Boy aren't they a happy and attractive couple!!
Is RHD Standard for that Model or has the photo been reversed?
RHD Alan, Ford script reads the right way, I think the T was the first in LHD for Ford, correct anybody?
Yes, practically all Fords were right hand drive before the model T was introduced late in 1908.
Now, because I am such a fool. I will stick my neck out a little bit. I think the car is a model R, based on the type of fenders, running boards, firewall, perceived tire size, etc (can't see the rear deck).
Neat car regardless. The headlamp lenses have rotated slightly. Usually, when I see that style lens, the cuts in the glass are straight vertical.
I look forward to comments by real experts on the model and the headlamps!
Great photo! Thanks Herb I.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I read an article on the internet that said a law was passed in 1792 requiring drivers in the USA to drive on the right. It said buggies, then cars were right hand control/ steering until 1908 when Ford introduced the Model T. The article said Ford did this so passengers would enter and exit the right side of the vehicle. How true that is I dont know, I just googled it.
Frank, of course. Sorry for being stupid!!
I don't know about a law, but I read that in the old countries, it became customary to ride on the left side of the road for self defense. Since most people are right handed, the right hand was the hand that held the weapon, while the left hand held the shield. When mounted on a horse you would pass weapon-to-weapon, or right side to right side (think jousting or sword battle) so you would ride on the left side of the road. This of course became the custom for carriages and wagons also, and drivers could signal or communicate as they passed.
This was also true in the colonies of America, but as the larger wagons with teams of 4, 6, and 8, horses came into use, the teamsters took to riding the left wheeler, or left rear horse and thus could control and signal the horses down through the middle of the team with his right hand. They then took to driving on the right side of the road, passing left-to-left again so that they could see, and signal, and communicate with the other drivers.
When the automobile first came into vogue, most of the earliest cars were bought by the very rich, and imported from Europe and were right hand drive. Early American auto makers copied the European designs and made right hand drive cars although some were left hand drive. I believe Fords were mostly right hand drive at first, but I think there was a left hand driver in the mix before the T, but I'm not sure of that. The Model T was the first mass production left hand drive car.
As far as entering and exiting the vehicle, in many places there were laws (some may still be on the books) against exiting into traffic. When door locks began appearing on closed cars, the key lock was only on the right door. You would lock the left door from the inside, and then slide across and get out on the right side and lock that door from the outside. This was still being done into the 1950's. My 1956 Ford pickup truck only has a key lock on the right door. Also if you watch an old TV show or movie from the 50's or even 60's, you will notice that the actors will often slide across the seat and exit or enter from the right side.
There were several left side driven cars built in the USA before Ford in 1908. Except for one, I can't recall any names at this time. Autocar, I believe, offered a choice of right or left drive about 1905. They also were one of the first to offer a steering wheel, which was optional as well for a couple years before it became standard.
I have also always found it interesting that the Sears Autobuggy was sold only as a left hand drive (tiller steering!). It was one of the very few high wheel buggy type gasoline powered cars that was both tiller steered and left side driven. The thing that always fascinated me about that, is that after nearly two years of development and promises, they hit the market in the late summer of '08, almost exactly the same time as the model T. Two totally different visions of the car for the common man, both left driven when most other cars by far were right side driven, on the market at the same time.
Now, for my "I don't know if it is true or not". However, I read this in a book about transportation history nearly fifty years ago. Much of what has been said above about the reasons for Briton, Europe (and East Asia) etc driving on the left is what was given in the book I read. This particular book went on to say that the colonists in America, at about the time of the Revolutionary War wanted to distance themselves from the powers they were rebelling against. They also were trying to create a place of equality apart from their ancestry. So they switched to driving on the right side of the road. In part as a protest. In part to confuse those they considered to be their oppressors. And in part to say that one need not show their "battle hand" in a display of good faith.
I have always thought it was an interesting theory. But I still do not know if it is true or not.
I wish I could remember what book it was in. I read so many in those days.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Some good but probably spurious stories on why RHD or LHD.
I like the case of Sweden which I believe was a RHD country until 1967[ if I am wrong, there is a gentleman from Sweden who will know} but used LHD Model T's & later Fords because it probably did not matter on rural & remote roads plus easier to get out on the off side of the vehicle.
Wayne in NZ.
Is that an example of a Troy wood windshield?
Ken in Texas
That couple in the car are a spitting image of my friends the Grays. He has mules and lives in bibs like many of us on the forum. I can't wait to send him a copy of this photo and ask him if he sold the mules to buy the car.
Another great photo of history, thanks for sharing.
The couple in the photograph appear to be about 70-80 years old, which means they were born sometime in the 1820s or 1830s.
Imagine the technological innovations this couple had seen!
Telegraph/ telephones/ radio
Railroads/steam ships/ airships/ automobiles
Piped gas heat and illumination/ electrification/indoor plumbing
Gasoline and diesel engines, electric motors
To say nothing of the history they had witnessed.
That is a very unusual photo. The top is half up as often seen. The segmented headlight lenses have rotated some. The couple are from a special era.
I don't suppose I'll ever have an N, R or S or even an early Troy windshield so I enjoy these photos instead.
i have a windshield like that to put on my Russell limo. charley
Dale, those are really interesting historical observations. That old gent would certainly have been in the same generation as Civil War veterans, whether he fought or not. The couple may not be quite as old as they appear to us, a harder life in earlier times seemed to wear on folks more than nowadays. I recall when I was very young, it seemed like a big deal for the elderly to live into their eighties. Nowadays, many live well into their 90s. Any road, a wonderful picture to see on so many levels ! Thanks for posting it, Herb.
Some similar couples and half up tops.
A similar wood windshield on a Model S runabout on the thread above. The box on the running board in this thread's picture may indicate a Model S?
Ken in Houston
just looks great.