Please correct what is incorrect in the list below and identify by line number.
Please correct where there is a question mark.
And please add your very short stories or comments to the list, i.e like, "they used to put egg in the radiator to clog up holes?"
It's show time.... I am putting together a display for a Fathers day car / bike show at church. A quick mock up shown here. My wife and I will wonder around answering questions.
I built the stanchions and bought the red rope. It makes the car look more expensive than it is! lol
At the show there will be sign that says, Point to item and ask, "Why is that so interesting?" Hence the point of this thread.
I am looking for quick things to say to keep the on lookers interested. I have a copy of Scott Batta's thread from Feb 17, 2016. That is helpful too.
Thank you in advance for your feedback. Bob
1. There is no water pump. Water pumps were accessories?? Aftermarket?
2. There were no oil pumps. Oil splashed to the rear of the transmission, which splashed into a small tube, traveled to the front of the engine and exited there, starting the process of oil circulation all over again.
3. There is no gas pump. Gas is pulled by gravity out of the tank down to the carburetor. Gas is also pushed by the weight of the gas in the tank. If the tank is low on gas and there is not enough weight to push the gas while going up a hill, the driver had to turn around and go up the hill backwards.
4. Dip stick gas gauge.
5. Tail light has clear glass on the side to shine on the license plate.
6. Demountable rims where not standard on Model T’s until 19????
7. Original rims often become so thin they cut the rubber tire. The rubber tire can and has come off the car while driving.
8. Driver would drive through creaks just to wet the wooden wheels so they could swell and sell tighten.
9. Saw dust around the spokes means there the spoke is loosening and rubbing the rim. This could lead to a broken spoke.
10. The windshield was optional on the 1909 model T.
11. Speedometers were optional or standard??????
12. The gas tank is under the front seat.
13. The famous quote, “you can have3 any color as long as it’s was black.” Was thought to be said in 1913 or 1914 or just pick one, nobody cares?
14. Henry stopped using brass in August 1916 because he needed brass for bullets for the war??
The carbide generator has what? A carbide rock salt? And when water drips on it, gas is produced which is responsible for the flame?
16. The battery operated Model T was not introduced until 1919?
17. In the winter model T owners would drain the engine every night and bring the water in the house so it would not freeze?? Antifreeze was not invented until ????
18. Kingsford briquettes: Model T’s have a wood frame under the sheet metal. Henry Ford did not want the wood shavings go to waste so he turned them into charcoal for the stove. He built a charcoal plant. Kingsford was formed by Henry Ford and his cousin named E. G. Kingsford. Charcoal was developed from Ford Motor Company's factory waste wood scrap. Kingsford charcoal was originally called Ford Charcoal.
19. Why is the 999 speedster so cool? Was it the fastest in the day? Was it Henry Fords car?
20. Side lamps were fueled with kerosene??
21. was the water pump standard or an option?
22. Is it true that the man used the woman's stockings for a make shift fanbelt when the belt broke? Old story but it makes sense to me!
Just thought od another one. The bud vases in closed cars. I HAVE TWO OF THEM
Folks used to hang a cow bell to the front axle as horses were used to the sound. As cars came down the rutted roads the horse would be "less frightened". There was one on my dads T and that's how it was explained to me.
Minor language nitpick. To me, a gas pump is what is in front of a gas station that you pull up to in order to fill the tank. The thing in a car (other than a Model T) is a fuel pump.
I do not know about the stockings, but my grandfather used his belt for transmission bands on the way to California during the depression.
The headlights on the pre starter cars were magneto powered and would get brighter with faster engine RPM. I was told by my grandfather that when they needed to see a sign better at night they would sometimes have to point the car at the sign and then speed up the engine to get the lights bright enough to read them.
Some of the floor boards were made from scrap lumber from shipping crates.
Model Ts have a personality, "no two are alike" in how they run, drive, start, or just act.
Natural colored wood spokes are a correct option for 1925 models and 1926-27 models using 21 inch balloon tires and wood wheels. Natural spokes are not correct for any other year, but are often seen, because the owners like the look of the natural spokes.
You should drive a model T "like you have no brakes" because you may not have any when you need them ...
Model Ts are the cheapest of all the "true antique cars" to own buy and restore. (black era model Ts)
The windshield tilts out because of no air conditioning. and folds down because of the road conditions back then. The tree limbs could be very low on some of the roads.
have fun and be safe Donnie Brown ....
