Ford Model T

Ford Model T

Overview
The Ford Model T is an automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 that was produced by Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

's Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 from September 1908 to May 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

; some of this was because of Ford's innovations, including assembly line
Assembly line
An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned logistics to create a finished product much faster than with handcrafting-type methods...

 production instead of individual hand crafting. The Ford Model T was named the world's most influential car of the 20th century
Car of the Century
The Car of the Century was an international award given to the world's most influential car of the 20th century. The election process was overseen by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation...

 in an international poll.

The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular.
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Encyclopedia
The Ford Model T is an automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 that was produced by Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

's Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 from September 1908 to May 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

; some of this was because of Ford's innovations, including assembly line
Assembly line
An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned logistics to create a finished product much faster than with handcrafting-type methods...

 production instead of individual hand crafting. The Ford Model T was named the world's most influential car of the 20th century
Car of the Century
The Car of the Century was an international award given to the world's most influential car of the 20th century. The election process was overseen by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation...

 in an international poll.

The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular. The first production Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908, at the Piquette Plant
Piquette Plant
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is located at 411 Piquette Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, within the Piquette Avenue Industrial Historic District. It was the second home of Ford Motor Company automobile production...

 in Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is the major city among the primary cultural, financial, and transportation centers in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people. As the seat of Wayne County, the city of Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and serves as a major port on the Detroit River...

. On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan
Highland Park, Michigan
- Geography :According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all land.- Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there were 16,746 people, 6,199 households, and 3,521 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,622.9 per square mile . There were 7,249...

.

There were several cars produced or prototyped by Henry Ford from the founding of the company in 1903 until the Model T came along. Although he started with the Model A, there were not 19 production models (A through T); some were only prototypes. The production model immediately before the Model T was the Model S, an upgraded version of the company's largest success to that point, the Model N
Ford Model N
The Ford Model N is an automobile produced by the Ford Motor Company. It was introduced in 1906 as a successor to the Models A, C and F as the company's inexpensive entry-level line....

. The follow-up was the Ford Model A and not the Model U. Company publicity said this was because the new car was such a departure from the old that Henry wanted to start all over again with the letter A. As it happens, the first Plymouth
Plymouth (automobile)
Plymouth was a marque of automobile based in the United States, produced by the Chrysler Corporation and its successor DaimlerChrysler.-Origins:...

 car (1928), built by competitor Chrysler Corporation, was named Model U.

The Model T was the first automobile mass produced
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

 on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts
Interchangeable parts
Interchangeable parts are parts that are, for practical purposes, identical. They are made to specifications that ensure that they are so nearly identical that they will fit into any device of the same type. One such part can freely replace another, without any custom fitting...

, marketed to the middle class
American middle class
The American middle class is a social class in the United States. While the concept is typically ambiguous in popular opinion and common language use, contemporary social scientists have put forward several, more or less congruent, theories on the American middle class...

. Henry Ford said of the vehicle:

"I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces."

Characteristics


The Ford Model T car was designed by Childe Harold Wills and two Hungarian immigrants, Joseph A. Galamb
Joseph A. Galamb
József Galamb mechanical engineer was born in Makó, Hungary.Galamb finished his education at the Budapest Industrial Technology Engineering Course in 1899. After receiving his diploma in mechanical engineering he worked at the Steel Engineering Factory in Diósgyőr as a draftsman...

 and Eugene Farkas. Henry Love, C. J. Smith, Gus Degner and Peter E. Martin
Peter E. Martin
Peter Edmund Martin was a leading early production executive of the Ford Motor Company....

 were also part of the team. While production of the Model T began in the autumn of 1908, model years range from 1909 to 1927.

Engine and means of starting


The Model T had a 177 cubic inches (2.9 l) front mounted inline four-cylinder
Straight-4
The inline-four engine or straight-four engine is an internal combustion engine with all four cylinders mounted in a straight line, or plane along the crankcase. The single bank of cylinders may be oriented in either a vertical or an inclined plane with all the pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 en bloc engine
Engine
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to create motion...

 (that is, all four cylinders in one block, as common now, rather than in individual castings, as common then) producing 20 hp for a top speed of 40 –. The Model T four-cylinder sidevalve engine was first in the world with a detachable head, making service like valve jobs easier. According to Ford Motor Company, the Model T had fuel economy on the order of 13 miles per US gallon. The engine was capable of running on petrol, kerosene
Kerosene
Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage, also known as paraffin or paraffin oil in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. The name is derived from Greek keros...

