First time user, here. Impressed by the activity in this online community. Lots of friendly help and trades to be seen, and I'm hoping someone that loves talking about the Model T can help me date a component.
I came across what to me was an exciting find metal detecting with my daughter at an old home site on our land in MS. I had no idea at the time, but this forum helped me figure out that this is an old Model T valve stem! Stamped Schrader 888. I'd really love to figure out when it was produced and if it was indeed exclusively used for Model T's.
I've found a lot of really helpful posts on this mtfca forum describing Schrader 777 and Schrader 888 valve stems and their Dill and Bridgeport equivalents. For example, someone previously stated that the Model T originally came with Schrader 777 valve stems that were 3" long, and then the Schrader 888 stems were a bit (1/4") shorter. Link: http://www.mtfca.com/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?tpc=822076&post=1036289#POST1036289
From what I have gathered, Model T's were mass produced between 1908 and 1927.
Putting this all together, should I conclude that this Schrader 888 valve stem dates to 1927 or prior, but not as old as 1908 (because Ford was using the 777 instead of the 888 in the beginning)?
Yes, Model T production was 1908-1927. Some of these stems, but not all, have patent dates on them. So if you clean up your 888 and find dates on the other side, you'll know it was made after the latest date. I believe the Schrader 888 is the shortest stem that can be used on a Model T wheel. As you say, the 777 was standard. The Bridgeport equivalent to the 888 will be marked TR-16. There were dozens of car companies during the Model T era, so I expect the 777 and the 888 were also used on some other cars.
The 888 was used on the first Model A's too.
Thanks, gents. So Larry, that could extend the date out to 1931 I suppose. (We found two of them situated among a couple of old home sites in which we’ve found minor relics dating from late 1800s to 1940s.)
Those are a good start, keep digging!