I found a stamping on the underside of the front floorboard on my 1914 Touring. It's kind of faint, but with a magnifying glass I can clearly see FB Co. I looked the other two floorboard pieces over with the magnifying glass but cannot find any other marks. I think I've read on other threads that the FB Co. stands for Fisher Body, a supplier to Ford. Can anyone confirm this, and do you happen to know what parts they supplied? I'm assuming they supplied the floorboards?
According to my unofficial list FB Co supplied Open and Closed bodies, including the Center-Door Sedan, from 1908 to 1923. Not the only supplier but one of the majors. They built the bodies and supplied them to Ford. As far as I know, FB made everything for the body and supplied it whole.
This is one of the reasons why patch panels for the Model T are a crap shoot. Slight variations in body construction among the suppliers of the same Ford body style are evident throughout production.
I think it may be Fisher.
You got me thinking! My '13 runabout has a Fisher body on it, and I think I recall seeing FBco stamped on the floorboards.
This is the Fisher stamp on my 1918 center door under the rear seat.
I've seen that same mark on the floorboards of several '14s with Beaudette bodies, including mine.
My car is a Beaudette body too. But I don't understand; if Fisher Body supplied bodies and mine is marked Beaudette (a body supplier also) then why both marks?
I also have a '14 Touring with a Beaudette body and the same mark on the bottom of the front floor boards.
Since the floorboards were among the last items installed, perhaps they didn't follow the bodies down the assembly line.
Or-- Unless the car has been in your back pocket for the last 102 years, the floorboards could have been changed/replaced.
Bottom line up front: There is good case supporting that the supplier who manufactured the body also provided the floorboards to go with the body. And that Ford Motor Company USA did not worry much about which floorboard went in which open car body since with a few exceptions such as the 1911 Torpedo Roadster and the 1911 Open Roadster the floor boards were interchangeable between the various open car bodies for a given time frame. So the employees put the boards in without concern for which manufacture produce the body. And yes, we believe the F.B. Co stands for Fisher Body Company.
There is a good posting from May 2012 titled, "Ever wonder why an original car might have a body produced by one company but original floorboards produced by another company?" located at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/286255.html?1336008530 .
In that posting they discussed that very question and they make a convincing case that Ford required whoever made the body (originally all outside body makers and later Ford began producing some of their own open bodies) to also supply the floorboards (ref: that same posting http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/286255.html?1336008530 Hap Friday May 04, 2012 – 05:28 pm) where I quoted some information that Dave Sosnoski had kindly shared with me.
“It is from the Record of Change cards for the T-7296 - #1 floor board for the 1915 - 1925 roadster, touring and 1919 - 1922 coupe.
On the change card it has the following remarks:
12/23/15 We have added note specifying that this part [#1 floor board] be furnished by body companies or by the Ford Motor Co. only when bodies are furnished.
9/6/19 Furnished by Body Co. when body is furnished.
++++++++++++++++++ additional details supporting that the body manufacturing company supplied the floorboards ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Note – while I cannot easily locate Dave’s original e-mail or posting. But since I have the dates. The factory number T-7296 along with the comments, I feel very certain that he either posted it or e-mailed it to me. He states the same thing without the dates and factory number at the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/130556.html?1268928642 where he states:
By David Sosnoski on Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 09:33 am:
Some of the Record of Changes indicate that the floor boards were supplied by the body manufacturer.
So if the company that produced the body also supplied the front floorboards with each body how did so many of the cars wind up with a body made by one company and front floorboards made by a different company or companies? Good question. Again from that same posting we have photos going back to 1910 for floorboards and 1908 showing how Ford swapped the rear seats around on the 1908 Model S Roadsters. And all of those photos of the Model T bodies show the body without the front floorboards during the assembly process. Note they could not drop a body onto the chassis with the floorboards in place – because the firewall and steering column was already in place on the chassis. There are additional photos showing how the cars were shipped. (Early on they were shipped fully assembled but they discovered they could put more Ts in a box car by putting the chassis in one end standing diagonally and the bodies at the other end of the box car. Do you think anyone bothered to try to get a specific floorboard back with a specific car?
Dave Sosnoski also shared form page 249 of the book “Ford Methods and the Ford Shops” compiled in 1915 from a series of articles published in the Engineering Magazine that had begun in 1914. This is the section where they are talking about upholstering the body and they have just fitted the windshield so they can fit the top. And they have a paragraph that says:
“The [seat] cushions, horn, and pasteboard for the bottom of the rear seat, the mats and footboard, are then thrown in by a man who does nothing else but make up these things in a package and pass one into each body as it goes along.”
So the odds of having floorboards from one company and a body produced by another company are quite high.
We would welcome additional information and sources. And thank you all for contributing to the data we have and helping us connect the dots.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Hap, once again you have solved the mystery! Thanks to your in depth research and love of history, I think we have our answer.
I'm glad I could be a little help.
Thank you to everyone for sharing questions and information about the cars. Without others previously sharing their questions, clues, and information we would never have discovered the answer to Bill’s question. Researching the old cars is similar to the story about the blind men and the elephant where one placed his arms around a leg and thought it was a tree. Another felt the tail and thought it was rope, etc. It was not until that 2012 thread that we were able to figure it out. And that was because several different folks shared the pieces of the puzzle they had information about and together we had enough of the picture that we could see what the answer was. In this case it allowed us to understand why the floorboards from one company were in the body made by a second company on some very original cars. (Disclaimer – there is always more to discover and that may confirm or even update our understanding in the future.)
For everyone, please keep those body numbers, body letters, photos of bodies etc. coming. You can post a new thread or you can click on my name and bring up my profile. My e-mail address is the third line down and you can send me an e-mail. Please put Model T in the subject it will get read sooner. I am not always the fastest at answering e-mails or private messages, but I am still working to gather more information specifically about body numbers, body makers, body panels (riveted front cowl ran 1915 to perhaps even into the early black radiator?) etc. for 1906 to 1927 Fords. As we add more clues and information, hopefully we will gain additional insights into how the early Fords were built etc.
Hap l9l5 cut off