I did a little online research for your car's model year and here's some info you can either print and hand out as flyers or use as part of a speaking script:
In 1912, when this car was built...
The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A first-class postage stamp cost 2 cents.
More than 95% of births took place at home.
US population was 95 million.
Eggs cost 14 cents per dozen.
The leading causes of death were pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease and stroke.
Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores.
Less than 20 percent of homes had a bathtub.
Only 10 percent of homes had a telephone.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t yet been invented.
There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
One in ten US adults couldn’t read or write.
Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school.
There were only about 230 reported murders nationwide.
This car, with this engine, was being driven…
98 years before the last flight of the Space Shuttle (2011)
57 Years before Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon (1969)
51 years before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated (1963)
29 years before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor (1941)
15 years before Charles Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis, solo, from New York to Paris (1927)
10 years before anybody ever heard of King Tut, whose tomb would not be discovered by Howard Carter until 1922
5 years before the United States entered World War One (1917)
the same year the Titanic sank (1912)
9 years after the Wright Brothers flew the first powered airplane (1903)
47 years after the Civil War ended (1865)
Puts things in perspective just reading the above post 47 years after the civil war. 5 years before ww1. I never thought of it like that!! Tim
I agree, the fact Civil War veterans drove early Ford's puts things in perspective. Truly a connection to the past.
Here are my comments on a few of your points:
1. There is no water pump. First 850 cars, more or less, came with waterpumps. The remainder of the 15,000,000 plus Model Ts did not come with a water pump. Water pumps were accessories?? Aftermarket?
2. There were no oil pumps. Oil splashed to the rear of the transmission, which splashed into a small tube, traveled to the front of the engine and exited there, starting the process of oil circulation all over again. Oil was also splashed around by the crankshaft and rods inside the engine, too.
10. The windshield was optional on the 1909 model T. As were the headlights and top. Oil lights on the dash and a single taillight were standard items.
11. Speedometers were optional or standard?????? Speedometers were standard equipment early, but were dropped in the 1914-15 time frame?
13. The famous quote, “you can have3 any color as long as it’s was black.” Was thought to be said in 1913 or 1914 or just pick one, nobody cares? Before going to all black in the 1914 ? model year, you could not buy a black Ford.
14. Henry stopped using brass in August 1916 because he needed brass for bullets for the war?? Not sure why, but Henry was a pacifist - see Peace Ship - did not want to support armament production. I suspect it was a style thing as much as anything else. There were few other cars with a brass radiator in 1816.
15. The carbide generator has what? A calcium carbide crystals. And when water drips on it, acetylene gas (C2H2) is produced which is responsible for the flame?
16. The battery operated Model T was not introduced until 1919? More correctly, the starter equipped cars which had a generator and battery were introduced in the 1919 model year.
19. Why is the 999 speedster so cool? Was it the fastest in the day? Was it Henry Fords car?
20. Side lamps were fueled with kerosene?? Yes, I understand the side lights or buggy lights were required by law for a any vehicle on the highway, even horse drawn. Headlights were optional and at one time there was a movement to outlaw headlights as a safety hazard.
21. was the water pump standard or an option? see answer to number 1.
3 pulled by gravity and pushed by weight are the same thing. Weight is produced by the pull of gravity.
6 Demountable rims became standard on closed cars (coupes & sedans) in 1919. They were available as an option on open cars.
11 Speedometers were factory installed until November 3, 1913 (1914 model year). They were available as an option through the 1915 model year. After that, they were strictly an aftermarket item. The makers couldn't keep up with Ford's pace of production.
13 No black Fords before 1914, and no other colors again until 1926.
14 The bullet theory is bogus. We didn't get into the war until May, 1917, ten months after the new style Ford without brass was introduced. The end of brass was simply a matter of fashion, and Ford was one of the last cars to make the change.
15 Fords were not sold with batteries until electric starters were introduced with the 1919 model year, but even before that Ford was realistic enough to provide a switch that allowed a battery to be used to fire the coils for starting.
17 Ethylene glycol was first used as an automotive antifreeze in 1926.
I don't buy the old floor boards from crates story. That's not what the factory photos show.
You have about 10 SECONDS to capture someone's interest in display label. Bob Coiro's posting has actually the most interesting stuff for the average person to read and comprehend. All the technical stuff is neat to gear-heads, but not to the average public passer-by. Thomas' statement 21 might be of interest too, headlights outlawed? Folks will eat that one up, as everyone knows what headlights are. Steve's #13 is interesting as most folks think ALL Ts were black.
