Patent Plate

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: Patent Plate
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Smith on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 03:23 pm:

I am working on restoring a Late '15 Touring, and have two questions on the Patent Plate. My car was missing one and the unpainted dash wood looks it was replaced years ago.

First - Were does it go?

Second - I got a reproduction one, and what number should go there in the blank area?

Any help will help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 04:17 pm:

Tom,

1915 firewalls were made to be reversible so they could be used on export Right Hand drive Model T's. For that reason the patent plate was mounted directly over the center of the steering column to cover the unused choke rod hole.

My patent plate has a number that is roughly 100,000 higher than the engine serial number but I don't think there is really a relationship between the two. My experience is that Ford engines were made and serialized, then placed into a storage area for later use. I have seen differences as high as 30,000 in serial numbers shipped on the same day.

Any way I would recommend a random number between 50 - 100 thousand units higher than the number stamped on the engine block.

Royce


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darel Leipold on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 05:55 pm:

The patent plates from 1909 to late 1911 were stamped with the engine number. The "B" series Model T Fords threw the numbers off by about 15 thousand. After that it was not necessary that the numbers matched. The three 1912s that I have owned, the plate number was about 15 thousand higher. By 1915, the difference cound be way higher.

/image{my picture}original un numberd plate


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darel Leipold on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 06:35 pm:

It may not have been the "B: series that threw the numbers off. The B engines were built in late 1912 and all of my 12s had plates with higher numbers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darren J Wallace on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 07:08 pm:

It's also important to note that the patent plate's top left corner is obstructed by the cowl's sheet metal when mounted in the correct location.I'm sure we can get some of the photos posted again here to point that out possibly.
Were the above points mentioned consistent with all the cars fom 1915?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 08:37 pm:

Tom,

The attached word documents contain a thread from the MTFCI that was lost by the server a while back. In a nut shell, a late 1915 would not have a number embossed on the tag – they just left them blank but used them up until they were gone. Jim Cook’s Oct 1915 car shows that well. Jim’s car has the original dash, but it was refinished. He put the tag back in the same holes and it clearly shows how the cowl from the body covers the left top edge of the ID plate. Remember the dash and steering column along with the hood former were on the car before the body was dropped onto the car. I think that will give you a great guide on where to put it. If you are going for a show car – recommend you contact John Regan and ask him where the guide holes for the 1915-16 are drilled. If you got them referenced off the bolt that goes through the hood former, firewall, and front body framing, right next to the ID tag that would allow you to line it up. But I’m 99% sure that Jim’s picture will give you enough to go on. Note Canadian ID plate is in the same general area but has a different wording.

Part 1 (so it is less than 200k)

application/octet-streamWord document ID patent plate 1915
Dash Patent ID Plate part 1.doc (193.0 k)

Part 2 (so it is less than 200k)
application/msword
Dash Paten ID Plate part 2.doc (190.0 k)


You didn’t asked but also found in my notes: You can order a 1913-16 plate from the vendors. But one of the forum threads states that some of them have been reproduced with a 1916 patent number date. That may be correct for a 1916 but it would be a little off for a 1913-15. Chaffins has them listed but I can't read the details at: http://www.chaffinsgarage.com/a-k/firewalldata.htm but if you ask them, I'm sure they can tell you what the last date on the patent plate is. See and item # 18650D 1913-16 Patent Plate. Note that in the threads on the original cars the plates varied some -- but again, they wouldn't have a patent from several years later. Snyder's has them listed for $3.95 at: http://snydersantiqueauto.com/detail.php?fm_itemid=1490&fm_catid=107&fm_parentid=1490 again -- you should ask them to clarify the last date on the tag. If you are doing a "go car" and not a "show car" for $5 even if it mistakenly has a 1916 patent date -- it appears to be the correct size and has most of the correct words.

