Just came across this image of my great grandfather William Henry Osterman (left) and my great uncle Leslie Osterman with a model T touring car. Any guesses what year? Leslie raced cars on the same circuit as Eddie Rickenbacker and the two joined the Army Air Corp at the same time to fly in WW I. They remained friends for many years.
1917-1919 is my opinion.
Great picture Mark, I like any picture of a farm scene with a model T in it.
Great photo. If you can scan / post at a higher resolution, we may be able to narrow down Richard’s date range some more. On my computer it appears the photo is only 92kb and you can post up to 250 kb. Additionally, if you crop the photo so we are looking at just the car that will also give us better details.
We can already see it is most likely an above the axle wishbone black radiator touring. That gives Richard’s 1917-1919 range. A higher resolution photo would confirm the wishbone location for sure. And the above the axle wishbone was introduced on the truck chassis first and then the cars see: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc19.htm
APR 14, 1919 Acc. 235, Box 39, #385, Ford Archives
"From this date two distinct designs of front radius rods, together with front spring perches, right and left, one on the Model T and the other on Model TT.
"The Model TT design will be assembled beneath the axle, instead of above the axle through the spring perch as heretofore.
"Although it would be possible to use the Model T design on the Model TT, we request this be resorted to only in case of a shortage serious enough to threaten loss of production."
[Note the MTFCI Judging Guidelines have 1919 as all below the axle wishbones if I am reading them correctly. They may have some additional data to support that.]
We can also see that it has the unequal length windshield hinges that were introduced starting in
APR 19, 1917 Acc. 78, Ford Archives
Windshield hinge (with the unequal length arms) noted.
The higher resolution would hopefully allow us to confirm that I do actually see a horn button on the left side of the steering column (1918ish-end of production – two different styles with the early one being the combo horn light switch) or make the correction that it is mounted on top of the steering column used later 1915-into 1917.
Hopefully we would be able to tell for sure which style the top bows were (oval 1917 or rectangular 1918 and later (and I still am not sure how much overlap there would have been when both styles were used).
Again, great photo.
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Looks like I can see the horn button on the side of the steering column. That with the earlier radius rod would make it a 1918-1919.
If those front wheels have rounded felloes, that would make it earlier in the time range suggested, ruling out 18-19?
Allan from down under.
Unfortunately the picture I posted is from a xerox copy of a cropped original and I don’t know the whereabouts of the original. My father had this picture in a memoir he wrote a few years before his death two years ago. I didn’t notice the picture in his book until a few days ago. Dad was in advertising and was notorious for cutting down original photographs and assembling “paste ups” with rubber cement ... a substance which is sure death for paper photographs. All of his scrap books were assembled the same way and of course they’re toast now. It used to kill me to see them given I work in a photography museum ... worse yet I work in the worlds first conservation lab dedicated to preserving photography. :-(
Mark O, It is strange how fate seems to hit some people with that kind of irony.
Based on how much I can see at the very low resolution that you posted, I think there is better than a 50/50 chance we could see a few things better if you can scan it a 300 x 300 dpi. And again - crop and show only the car to keep it below the 250 kb limit.
I often point people to the posting of the wallet size photo or our 1918 touring that I used to carry in my billfold. At the low resolution I cannot make out the year on the license plate but at the higher resolution scan I can easily see the year. Please see the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/822076/826023.html?1515794678 By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 08:33 pm: It has been able to help me more times than it has not helped me.
If you know where your Xerox copy is, you have very little to lose by trying it.
Allan – for the USA production the round felloe wheels are listed by Bruce McCalley at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/U-Z.htm#wheels as:
...The felloes were changed to “square” instead of being rounded, apparently in late 1917 or early 1918 according to a letter dated April 16, 1918 at the Ford Archives.
But the Model T Ford Club International judging guidelines 7th edition for the USA cars has them transitioning to the square felloe starting in the 1921 model year, with both styles being offered from 1921 - 1924 and only the square felloe in 1925.
There is always more to learn about the cars and of course Ford used the parts that were supplied. (He probably did not pay extra for round felloes, but if they were supplied I would “guess” (but I do not know) that he would use them.
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Hap, my experience with fossil evidence on our Canadian sourced cars follows Bruce's information; i.e. rounded felloes were changed to square for the 1918 models. This what made me query round felloes on 18-19 models. I am not familiar with US production details.
Allan from down under.
Thank you for the additional information on the Canadian wheels. From my limited research, Ford of Canada sourced their demountable wheels and rims from the Kelsey plant located in Canada (from memory I think it was near Ford of Canada).
For the non-demountable wheels -- Chatham is listed on page 27 of Robert's book "In the Shadow of Detroit" as initially supplying bodies and wheels to Ford of Canada starting with the Model C Ford. But I don't know when Chatham stopped supplying wheels and when Kelsey started supplying wheels and how much overlap there may have been.
Happiness would be a time machine -- but in the meantime, as we continue to gather information hopefully we will obtain a better understanding of what likely occurred.
And of course Ford didn't say, "Come see the new 1918 Fords." He basically continued to improve them with changes which were often running changes introduced at different times. So Ford would say, "Come see the new Fords." And they were new -- regardless if they were using up old parts or introducing a new part on the car.
Thank you again for the fossil update.
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