Cheaper by the dozen
Makes me wonder about the 6/2/1915 date?? Bud,Still in Wheeler.
Snow on the ground looks more like March or April. That body style was the predominant 1915 touring, particularly if the car came from a branch assembly plant.
Are you sure? That first car looks like a 14.
That body style was used for the majority of the 1915 model year Herb. The "new" 1915 bodies were first pictured in Ford Times in February 1915 - and the branches continued using the body style in the picture until August 1915.
Many cars are mis - identified because of the collective misunderstanding of when the 1915 touring body was first made. A real 1915 touring with the "new" body style is a fairly rare thing. The majority of 1915 tourings were built with bodies like the picture above.
I see the brass trim on the cherry wood way back in the line so we are to belive these are 1915 model T's?? I'm glad to say i was not there to see it but i think the date is off and those are your everyday 1914's?? Bud,still in Wheeler,Mi.
That same body was used until February 1915 at Highland Park, and at the branches until perhaps June or July of 1915.
The obvious differences between the 1914 model year (other than engine serial numbers) and 1915 were billed fenders for 1915 and the use of integral cowl lamp brackets. If we had better magnification of this photo we might be able to see the hole pattern for the cowl lamp brackets which changed when the integral brackets were adopted.
The date might depend on who wrote it. I see stuff all the time with records from Europe that are Day/Month/Year. If the person that wrote the date was a recent immigrant it may have meant 6 Feb 15. This would agree with what Royce is saying about the body as well and explain the snow. Just a wild stab at it.
Bottom line, very cool picture! Would like to have a huge one like that in the garage.
Gary may have something with that 6/2 date. Feb. of '15 would be easier to swallow than June. The mid-March of '15 Touring Car I had was sold new here in Fayetteville, so I assume it was assembled at the OK City branch plant. The NW corner of AR was part of the OK City plant's area. That car has the familiar '15-style cowl, not the '14-style flat firewall.
I will shout it from the rooftops! Royce is right about this!
About twenty years ago, I was restoring my early '16 center-door sedan, and trying to make it as correct as I could. I did not have access to the research facilities in Michigan. But I read nearly a hundred articles in various antique automobile magazines. I made dozens of phone calls. Talked to the best experts I could, including Bruce McCalley and Ray Miller. I looked at many cars, and I remembered many things I had been told from years earlier. I realized that there was a lot of misinformation out there. We do know a lot more about model Ts and how they were built now than was known then.
I realized then that this was a largely unknown part of model T history. And I didn't even know Royce or his dad then.
I remembered hearing of several 1914 model Ts that mysteriously had 1915 engines. Every one of those owners believed with all their heart that their car was a 1914, and that sometime early in its existence, the engine had been changed. Most of these people acquired and swapped in a 1914 engine. Engines were easy to get that far back, and they could easily sell their '15 engine to someone wanting to turn a '16 or later car into an HCCA '15. I understood that the statistical probability of so many early engine changes in a specific half a year was very unlikely. And I found other evidence, dated photos, receipts, a few other people that had seen evidence themselves. Never enough to fully make the case, but enough that I was convinced. Most pre-June '15 open Ts were 1914 style.
Royce, and others, have access to the Benson Archives, and other sources I never had. Many of those resources weren't even available at that time. They have found enough that the history books need to be rewritten. Nobody yet knows for certain how many Ts were sold in 1915 that were of the 1914 style. But it was a lot of them. Many, maybe most, original 1915 built HCCA acceptable so-called '15 style cars were actually 1916 MODEL year (HCCA accepts anything built before January '16 as a pre-'15 calendar year inclusive). The true '15 1915 really is a rare car.
Great photo! But I cannot find the date ON the photo?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Nobody yet know's for certain how many T's were sold in 1915 that were of the 1914 style. That really clears it up?? If you read about the 1914's the last year for the cherry wood dash,No louvers in the hood,Gas head lites,straght out the back rear fenders,no front fender bill's so because the 6/2/1915 snow covered bare tree's with no leaves or bud's is wrong we should think these are 1915's??????????????????????? Baffeled Bud.
More info on photo:
Shipment of Ford Motor Cars to Automobile Dealer in Milan, Indiana, 1915 (not Italy).
Postcards of Indiana the Jay Small Collection (not the same Jay).
Cincinnati to Milan to Versailles:
Message on Postcard
Addressed to: Mr. W. D. Robinson, Versailles, Indiana. Message: June 2, 1915. There has been a car-load of Fords shipped to us from Cinti. We will probably receive them tomorrow. Your order is No. 5. We will get it ready for you as soon as possible. F.W. Arkenberg.
