I acquired these with some other T parts. Are they 1915 fork mount headlights. There is no "Ford" script on them ... I tried a known "black era" model T headlight rim on them and it fits perfect. The fork spacing is aprox. 7 inches to 7-1/4 inches center to center. Was hard to get an accurate measurement with out a measuring jig. Thanks ...
Donnie, they look just like those fitted to our Canadian sourced cars found in Australia. I had them on my 1915 tourer.
Allan from down under.
Thanks, Im getting a few things ready to sell on e-bay and wanted to make sure I describe them correctly ... I believe the fork style was used in late 14 and early 15 if my research is correct. Does anyone know what months they are "correct" for ..... It probably meant
calendar year" and not "model year"
Adjusting screw above the socket suggests the answer is yes.
Look for a manufacturer's name on the back of the bucket around the light socket.
See Trent's comments in this thread regarding lack of evidence supporting forked headlamps on 1915 U.S. produced Fords:
I have never found any manufacturer's mark on these lights in Australia. Nor do our headlight rims have a Ford script.
Allan from down under.
Most likely the lamps are E&J and made at their Walkerville plant they set up in 1913. By Spring of 1914, they employed 100 men and were producing 100,000 auto lamps a year at the Canada plant.
They called it the Canadian Lamp and Stamping Company, CLASCO I guess, and we know they were principally supplying the Ford Motor Company Canada. CLASCO shared Directors with E&J in Detroit.
The officers of E&J Detroit in 1914 were George E. Edmund, Pres., William T. Jones, vice-president, L. H. Bedford, treasurer and V. E. Jones, secretary.
The US plant out on Humbolt Street, Detroit, was producing 3,500 lamps a day for Ford in May 1914. That represented 70% of Edmunds & Jones capacity. Obviously, Ford was their biggest customer and the CLASCO plant in Walkerville was most likely supplying very nearly all of its 100,000 lamp a year capacity to Ford Canada.
If you have E&J lamps on your Model T, this is where they made. The photo above is ca. 1910 and the building is still there.
Also, there seems to be no connection with the Victor, Corcoran and Brown group in Ohio. Those seem to have been combined by Thomas Corcoran after J. B. Brown sold out.
Ken in Texas
I am going to ask a sort of stupid question...no, it is not a 'ringer'...I wish to seek further clarification and comment on the subject of fork mounted head lights and '15 Fords...
The question comes up every now and then and never seems to get answered let alone there being some guise of a consensus.
I do tend to believe that there were transitional '15's, none of any real volume or survivor ratio to clarify what was TRIED when, that Closed Cars were more likely to be the hybrids, and that the open cars past the first month or so of Calendar '15 pretty much firmed up specification and supply. Sure, that's conjecture on my part...but the reason for asking the question in the first place...
Please tell me where I am right and also tell me where I am wrong...
1-Ford had thousand upon thousand's of un-assembled 1914 Models come the normal fiscal year end for 13/14, both at Highland and at assembly branches...this apparently led to the delayed intro of the 1915 models. Fact or fiction?
2-By 1914, someone, (apparently E&J...but could have been Corcoran) was already selling conversion kits for the fork mounted gas lamp Fords...Fact or fiction?
3- The conversions actually had lenses that were bigger than the later Ford lens...Fact or fiction?
4- The very late 14's at some dealers were sold with the electric conversion kit in place as selling cars, any cars was in the total doldrums from spring of 14 on...Fact or fiction?
5- Early 15's (Closed) may have used the 'retrofit kit' until self manufacture could meet the demand...perhaps with lamps as a deduct and dealer supplied, or as a factory stopgap measure... Fact or fiction?
6- No open '15 was ever USA built with forked mounts... Fact or fiction?
Thanks in advance...forum, do your stuff...
At the Ford Piquette Plant, we have a Canadian 1915 touring car with the forked electric headlights. Right next to it is a Highland Park 1915 touring car with the single arm headlights. No guarantee either car is exactly as it came from the factory 101 years ago.
Erik, Thanks for the link. It seems these fork lights are a very rare item. It appears that Canadian sourced cars are a likely choice. But there seems to be a strong belief in the very early 15s in the US, also having them. I do not know enough to even venture a guess. It does seem like there are lots of folks wanting a pair. I have already received 9 offers to buy them. More than likely I will still list them on e-bay and let the auction decide. I will post a notice in the classifieds when I list them. Probably will be in a couple more weeks as it is time for our local swap meet in Arkansas on Petitt Jean Mountain near Morriliton Ark. (I promise I will not take them to the swap meet to sell) Thanks for all the info....
