.
Forgeries have converted many of those to Ford lamps, which adds a few more.
The lamp you find may not be authentic!
This assembly spread should help.
The red lens and the STOP plate and gaskets are riveted with hollow alum rivets to the nickel plated rim originally. The hollow rivets allow thin bolts to fasten to the cup. That way when you remove the two bolts to remove the rim, to change bulb, the lens won't fall to the ground and bust....that lens is rare too!
Lamps can be found, though rare, but the license plate bracket is about as rare, you need this to mount the lamp to the fender support.
How is that different from the early '28 model A drum tail light???
The Model T accessory lamp was made by Hall.
The Model A drum was Duolamp. They are very different. No parts will interchange between them.
Drum license bracket
Ford T accessory
Ford T accessory
Model A Duolamp drum 1928
The differences between the 26-27 drum light and the 28-29 drum light are:
1. The glass lens on the 26-27 stoplight is held on to the 'body' by the nickeled rim, retained by two screws to the 'body'. 'Body' will have Ford in script on top, and HALL stamped into the back side of the cup which mounts in front of the license plate holder. The license plate holder, then mounts to the normal 26-27 taillight to fender bracket. The 28-29 Duolamp Model A stoplight, is made like a 26-27 standard taillight in as much as the back of the light 'body', is actually part of the license plate holder.
2. The 26-27 HALL light is significantly larger in diameter than the Model A counterpart, enough that there is an obvious difference in the curvature of the white lens and other parts.
If you have a Lang's Model T and a Bratton's Model A catalog, study the license plate bracket and the stoplight 'body'. Those two catalogs show the differences to me better than the Snyder's catalog.
OK, thanks for the clarification...
Some T restorers have "forged" a Dodge Brothers stoplight into a Ford script one, but as long as it is well done, what the heck. Some Ford light bodies have suffered deterioration over the years from rust or getting mashed and are not good candidates for restoration. If you are lucky enough to find one, even in deteriorated condition that has the top with the Ford script in usable condition, you're lucky and would be the envy of other would be 'forgers'. Lacking a Ford script 'body' top or the proper die to stamp Ford script into the 'body' of the light from the inside as done originally, some have even resorted to taking a Dodge Brothers light 'body' and hammering the DB logo, smooth so the DB doesn't show.
By the way, a reasonable Ford license plate holder can be made for a 26-27 stoplight from a reproduction Model A Duolite license holder with a lot of determination and sweat. Dan Trease and I both have tried and the steel that the reproduction Duolamp license holder is made from is some tough stuff.
The reason why there are so few Ford stop lamps, as compared to Dodge, is that Dodge made them standard equipment on cars from 1925 to 1927 and possibly previous years. In some ways, Dodge was ahead of Ford, but the higher price of a Dodge explains why Ford outsold Dodge by a landslide.
As the owner of a DB, I can tell you that the DB versions are no longer "plentiful" either!!
David, maybe rare in Califunny, but I've been able to find them, but not at 'give away prices'. They're still at least half the price of Ford script. If they are reasonable price and have both lens, I buy every one I can, just for parts. How many do you want?
It would not bother me in the least to use a DB lamp unchanged. Now if I was doing a show/points car, then I would find a real Ford one.
I have a nice Ford style one that is going on a Friends 26 coupe, we are going to mount it in the center of the spare tire carrier. Car runs on 30 X 3.5 wood wheels it's early 26.
I sent Terry a PM. It is true, location, location, location! What's rare here may be almost common elsewhere, and what's common here may be "unobtainium" elsewhere.
This is the 1928 Ford Rear Tail Light and it looks just like the Accessory Tail Light, but is just about 1/2 inch smaller in diameter.
I used it for several years, until I could find an original.
The bolt holes line up for it to bolt to the 1926 tail light bracket.