Does the photograph on the postcard, addressed to Mr Robinson, show the actual cars? Or is it an earlier generic photograph?
Used zoom slider on Indiana Historical Society web page for cropped photo below.
(Message edited by davidn on September 09, 2015)
Judging by the crank handle, I'd say that photo is early 1914, not 1915! If the cars had fenders, it would be way easier to tell.
"Does the photograph on the postcard, addressed to Mr Robinson, show the actual cars? Or is it an earlier generic photograph?"
That is a very good question. I would imagine that it is a generic photo they used until a new one with the newer style became available to them. Probably whenever they had one taken when newer style cars were delivered. They certainly could not have mailed a photo of his car being delivered before it was delivered. They probably had a little crossover time when older photos continued to be used. "Real Photo" postcards were big business at that time, and are quite collectible now. But they still took a little more time than today's idea of "instant" printing.
Some years ago, a very good friend of mine had a June 1915 touring car that was the '15 style, and had a title traceable all the way back. The engine had been changed at some point, but the title had never been changed and contained the original engine number. That '15 was one of the earliest verifiable '15 style touring cars I have ever seen. It had four rivet front fenders, original holes for the bulb horn, and brass plated spark and throttle quadrant.
This discrepancy in history is still unfolding. W2
Whoops, a bit of clue that it's a generic photo when F.W. Arkenburg wrote: "We will probably receive them tomorrow." :-)
I presume W.D. Robinson is the purchaser and his car is number 5? "Your order is No. 5."
(Message edited by davidn on September 10, 2015)
(Message edited by davidn on September 10, 2015)
With the bare trees and snow on the ground, I would suspect the actual photo was taken before June 2, 1915. Notice the Acetylene generator pre-mounted on the running board.
Thanks for the photo details, David.
: ^ )
Looks like Fred Arkenburg had an interest in carburettors:
It's likely the photo shows earlier cars, but Royce's research is still valid - would be interesting to see if there are any surviving early '15 cars with '14 style bodies out there that hasn't been backdated after 60 years of antique auto culture pushing their owners into preconceived notions on what's original and what isn't..
I wonder when the electric headlamps were introduced? The magneto was ready for it by #572,437, September 4 1914, when the new coils and 3/4-inch magnets were introduced. The Centerdoor Sedans got electric headlamps from start and they were produced december '14- february '15, then production was stopped until december '15 (1916 model) due to low sales.
Maybe some 1914 style Tourings and Runabouts also got electric headlamps before the new 1915 style body was available? There is a factory letter dated Jan 12, 1915 telling the crossover tube for gas lamps on the radiators is discontinued “as all cars now have electric lights.”
That would mean a lot of cars would have been produced with electric lights on '14 style bodies during the rest of the winter and spring - and indeed, some old pictures are seen, but then it's generally assumed someone changed out the lamps. But who has seen such possibly original cars?
Were the fenders ever mixed like rounded fenders with a '14 style body?
I wonder when the lamps stopped being shipped in sets of 5?? Henry would not have bought sets of 5 if he was using only 3 ? From the line on the body would have round rear fenders have worked on that body? Bud.
heres my 2 cents worth.then i am out of here.looks like the car with the little girl has a 1913 body.charley
It is interesting to see the running board has the carbide generator attached to it and is in the rear seat behind the girl. So is that how they were shipped?
Good eye Herb!! Bud.
If I remember rightly, it was the 14 rear fender that carried over to the first of the 15n's
Frank -- You might be thinking of the front fenders. Some early 15's had the 4-rivet 14-style fenders. The 15's were the same fender, except their mounting brackets had only 3 rivets.
I think early 15's had fork mounted el headlights but as Herb pointed out the carbide generator was in the car?? I have doubt's about 1915?? Bud still in Wheeler,Mi.
Mike, I can't find the thread on this forum, it's possible the subject came up locally as it might have been just another one of those Canadian things at the time. This photo is later to show what, but I remember some period ones where kicking around as well.
I know of several '15 style touring cars and runabouts with either '14 style rear fenders or gas headlamps. I have also seen numerous era photos of '15s with those features. The problem with both of them, is that there is just no way to know for sure whether the car was that way new, or changed for some reason shortly later. There are enough era photos of '15s (I've even seen '16s and '17s) with gas headlamps to be fairly certain that some were that way very early in their service. Here again, there is no real reason to believe that the car had to leave the factory that way. Dealers would often make minor changes to suit a potential buyer, and many people were hesitant to accept new technology like electric headlamps. Acetylene (gas) headlamps had been around for 15 years. Oil lamps had been around a hundred years before that on carriages.