It looks like nobody really wants to stick their neck out. Can't say that I blame them. Unfortunately, this is one detail for which the empirical evidence and written record do not agree very well. It does not help much that many of the lamp suppliers to Ford also supplied lamps to other automobile manufacturers, as well as the after-market buyers. Ford may not have liked it, but sometimes the patterns used for his lamps may have been used for others as well.
Fork mounted lights were common in the early days, and continued well into the 1920s. Ford switched to a simple post mount early to save about a million dollars.
Those lamps could be rare early '15 Ford, or not. They could be Canadian Ford. A little more likely, Canadian Fords used fork mounted electric lamps through at least part of 1915 calendar year.
They could also maybe be Chevrolet? (Or any of several other lesser marques) Sorry about the foul language, and I am by no means an expert on Chevrolet. But I do know that Chevrolet used fork mounted lamps a little later than Ford did, and the reflectors and rims will fit and work on a Ford lamp bucket. So the reverse should be true. Somewhere, in all my junk-er-stuff is a headlamp mounting fork. It clearly is NOT ford, mounts on the angle of the side of the fender. I have been told by an early Chevrolet guru that it is from a late '10s Chevy.
On the lamps pictured by Donnie B, I find the angle of the set screw interesting. That could be the key to positive identification. I have seen quite a few fork mounted electric headlamps over the years. Most of them were singles, most not shaped quite like a T lamp. Most had the set screw straight out the back for the forks. Finding a good pair can be tough to do. These look like a nice pair?!
Get out the chopping block! I am going to stick my neck out! (Always was a bit crazy!) I will ATTEMPT to answer George M's questions.
1: I have always heard that stamping the complicated cowl for the new style body was what delayed the change to the new style. The several body suppliers could not produce good enough panels fast enough to get production going, so, they with Ford's approval continued to mass produce the earlier style body and Ford continued to install and sell the earlier style while the production design glitch was ironed out.
There is a lot of photographic evidence to the contrary (most of which is also disputable), but it does appear that most of the factories and assembly plants did make some effort to keep the gas lamps and appropriate side and tail lamps on the early style cars while using the more modern style lamps properly matched to the newer style car. Even though both styles of cars were being built at the same time in the same factory.
While lots of early photos clearly show gas lamps on T Fords of 1915 up to even '17, and even more original era pictures show electric headlamps on '14s/'13s and even '12s? It is more likely that Ford dealers swapped them around to please picky customers. Not the factory doing that one.
Okay, that was the tough one. Did I make enough sense?
2: Even before 1914, 1912 at least, both electrify kits (to be installed inside the gas lamp buckets) and full electric modern looking lamps were being offered by several companies. Lamps were offered specifically for Ford cars, as well as general use for anybody. Some lamps were fork mount, some were post mount. Both type were available.
3: Depends. Conversion rims and lenses came in a variety of sizes, from matching original, to larger, and even some were smaller.
4: Dealers had been "up-selling" accessories for years already. Electrifying the headlamps was one of those easy sells to lots of customers. Ironically, about as many people wanted to continue using the tried and true acetylene lamps after electric took their place as people wanted the newer safer more reliable modern electric lights to replace the acetylene lamps of old.
Some dealers did a lot of this. Some dealers did very little of it.
5: The only real early '15s were the center-door sedans and couplets produced in the fall months of '14 (maybe a few towncars). Their headlamps had several minor differences, But I am not sure enough of all of them and don't want to perpetuate previous errors if I was in fact told the wrong thing (Nah, that never happened). I am still trying to sort some of that out.
Given the limited production of these cars, I don't think the supply of lamps was a problem for the factory at that time.
Early '15 style oil side and tail lamps were similar in appearance, but quite different in construction and detail relative to their much more common followers. One of my lucky eBad purchases a few years ago included an early '15 tail lamp. Very different. (Wish my computer hadn't locked my camera out )
6: Tough one to call. Possibly fact. Probably not. There could have been a few USA factory produced open car '15 style with fork mounted headlamps originally. A considerable number of early photos do indicate Fork mounted electric lamps. Can they all be Canadian builds? Or? Maybe there were never any. Nobody yet really knows that one.
According to Royce, a few '15 style runabouts were produced in December '14. Still small numbers for runabouts in January '15, plus a few touring cars. About a hundred 1915 style open cars were actually built in two months. These were practically hand built alongside the thousands of old '14 style cars speeding by and out the door. How unlikely is it that maybe one or two of those cars wound up with fork mounted headlamps?