Shameless plug for body numbers: If you haven’t checked your body for a body number already, please take a look at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40322.html and let me know if you find anything. If you do – please click on my name and tell me to check the forum and/or e-mail the information to me. I’m not able to check the forum as much as I would like to and I don’t want to miss anything related to the body numbers. Thanks.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 08:41 pm:

Ok one more time trying to post part 1. Part two also included again just so you can keep the straight.

application/msword
Dash Patent ID Plate part 1a.doc (193.5 k)


application/msword
Dash Paten ID Plate part 2.doc (190.0 k)


Respectfully submitted again.

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 08:58 pm:

Hap,

Some of your pictures show screws holding the patent plate to the dash. I believe originally Ford used small brass plated steel nails. The upper L/H nail is behind the corner of the body on a 1915 patent plate.

Royce


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Norton on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 09:29 pm:

Forum2005: 1915 Canadian data plate


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 10:45 pm:

For Royce,

From memory (boy that is dangerous with me) I believe you are correct that it would have been a brad/nail type rather than a screw. Does anyone have that documented? But I do believe they show the location and explain a lot about the plate. It would be great if one of us could take the information and consolidate it. I hope to eventually get around to it, but I will gladly forward everything I have to someone else if they want to tackle that one sooner.

For David,

Thank you for posting the Canadian link. You can see the crease where the Canadian patent plate originally was located between the body cowl and the inside of the firewall.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 01:23 pm:

Royce:

I respectfully disagree that the '15 dashes were ever reversible. The 15 dash from the outset had the outer perimeter beveled down on the front edge thus that beveled perimeter would have been backward if the dash were reversed and thus the hood former would NOT have fit down in place. Also the earliest 15 dashes were still 3/4" thick but had a 1/16 rabbet around the perimeter on the back side to allow the hood former to fit over that edge. That would then have been on the front side if you reversed the dash. Unless someone has documentation that I don't have - the 1914 was the LAST of the reversible dashes and I just don't see how the 1915 dash could be reversed and still fit up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce on Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 01:41 pm:

John,

You are of course correct. I just went and looked. Thanks for setting me straight!

Royce


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 04:55 pm:

1. One other item to clarify, the motor (engine) number and the car number stamped into the ID plate which was called the "car number" MATCHED on the 1906-1908 Model N, R, S, and S-Roadsters and Model Ts up until Oct 1911 (and for Canada production up past the 1915 Fords).

Ref Bruce McCalley's on line encyclopedia at: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc11.htm

OCT 6, 1911 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Motor and body numbers not to agree in the future.

1a. Note in this case the term “body number” could not have meant the literal body number that the body manufacture assigned to the body and often stamped into the wooden seat frame. Those manufacture body numbers for the Model T did NOT agree with the engine serial numbers (there may have been a few minor exceptions for the Model T Ford where they did agree. For example perhaps engine # 1, 2, 3, etc was actually mated with the body number 1,2, 3, etc. but we don’t have any records showing that one way or the other. However, there would have only been a few Model Ts produced before the numbers could NOT have matched as the engine numbers continued sequentially while the body numbers were used by the different body makers to keep track of how many bodies of what type they sold to Ford. That the body number did NOT match the engine number is clearly shown on pages 489- 499 of Bruce’s book where they list the engine serial number along with the body numbers when visible from some of the shipping documents. I like the example of engine #44,800 shipped Mar 30 1911 with the body #801 which was an Open Runabout.

[Note for the Pre-T folks – we should do a spot check to see if the body number for the N, R, S, and S Roadsters were or were not close to the engine number which was the same as the car number. Because Ford started over with engine number 1 for each of those 4 different body styles it might just happen to work out that only one Body Company was supplying the bodies and they actually were sort of close to the same number (i.e. give or take a few 100 or so). That is another item for one of us to check on. The 1908 Model S Roadsters would probably be the easiest to check as Beaudett (also spelled Beaudette) produced all of those bodies. If anyone has additional information on that or time to check on it please let us know the outcome (please e-mail me so I will know to check the forum) ]

1b. But clearly the motor number and the number stamped on the ID tag which was called the “Car Number” did agree. Therefore in the OCT 6 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives comment above “body number” really was used in place of the more accurate term “Car Number.”

