In the pre-starter cars, where was the ignition battery originally located, and what kind of battery was it?
For Model T Fords, typically under the front seat next to the gas tank or in an accessory battery box on the running board.
Either dry cells or wet cell/storage batteries were used.
Typically four 1.5 dry-cells would be wired in a series to make up a 6 volt battery or one 6 volt battery (such as a Rayovac Hot Shot - click on the link below) could be used.
Wet cell/storage batteries would typically be located in an accessory battery box on the running board.
I question whether batteries were provided with new non starter T's Certainly provisions were made to wire one in on the coil box. Any T with a good magneto will start just fine on mag. And I don't mean that you have to spin the engine either. I had a Fordson tractor of the era. It had no provisions for a battery. It is 450 cu in with a identical ignition system so there was no way you could spin that engine. A good pull up was all I could do. It was easy to start in 3 seasons of the year with 3-4 pull ups.
Certainly the advantage of having a hotshot battery was the potential for free starts.
Otherwise I agree with Erik.
I suspect the provision of the battery terminal on the coil box was not something requested by Ford but put there for convenience by the coil box manufacturers. One gets the impression that Ford was almost in denial about the use of ignition batteries, so certain was he with the reliability of Huff's magneto. The Ford instruction manuals do not refer to battery operation until the electric start cars appeared.
Third party literature shows a Hotshot, or four or six No.6 dry cells connected in series (ie. 6 or 9V).
A 6V storage battery was preferred when the kerosene lights had been converted to electric.
In the 2 lever parts book (Blue cover) there is a reference under the heading "THE MAGNETO" warning NOT to connect a battery to the magneto connection. They state a rather funny reference a bit further down as:
"There should be no occasion ever to use a battery, but if by accident a battery is required, or if for some unknown reason some one wants to hook in a battery, be sure to use the 'battery terminal'.
Henry himself was categorically opposed to any use of any battery for ignition under any circumstances at least during the years prior to 1919 and the starter. I think it seemed to him to contradict the T's strongest selling feature namely that the car did not need an ignition battery and thus had no range limitation as a result of that. Dry cell ignition was the norm when the T came out so not being tied to that dry cell battery was a huge marketing advantage and I think Ford wanted to make absolutely sure that no other maker could point the finger at Ford and suggest otherwise. So according to Henry if you hook up a battery it has to be only for some "unknown" reason or you are doing it by accident. Amazing how many batteries got connected up by accident.
The problem is your fourth season. Nobody in their right mind would live where you do.
Well last night 200 miles further North at Edmonton it got down to -46 C (-51 F). Apparently it was the coldest place on the continent. I guess someplace in Siberia was colder.
Here we were in the banana belt at -36 C (-33 F).
It does have it's advantages. No cockroaches for one thing. And more hours of sunshine than many other places in the world.
After 60 years I am used to it. Having spent some winters down South I miss it. So maybe you are right.
The record-breaking -46C was at the Edmonton International Airport, a few miles south of town.
In the city proper we saw -35C the next morning and I marked the occasion by taking the '26 out for a spin. Dress warmly and take out the top floorboard.
Well, I guess you all think we are crazy dealing with 40C in the summertime. So, I guess it's "to each, his own".
I'd gladly trade more cockroaches for less fleas...