Most dealers would gladly charge a few dollars to mount on a spare set of gas lamps and trade in the electric ones to sell to a customer with a car that was a year or two old, and wanting to update it. Many of those photos have also been seen.
Natural finish wood wheels is the other feature that evidence does show dealers would offer (generally unofficially) to entice buyers. Henry Ford apparently did oppose such modifications from the dealers occasionally.
Ford was making many changes, and building many more cars than had ever been built before by ANYONE during those years. They had to scramble to keep things moving, and not everything was being done quite according to plan. When the history books sometimes get things wrong, it can take a long time for the facts to be found and correct the misunderstandings.
A long-time speedster friend has a '15 touring that has gas headlamps on it. I was visiting with him while he was on a club tour near where I live, and he actually apologized to me about the lamps (I was a bit surprised, didn't think I was that bad, but I guess my reputation preceded me a bit). I told him "Why apologize?" And that I had "seen enough era photos like that to totally accept it as something that was done, whether by the factory or not".
Ultimately, it really does not matter that much. Preserving and caring for the cars and the history for future generations is somewhat important. But exactly how many of what style and what lamps they had exactly when isn't all that important.
I am trying to put my '15 runabout together as close to spring '15 as I reasonably can. But driving and enjoying the cars is just as important.
Do drive carefully, and enjoy them. W2
Its conceivable that 6/2/1915 is 6th February....as we europeans do dates day/month/year. Not sure where the OP saw the dates to confirm this theory.
Nevermind...forgot to read Indiana...just saw Milan and thought italy
Or Milan, Michigan.
Nothing wrong with your theory, Nathan. While USA standard is month/day/year, and European standard is day/month/year. There have always been areas and individuals in the USA that followed the European standard. It does turn up occasionally and cause confusion from time to time.
This particular photo probably was taken some time earlier at any rate. The cars likely are truly '14s, and could even be '13s (I cannot quite tell in the photo). It really doesn't matter to the points in the discussion. It is still a valid argument that our common usage of "'15" model year is messed up.
A long-time close friend of mine used to have what we all called an "early '15" touring car. It was an original built in June 1915. Things that were "known", and things that were believed, and common usage made calling that car "early '15" correct. Things that have become a little better known since, show his car to actually be a late '15 model year, '15 style year. In spite of being in the first half of 1915 calendar year, it was built in only the last three months of "model year" production. and the sixth month of style year production. It was also the tenth month of model year production, in spite of the apparent fact that the previous style year was being built no less than two months earlier.
Not confused yet? The only thing clear about all this is that "model year", "style year", and "calendar year" are not all the same. Actually, in automotive history, they really never have been. However, in all of automotive history, the '14/'15/'16 Fords is probably the most convoluted mess of all time.
Whatever side of all this you like? Don't stress out over it too much.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I still say they are early '14s. They got rid of that early crank handle most likely in late '13.
The photo isn't clear enough to tell much else.
My un-restored 1915 body style touring has engine 679,233 which was stamped on January 30, 1915. It has the 12-rivet rear axle and the body is a mix of 14 and 15 in that while it has the new design cowling introduced in 1915, the rear bead that follows the rear fender ends straight, in order to follow a 14 style fender. I've never seen another touring with that feature. This car does not have the carriage bolt in the side. It has a bulb horn (and a Klaxon, ha!). It has wood doors over the seat compartments. The transmission pedals are ribbed.
While there is no doubt that they were making the 14 body style well into spring, this car is a pretty convincing argument that the 15 body style touring was certainly being produced by February 1 or before.
"However, in all of automotive history, the '14/'15/'16 Fords is probably the most convoluted mess of all time. "
Yes, but I think the "early '23's" and "late '23's" run a close second, and more people are convinced that they're right about that.
"Yes, but I think the "early '23's" and "late '23's" run a close second, and more people are convinced that they're right about that. :-)"
You are probably right about that. Along with the wood and steel firewall switch, that one has driven people nuts for a long time.
In Europe, 6/2/15 would be the sixth of February.
The dating of this photo is from the postmark on the back of the postcard. That is the date it was mailed--not the day the photo was taken. It could have been taken long before that date. I agree with Charley Shaver. They look like 1913s to me. The doors go all the way to the bottom. Look at the crank. It is an early one.
Never mind--I was wrong. I zoomed in on the second car and it obviously has 1914 doors. But, I still think the photo was taken before the posted date.