The Encyclopedia states that side lamps were not used on closed cars with a starter, but they were used on non-starter cars. I could have sworn that I read somewhere that side lamps were an 'option' on starter cars during this time frame. Anyone know anything about this? Comments?
What do you mean by "option"?
A lot less was known about the history of model T Fords way back when I was getting into this hobby. Most of what was "known" was based upon then old people's memories. And frankly, a lot of those memories were faulty, and a lot of downright WRONG stuff was passed off as fact, and even written into books.
Sidelamps on enclosed cars definitely falls into that category. There may (or may not) have been a very few exceptions. However, for all practical purposes, NO coupe or sedan left the Ford factory with sidelamps from 1920 through till the end of model T production.
But, another however, some dealers, did things to make customers happy in order to sell another car. They had the spare replacement and repair parts on hand anyway. Rumor has it (although little solid evidence actually exists) that a few dealers did put sidelamps on cars not so equipped by the factory (even though Henry had said a few times that they were not to do that.) Henry Ford's attitude seemed to change back and forth over the years about the dealers selling accessories. The Ruckstell was okay, but many items were outright banned and would void the warranty (such as it was). On the other hand, I have seen photos of dealers showrooms displaying large assortments of after-market accessories.
Sidelamps can be considered a "dealer option", along with fatman steering wheels, natural finished wheel spokes, and a dozen other things. Some people will not like them being there, and a few will probably try to tell you that they are WRONG. However, it is your car, and if you really like the look of oil sidelamps? Why not? There should be at least three types of oil sidelamp reproduction brackets available from most of the model T parts suppliers that should work well on a closed body. The brackets made specifically for the touring cars and runabouts I don't think would work well on either a sedan or coupe because they are made to fit the open car's cowl curve, and the closed cars are quite different there.
Hope that can help some.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
There were several hundred accessories for Ts in the day, dealer options, jobber accessories, personal options, factory carry overs, production changes within the year, supplier changes, different suppliers. You could have a dozen 1915s side by side and they could all be different. Fenders, side lamps, headlights, horns, steering wheels, suspension, tires and wheels, to name some.
You could purchase a chassis only and outfit it any way you so desired. What is correct and what is not correct is in the eyes of the beholder.
Actually if there was such an option to include kerosene lamps on battery / generator equipped Model T's there would be evidence to support that false notion.