, or ethanol
Ethanol fuel
Ethanol fuel is ethanol , the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline. World ethanol production for transport fuel tripled between 2000 and 2007 from 17 billion to more than 52 billion litres...

, although the decreasing cost of petrol and the later introduction of Prohibition
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

 made ethanol an impractical fuel.


A flywheel magneto
Magneto (electrical)
A magneto is an electrical generator that uses permanent magnets to produce alternating current.Magnetos adapted to produce pulses of high voltage are used in the ignition systems of some gasoline-powered internal combustion engines to provide power to the spark plugs...

 was an electrical generator that produced the high voltage necessary to produce a spark to initiate combustion. This voltage was distributed by the timer (analogous to a distributor
Distributor
A distributor is a device in the ignition system of an internal combustion engine that routes high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs in the correct firing order. The first reliable battery operated ignition was developed by Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co. and introduced in the...

 in a modern vehicle) to one of the four trembler coils, one for each cylinder. The coil created a high voltage current, directly connected to the spark plug in the cylinder. Ignition timing was adjusted manually by using the spark advance lever mounted on the steering column which rotated the timer. A battery could be used for starting current: at hand-cranking speed, the magneto did not always produce sufficient current (a starting battery was not standard equipment until sometime in 1926, though all T's had a bat position on the coil box switch). A certain amount of skill and experience was required to find the optimal timing for any speed and load. When electric headlights were introduced in 1915, the magneto was upgraded to supply power for the lights and horn. In keeping with the goal of ultimate reliability and simplicity, the trembler coil and magneto ignition system was retained even after the car became equipped with a generator and battery for electric starting and lighting. Most cars sold after 1919 were equipped with electric starting, which was engaged by a small round button on the floor.


Before starting a Model T with the hand crank
Crank (mechanism)
A crank is an arm attached at right angles to a rotating shaft by which reciprocating motion is imparted to or received from the shaft. It is used to change circular into reciprocating motion, or reciprocating into circular motion. The arm may be a bent portion of the shaft, or a separate arm...

, the spark had to be manually retarded or the engine might "kick back". The crank handle was cupped in the palm, rather than grabbed with the thumb under the top of the handle, so that if the engine did kick back, the rapid reverse motion of the crank would throw the hand away from the handle, rather than violently twisting the wrist or breaking the thumb. Most Model T Fords had the choke operated by a wire emerging from the bottom of the radiator where it could be operated with the left hand. This was used to prime the engine while cranking the engine slowly then starting the engine with the left hand with a rapid pull of the crank handle. The car only had to be cranked half a turn for it to successfully start. This "quick start" is because of the engine's small displacement and low compression.

The car's 10 US gal (38 l) fuel tank was mounted to the frame beneath the front seat; one variant had the carburetor
Carburetor
A carburetor , carburettor, or carburetter is a device that blends air and fuel for an internal combustion engine. It is sometimes shortened to carb in North America and the United Kingdom....

 (a Holley
Holley Performance Products
Holley Performance Products is an automotive performance company based in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Holley, when based in Michigan, was one of the major producers of carburetors, being supplied as standard equipment on many Detroit-built automobiles....

 Model G) modified to run on ethyl alcohol
Ethanol fuel
Ethanol fuel is ethanol , the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline. World ethanol production for transport fuel tripled between 2000 and 2007 from 17 billion to more than 52 billion litres...

, to be made at home by the self-reliant farmer. Because Ford relied on gravity to feed fuel to the carburetor rather than a fuel pump, a Model T could not climb a steep hill when the fuel level was low. The immediate solution was to climb steep hills in reverse. In 1926, the fuel tank was moved forward to under the cowl on most models.

Early on, the engine blocks were to be produced by the Lakeside Foundry
Lakeside Foundry
The Lakeside Foundry was located in Detroit, Michigan, United States. It still stands, although is no longer in business. It is on Newcastle St. South of Jefferson between Jefferson and Freud between St. Jean and Clairpointe...

 on St. Jean in Detroit. Ford cancelled the deal before many were produced.

The first few hundred Model Ts had a water pump, but it was eliminated early in production. Ford opted for a cheaper and more reliable thermo-syphon system. Hot water, being less dense, would rise to the top of the engine and up into the top of the radiator, descending to the bottom as it cooled, and back into the engine. This was the direction of water flow in most cars which did have water pumps, until the introduction of crossflow radiator
Radiator (engine cooling)
Radiators are used for cooling internal combustion engines, mainly in automobiles but also in piston-engined aircraft, railway locomotives, motorcycles, stationary generating plant or any similar use of such an engine....

 designs. Many types of water pumps were available as aftermarket accessories.

