Why does a Model T have a split windshield?
Was it due to the fact that horse drawn carriages had none, and it was a transition between a full full-fledged windshield?
Two smaller windshields would spread the stress out compared to one large one. Those cars twisted and turned more that they do today.
Smaller panes of glass dont flex as much as a larger one would (And shatter) and you gotta be able to swing open one half for ventilation!
Thank you for all the great responses!
Two excellent responses. I will give another response (maybe not as good). Cost.
The process of making glass was not nearly as advanced then as it is today. The larger the piece of glass? the higher the cost per square inch. That is why so many windows in homes of that era (and earlier) often had so many small panes in individual frames. Although more labor intensive to do so, the glass was much cheaper in smaller pieces and offset the labor costs. Many of those windows got upgraded in later years to larger panes. Many windows in the T era were a single larger pane in the center (for looking out), surrounded by smaller panes (for letting light in), sometimes all the way around the larger pane
Personally, I like the look of those era windows. But that is me.
I do think the other two reasons were the bigger reasons.
I don't know what the original intent was, but in the world of 21st Century driving, the split windshield does have a few nice advantages:
1.) When I get caught in the rain, I not only put the top up, I also fold the windshield down and put on a pair of goggles. -If you don't have windshield wipers, you'd better have a folding windshield.
2.) Sometimes, when driving along a tree lined street on a bright, sunny day, I get a lot of distracting shadows and reflections on the windshield. -Folding it down a notch eliminates most of that.
3.) At night, the reflection of a following car's headlights off the windshield can be downright unpleasant. -Folding the windshield back one notch reduces the effect considerably.
4.) The car is faster with the top and windshield folded down.
5.) When you're shooting photos of people posing in the car, folding the windshield all the way down eliminates the necessity of photographing people's faces through a reflecting pane of glass.
6.) In the case of my Model T, when the top is up, it doesn't quite come forward enough to look right and that bugs the heck outta me, but when I fold the windshield back one notch, it looks okay.
I don't know the history but know I like the 24's split/shield WAY better than than the 18's... :-)
A little bit open and I have air flow verses the buffeting. :-)
Rain X is a must for model T's that get caught out in a down pour, Goggles too.
And an Umbrella.
Bob's #5 in action.
The Boys often drove a T with no windshield at all so the camera had an unobstructed view of them.
Could that be Floyd the Barber under the car?
I sure don't know what "Bob's #5 in action" means but what a beautiful pickup.
The 18 here looked much like that a long time ago.