Here, I feel the need to add, and point out, the long 1914 overrun. People can call them whatever they want. But Royce really is right. They were 1915 calendar year builds, they were 1915 fiscal year builds, the were sold as new cars well into 1915. They really are 1915 automobiles regardless of what the firewall looks like. It is too sad that more of them did not survive intact.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks for taking the time to ponder each question and as you say...stick your neck out...a bit.
I finds your answers reasonable, even probable, and I too have been trying to sort this out for years.
Yes, we will never know for sure, but as the late Bruce once confessed to me when we were privately debating a '15 issue, once published he later wished they had spent more time on the '15 issues, that they sort of skimmed the '15's/16's and he further stated that unfortunately they also went fairly light on the early blacks.
So, the charge falls to us as a group to continue the quest, and I would hope that the group take the same rule that Bruce held...'everything is only ever probable based on the anecdotes, unless disputed by a preponderance of evidence...and then you are still only probably correct for the moment."
75 degrees with 35% humidity and sunny here...time for me to go roll the Hack back, give it a bath, and go find some place or woods for an easy drive through all day...I'm sure the '15 will call out to me as it has been sidelined back with the '25 for 2 seasons now...for no other reason than it requires hand cranking and I have a blown disk...one of these days I'll try foot starting...but that's another topic for another day .
We're the forks unique to these? I have a complete light still mounted to the fork. I have wonders about this light also so this has been a good discussion.
It is the same fork used in 1913 - 14 Justin.
Canadian production used fork headlamps all through the 1915 model year. Many were exported to Australia and New Zealand. You see the focus screw on the top center on most examples, and on the side on a smaller number of existing examples. No idea which is earlier or later.
I believe all of these photos are of Canadian built 1915 model year Fords. Note the other obvious differences from US production which are:
1. #0 X 3 1/2" tires on all four wheels
2. Opening driver side door
3. Horn bulb mounted to the steering column
4. Both RHD and LHD versions were built and sold in Canada and other parts of the world
My '15 appears to be a March 1915 US built car but has similar headlamps to the ones in the Canadian photos.
I've been studying Canadian Fords for the MTFCI Judging Guidelines, and Royce is correct in that 1915 Fords were produced with forked electric headlamps. The 1915 Canadian Ford parts book clearly shows the forked-style headlamp, and the 1916 Ford Canadian Parts book shows the single post headlamp and the forked-style headlamp.
While Royce has noted a few of the obvious differences in the Canadian and Detroit Fords, there are numerous other differences I have found. The Seventh Edition of the MTFCI Judging Guidelines will be published in August, and the Canadian Supplement, detailing the unique differences in these cars, will be included in this latest edition.
I hope this helps,
Awesome Russ! I will order one when it is available.
Thank you Royce for the wonderful pictures! Thank you Russ F for so much that you do for all of us! And thank you George M!
And thank you all!
Here's five sets I have gathered over the years and haven't gotten around to restoring.
The late Max Edmonds of the Mother Lode Model T Club showed me how to remove the ears from a damaged or non-ford fork mount bucket, cut off the flange and use it as a Templete to scribe the cutout for the ear onto a single stem bucket less the stem.
Fill the old single stem mounting holes, cutout the openings for the fork mount brackets, and rivet them in and take it from there.
Max made and sold quite a few sets of these that he made from trashed fork mount lamps that he saved the fork mount brackets from.
One thing that I noticed when looking at my single light and a lot of Jay's is that the mounting ears are cast instead of pressed steel like Donnie's are. Maybe they are from different manufacturers?
Justin, good call. All the ears on the lights In the picture I posted are cast.
I tend to believe the cast ear lights are more of what Ford would have used then pressed steel ears. Your mileage may vary.
I just looked at my Brown 16s and they are 4 rivet on a slight arch but have a slight boss where the screw goes. The Victors I have are smooth ears with no boss. I don't have an E&J gas lamp to look at.
Ken in Texas
I have a Canadian 15 touring with original forked head lights and my friend also has a Canadian 15 touring with the gas head lights, he equally claims they are original. In one of the photos the side lamps have side opening doors and others have top opening doors. I had learned on the forum that the side opening doors were early 15s. They have E&J model 30 cast in the glass. These early model 30s were left and right handed and were discontinued and replaced with the non-handed models. There were some Studebaker models about the first world war era that had the forked head lights that appear to be identical to the ones used on the Fords
The 15 was the first electric car with series wired headlights. The lamps were 9 volt with double contact and single filament. There were many after market conversions from dealers, jobbers and owners. Some had means to dim the lights and some didn't. I think the original factory wiring was just on and off.