I joined your forum just to facilitate this single post. Looks like you have a good thing going here. A couple of weeks ago I found this piece while searching an abandoned ranch site near Medora, North Dakota with a meal detector. I had no idea what it was but eventually I found my way to your forum and here I discovered that it's a switch plate from the coil box on a Model T. I read that these plates were made of brass before Ford started making them out of steel. This one looks like it's made of copper. I suppose I could be wrong about that but it looks a lot more like copper than brass. I'll leave it to you guys to sort that out. It is definitely not steel. The real point here is that that I have no use for this thing. I'd like to give it to someone who needs one to complete an authentic restoration. Is anyone searching for this part to complete their project
Ralph I have a 1914 touring car that I could use it on. Thanks Bud Gilbert
Reproductions of those are being made, which cuts the value of the originals. However, the reproductions, while they do look good, do not look exactly like like the originals. So originals like yours are still desirable!
Thank you for wanting to get it to someone that will use it where it belongs.
That style was used on Fords from late in 1913 until early in 1916. I too am restoring a '15 that could use an original one, but the repro will be fine for me.
So, I hope you do find that a good home on a nice T! But be careful. Model Ts can become a life-long passion! They have a way of connecting their caretakers to their own history and the universe like no other thing does. You may have found a lot more than just a switch plate.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Rolf, there probably is some more T parts out there. Look in a ravine or washs. Old stuff, T's included, would wind up in the nearest ditch in out of the way places way back when.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Often the zinc corrodes off first leaving a copper surface. Sometimes it is liquid droplets ( mice are the usual offenders) that take way the zinc leaving copper blotches on a brass background.
I commend you for your interest in our common past and for others here in the present.
It's all you need to start a restoration project!
I appreciate all your comments. I suppose I could take Frank's suggestion and start building a car around that switch plate...but that might be a tad ambitious. I will send the plate to Bud simply because he was the first to respond. Hope it adds something to his T.
Rolf, that was very thoughtful of you to search out this site to give away what you had found. Kudos to you, and I'm glad it found a good home.
We had a fellow show up at one of our local Model T club meetings with an old nickel radiator cap - a year later he had a beautiful 1920 Touring !
Actually, the brass plate was phased out to a blued steel plate early in the '16 year model production (so fall of '15). They are a lot plainer, and harder to find as they rust!
Good for you Rolf for taking the time to do this and great sleuthing skills!
I have noticed that these two switch plates are not identical. Is that due to them being produced by different vendors of the period, OR, is one a modern reproduction? Inquiring minds want to know.
If you are asking about the plates in my picture, one is Briggs made (note the diamond D), the other is someone else (no markings). Notice the Ford script is slightly different. I doubt it is a production date thing, more likely a parts supplier thing; both plates are original production.
Ok, no "B" in the diamond (typo, D was supposed to be B), but that's the Briggs maker's mark. The other plate hasn't been polished yet, just the white wiped into the lettering. Originally these were only blued with white in the lettering; the bluing, of course, doesn't last well.
Thank you for the additional information.I have one of these plates (don't recall which one) around here somewhere. I suspected that those plates were used after the brass one and before the redesign of the switch to use the stamped cover.