All the other stuff is interesting to mechanical people and you could have a folder titled "Gearhead Stuff" or something like that for those who are really interested to leaf through.
David D. (former Curator)
13: The quote comes from Ford's 1922 book "My life and work"
The book was ghost written by Samuel Crowther, Ford himself never wrote anything at length. In the book the quote was supposedly said when Model T production began in 1909, but it may have been a mix up by the ghostwriter or a misleading statement by Henry Ford himself - by 1922 he had made black only cars for about 8 years and maybe he didn't want to think about any other colors
14: By 1916 brass was getting more and more expensive due to the demand from the war regardless of what Ford thought about it. But the change to less brass use had been done gradually for several years - changing to the black radiator didn't reduce brass at all in the production - it was just hidden by a painted shell.
15: Calcium carbide and water produces acetylene. Acetylene and the oxygen in the air gives a gas that can be ignited. The same gas is used in a oxy-acetylene torch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_carbide
Gas generators were used in Ford cars up through the 1914 model year (and a couple of months into the 1915 model year for open cars until the new bodies were available)
16: In 1912 Ford even explicitly forbade the use of any battery - if used, the guarantee was void.
19: 999 isn't a speedster, it's a race car. Let's let 'ol Henry speak about it himself many years afterwards through the words of Samuel Crowther:
"In 1903, with Tom Cooper, I built two cars solely for speed. They were quite alike. One we named the "999" and the other the "Arrow." If an automobile were going to be known for speed, then I was going to make an automobile that would be known wherever speed was known. These were. I put in four great big cylinders giving 80 H.P.—which up to that time had been unheard of. The roar of those cylinders alone was enough to half kill a man. There was only one seat. One life to a car was enough. I tried out the cars. Cooper tried out the cars. We let them out at full speed. I cannot quite describe the sensation. Going over Niagara Falls would have been but a pastime after a ride in one of them. I did not want to take the responsibility of racing the "999" which we put up first, neither did Cooper. Cooper said he knew a man who lived on speed, that nothing could go too fast for him. He wired to Salt Lake City and on came a professional bicycle rider named Barney Oldfield. He had never driven a motor car, but he liked the idea of trying it. He said he would try anything once.
It took us only a week to teach him how to drive. The man did not know what fear was. All that he had to learn was how to control the monster. Controlling the fastest car of to-day was nothing as compared to controlling that car. The steering wheel had not yet been thought of. All the previous cars that I had built simply had tillers. On this one I put a two-handed tiller, for holding the car in line required all the strength of a strong man. The race for which we were working was at three miles on the Grosse Point track. We kept our cars as a dark horse. We left the predictions to the others. The tracks then were not scientifically banked. It was not known how much speed a motor car could develop. No one knew better than Oldfield what the turns meant and as he took his seat, while I was cranking the car for the start, he remarked cheerily: "Well, this chariot may kill me, but they will say afterward that I was going like hell when she took me over the bank."
And he did go…. He never dared to look around. He did not shut off on the curves. He simply let that car go—and go it did. He was about half a mile ahead of the next man at the end of the race!
The "999" did what it was intended to do: It advertised the fact that I could build a fast motorcar. A week after the race I formed the Ford Motor Company."
23: There have been many stories on how a bad babbitt bearing in a rod could be repaired out in the field with bacon rind or a leather belt - our own webmaster Chris corroborated that story during his latest T trip down into the US: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/567999.html?1442104258
What other car, today, needing a simple repair, can you fix along side the road with a pocket knife, stiff wire, and a pair of pliers?
It is said that a temporary fix for rod knock was bacon rind. It was strong as leather and greasy for lubrication. Good enough to get you where you were going before you could do a more permanent fix.
Windshields and headlamps and top assemblies for open cars were optional in 1909. Windshields and headlamps and top assemblies were standard in 1910, but could be deleted for a customer credit.
Speedometers were standard in 1909 - 1913. In 1914 there was a shortage, and speedometers were installed on most cars, while some did not get them, and as a result those 1914 cars produced without speedometers received a discount of $5 per car.
In 1915 model year speedometers were standard.
Speedometers were dropped as an available item in the first month of 1916 model year, which was August 1915.
Thank you everyone! Theses are exactly what I asked for. As you know, people love interesting tid bits.