1c. Note that the decision for the motor number and the Car Number (they used the term “body number”) to diverge was made in Oct 1911 which was before the B-series engines were made in the late summer and early fall of calendar year 1912 Ref: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/11-12Ser.htm

1d. As an illustration, below is a picture of the Inspector's Ticket for a 1914 Model T featured in the May-Jun 1971 Vintage Ford. It clearly shows the Motor Number (and confirms Ford called it a motor and not an engine) and the Car number. If I did the math correctly they are 32,750 different from each other. [Note Bruce McCalley's serial number listing shows that engine number was either produced on Apr 11, 1914 or the serial number could have been shipped to a branch plant instead of actually being produced on that day -- reference page 509 and 501 Bruce’s book). The tag has the shipping date listed Apr 27, 1914. So the engine number assembly date (or date the serial number was shipped) was within 16 days of the date the car was shipped. (We will share some body tag info on this same car later.)



2. Sometime during 1915 Ford stopped stamping the car number onto the ID patent plate. We have clear fossil evidence of that with surviving original cars. The early 1915 cars often have the “car number” stamped on the ID Patent plate while the later cars have a blank spot for the number but it has never been stamped.

3. Bruce's On-line encyclopedia has a Factory letter that states:

APR 29, 1915 Factory Letter
"On or after May 1, 1915 the use of body numbers will be discontinued (by Ford) and no records will be kept of same." (ref: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc15.htm )

3a. I have often wondered if that literally meant the body number that the body maker would have used to identify the body or if they had used that term to really mean "car number" in the same way they used the term “body number” to mean “car number” in the Oct 6, 1911 Factory letter discussed in paragraph 1 above. I'm not sure which they meant but I suspect it is also the “car number.”

3b. If some folks with original 1915 Fords could give us some feed back we could potentially “confirm or refute” that theory. We need some data points on when the cars started shipping with the ID Patent number area left blank. And yes someone may have changed things out a long time ago and we won’t know it, but with a good sample size we should be able say after the month of xxx most cars no longer had the “car number” stamped on the ID Patent plate.

3c. A related area for folks to look – even if you do not have a Model T. If you have the original bill of sale information for a 1915-1918 Ford or know someone who does please check and let us know the date and if it contains both the motor number and car number of if just a single number. You see them on e-bay every now and then. I know the early 1915s had the “motor number” along with the “car number” listed on those forms, but I don’t know when it changed.

3d. Truth in researching…or why I cannot yet rule out that the May 1, 1915 Factory Letter may have actually meant the body manufacture’s body number. That same 1914 Model T featured in the May-Jun 1971 Vintage Ford and mentioned in paragraph 1d. above had a couple of other tags that came with the car. Yes – they clearly had the manufacture’s body number listed! So I cannot rule that out until we find some additional information one way or the other. Below are some tags that they were writing that number down on.







4. Any additional clarification, comments, or leads would be greatly appreciated. Also, note that the body was clearly identified as a Fisher body. I have been meaning to try to contact the current owner for some time now, but I keep getting side tracked. Also I sort of hate to say “Hi, you don’t know me but I would like a picture of your car’s body number.” The 1914 touring the body tags go with was owned by Ray Martin of Burbank California back in 1971. Since then it has been passed on to his son. If anyone knows the current owner – I would really appreciate a photo, or pencil rubbing of the body number (it should be visible by lifting up the front seat cushion and looking on the wooden seat frame in front of the gas tank. Below are a couple of pictures of the car from the same 1971 Vintage Ford. It had many neat accessories such as the cowl, radiator, windshield (came with the cowl), curved fenders, later T demountables, etc.







Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brent in 10-uh-C on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 - 10:55 am:

DataTag

I just received this Data Tag from Snyders that is supposed to be for a 1915-16. IS THIS THE CORRECT ONE?

I thought I read recently where the ones for the 1915-16 were actually more correct for the 1916 model year due to printed patent dates. The last date on this one is 11/12/1912.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Woolf on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 - 11:56 am:

The data plate on our early 1913 T matches the body number stamped into the wood under the front seat. The wood is no doubt the original and the data plate is the larger style found on the 1912 T's.

Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 - 09:46 pm:

For Brent,

Yes the ID patent tag you have is one of the styles used in 1915. See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/Dash_Patent_ID_Plate_part_1a-54807.do c that shows it along with two others that may also have been used.

Depending on if you have an early or a late 1915 – it would have a number stamped into it or would have been left blank. Ref: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc15.htm where Bruce McCalley reprinted:
APR 29, 1915 Factory Letter
"On or after May 1, the use of body numbers will be discontinued (by Ford) and no records will be kept of same."

By the way the second posting with the word documents above actually works – and has the same information as the link.

For Dan – would you please clarify if you think the ID plate on your car is a reproduction that someone stamped the body number into it (I think that is what you mean) or if you think it came from the factory that way. I’m always looking for additional data, but so far I have not seen any case where the body number that was stamped into the wood by the body maker has anything to do with the number stamped into the ID tag on the dash (or before that on outside of the front seat riser). The use of the term “body numbers” in the Apr 29, 1915 Factory Letter above tends to confuse folks. But there have been a few threads that discussed that in the past and clarified that for the Apr 29, 1915 they really mean the number stamped into the ID plate which was more the “car number” than a body number. Note two months later the factory letter below (on the same page as above) says “body number”. And in that case it is the body number that Fisher, Beudett, etc. attached and/or stamped into the body.
JUN 26, 1915 Factory Letter
"Hereafter when ordering body panels for 1915 cars, please give both the car and body numbers. The body number will be found on the right sill just inside the front door. This number will be preceded by a letter which indicates by whom the body was made.
"The above information is necessary as panels for bodies made by our various suppliers vary somewhat."

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alex Alongi on Wednesday, October 08, 2008 - 01:10 am:

Question, I'm missing the patent plate on the 27 where would it go, I think they go under the hood rather than inside, but where.

Alex


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Woolf on Thursday, October 09, 2008 - 06:27 pm:

Hap,

I don't know for sure, but I believe the patent plate is an original, not a repro. I don't have a repro to compare to which might give us a definitive answer. Our car was restored in the mid-50's prior to many repro parts being available, so it is not likely a repro. One possibility, an NOS patent plate could have been found and stamped to match the number under the seat. The wood under the seat is definitely original to the car based on its condition, the fasteners, etc.

Thanks,
Dan
Patent Plate


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Thursday, October 09, 2008 - 08:00 pm:

Dan,

Thank you for sharing. You have raised additional questions – but that is part of the “treasure hunt” search for information. Sometimes what you expect is not what is found.

Phil Mino is the lucky owner of an original 1911 touring. At his web page at:
http://www.fordfarm.net/11IDnumbers.html?1104405657906 [note the pictures are thumbnails so if you click on them they download and are easier to read].
He shares the engine Number: 82,xxx
The car number (patent plate number) 83,xxx
The body number H 14430

Note that while the engine serial number and the car serial number did not agree – that was normal for a car produced in the USA after Oct 6, 1911 (ref http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc11.htm shown above and repeated here: OCT 6, 1911 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Motor and body numbers not to agree in the future.
Note Ford’s records for the time period late 1911 through 1912 are sketchy – see page 506 of Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford” note under Oct 1911. Although additional information from the accounts receivable ledgers have been compiled to add additional information.

Note they do have a know accurate engine number of 100,552 with an engine assembly date of Mar 12, 1912. That would mean that in general that USA cars produced after that would have or soon have a six digit number on the ID Patent plate.

That was continued on through the beginning of 1915. If you check the earlier postings in this same thread the May 03, 2008 - 04:55 pm posting shows the original Inspectors Ticket for a 1914 touring and shows the Motor No. 495,xxx and Car no (the one on the patent plate) 462,xxx.

While there may have been some exceptions, I would think that the patent plate on a 1913 (model year Sep 1912- - approximately Aug 1913 (ref page 141 Bruce McCalley’s book, would be 15x,xxx to 32x,xxx or close to that range. I cannot make out for sure the number on the ID patent plate that you shared. I think it reads 4554, but regardless of the actual numbers it appears to be a four digit xxxx number. Ford USA passed the four digit numbers in Sep 1909 and went to a five digit serial number and ID number.

I’m not sure how long the reproduction ID patent plates have been available. Darel Leipold used to produce them and I don’t know if that has just been in the last 20 years or if he produced them earlier or not. And as you suggested, someone may have found an unstamped ID tag and not knowing what number to put on it, stamped the body number. Or I could be reading the number on the ID tag all wrong and it may be a six digit number and the correct one for the car or even a four digit number and the original workman was standing in for someone else and stamped the wrong thing into the tag? Like many things with our Ts – something else to check into. As you shared, the ID tag in your picture appears to be one that would have be used primarily in 1912. It might also have been used in some of the early production 1913s that were produced in calendar year 1912 also. Does your engine serial number date the car as an early 1913?

If anyone has some additional thoughts, questions, or comments – please let us know. Does anyone know of another Model T with the body number that is stamped on the front seat wooden sill is also stamped on the firewall patent plate?

Again thank you so much for sharing.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Thursday, October 09, 2008 - 09:24 pm:

Alex -- I reposted your question about where the 1926-27 Patent ID plate goes at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/68610.html?1223601605 I put the little bit of information I found there.

I'm certain someone will confirm that location for you -- they just might not notice it in this thread.

Very Respectfully,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Woolf on Thursday, October 09, 2008 - 09:25 pm:

Hap,

Thanks for the additional info. The body number is a six digit number (194,XXX) with engine number 183,XXX. The engine casting date is 12-13-12, so I think it would qualify as an early '13.

Thanks,
Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR. on Thursday, October 09, 2008 - 09:53 pm:

Tom and Brent -- My March of '15 Touring Car has a plate like the one Brent pictured above, having Nov. of '12 as the latest patent date. I'm pretty sure it is the original plate for the car. It doesn't appear to be a repro and I know the history of the car. I can email you a pic of it if you wish. The (body) number stamped on it is smaller than the engine number, as described above in this thread. As I understand it, Ford used the same patent plate later in the year, but quit stamping the body number on it some time around the beginning of the '16 model year. I have seen a very original '16 with a similar plate which has no number stamped on it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Friday, October 10, 2008 - 07:46 am:

For Dan -- thank you for clarifying the engine number as 183,xxx. Bruce McCalley's engine number listing in his book supports that as a Jan 2, 1913 or earlier engine date. It would be easy for the factory to still be using the 1912 style ID patent plate at that time. (Bruce McCalley has a note on page 477 that states, "In June 1911 a number of cars were made which were marked "1910 running boards." Apparently they found a few under the pile." Older parts would have been used up in most cases.) That the number stamped on the patent plate and the engine are that close -- that looks normal to me. If you have a chance, please post and / or send me an e-mail with your body number. I would like to file those items together. I'm still not sure how that one occurred. Normally the body number was stamped into the body when the body company produced the body at a different plant. Then the body was delivered (often by wagon see page 179 of Bruce's book) to Highland Park. Often it was then painted, and upholstered and finally put onto a chassis. The odds of a number being stamped at the body maker that would be the same as the engine number of the chassis the body was dropped onto would be extremely high. So I believe there is some other part to this story that would better explain that. No rush -- but another one of those items I would like to figure out.

For Mike – I believe you are correct -- the tag on your 1915 touring car appears original. And as you pointed out the location shown in this picture is on the WRONG side of the firewall. It should be on the inside of the car with the corner with the crease on it covered by the body. It would have been originally installed on the dash with some small brads [NOT screws as shown in the photo] before the body was bolted to the chassis. It is shown to illustrate the tag and NOT the location or mounting.]



And as Mike pointed out later Ford used the same tag but just left the number area blank. Below is a picture of a “blank tag” without a number is from Jim Cook's Oct 1915 produced 1916 model year "Oh Henry." Note it is in the correct position (between the body and the firewall). Jim refinished the firewall which was originally painted black – but shared it looked to good to paint. You can see more pictures of Jim’s cut off at: http://www.geocities.com/jncsnc/modelt1.html



Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


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