Transmission and drivetrain



The Model T was a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Its transmission was a planetary gear type billed as "three speed". In today's terms it would be considered a two-speed, because one of the three speeds was reverse.

The Model T's transmission
Transmission (mechanics)
A machine consists of a power source and a power transmission system, which provides controlled application of the power. Merriam-Webster defines transmission as: an assembly of parts including the speed-changing gears and the propeller shaft by which the power is transmitted from an engine to a...

 was controlled with three foot pedals and a lever that was mounted to the road side of the driver's seat. The throttle was controlled with a lever on the steering wheel. The left pedal was used to engage the gear. With the handbrake in either the mid position or fully forward and the pedal pressed and held forward the car entered low gear. When held in an intermediate position the car was in neutral, a state that could also be achieved by pulling the floor-mounted lever to an upright position. If the lever was pushed forward and the driver took his foot off the left pedal, the Model T entered high gear, but only when the handbrake lever was fully forward. The car could thus cruise without the driver having to press any of the pedals. There was no separate clutch pedal.

The middle pedal was used to engage reverse gear, and the right pedal operated the transmission brake. The floor lever also controlled the parking brake, which was activated by pulling the lever all the way back. This doubled as an emergency brake.

Although it was uncommon, the drive bands could fall out of adjustment, allowing the car to creep, particularly when cold, adding another hazard to attempting to start the car: a person cranking the engine could be forced backward while still holding the crank as the car crept forward although it was nominally in neutral. As the car utilised a wet clutch, this condition could also occur in cold weather where the thickened oil prevents the clutch discs from slipping freely. Power reached the differential through a single universal joint
Universal joint
A universal joint, universal coupling, U joint, Cardan joint, Hardy-Spicer joint, or Hooke's joint is a joint or coupling in a rigid rod that allows the rod to 'bend' in any direction, and is commonly used in shafts that transmit rotary motion...

 attached to a torque tube
Torque tube
A torque tube system is a driveshaft technology, often used in automobiles with a front engine and rear drive. It is not as widespread as the Hotchkiss drive, but is still occasionally used to this day...

 which drove the rear axle; some models (typically trucks, but available for cars as well) could be equipped with an optional two speed Ruckstell rear axle shifted by a floor mounted lever which provided an underdrive gear for easier hill climbing. All gears were vanadium steel
Vanadium
Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal. The formation of an oxide layer stabilizes the metal against oxidation. The element is found only in chemically combined form in nature...

 running in an oil bath.

Suspension and wheels



Model T suspension employed a transversely mounted semi-elliptical spring for each of the front and rear axles, which was a solid beam axle, not an independent suspension
Independent suspension
Independent suspension is a broad term for any automobile suspension system that allows each wheel on the same axle to move vertically independently of each other. This is contrasted with a beam axle, live axle or deDion axle system in which the wheels are linked – movement on one side affects...

, which still allowed a great deal of wheel movement to cope with the dirt roads of the time.

The front axle was drop forged as a single piece of vanadium steel. Ford twisted many axles eight times and sent them to dealers to be put on display to demonstrate its superiority. The Model T did not have a modern service brake. The right foot pedal applied a band around a drum in the transmission, thus stopping the rear wheels from turning. The previously mentioned parking brake lever operated band brake
Band brake
A band brake is a primary or secondary brake, consisting of a band of friction material that tightens concentrically around a cylindrical piece of equipment to either prevent it from rotating , or to slow it . This application is common on winch drums and chain saws and is also used for some...

s on the outside of the rear brake drums.

Wheels were wooden artillery wheel
Artillery wheel
The artillery wheel was developed for use on gun carriages when it was found that the lateral forces involved in horse artillery manoeuvres caused normally-constructed cart wheels to collapse. Rather than having its spokes mortised into a wooden nave , it has them fitted together then bolted into...

s, with steel welded-spoke wheels available in 1926 and 1927.

Tires were pneumatic clincher type, 30 in (76 cm) in diameter, 3.5 in (8.9 cm) wide in the rear, 3 in (7.5 cm) wide in the front. Clinchers needed much higher pressure than today's tires, typically 60 psi (4.1 bar), to prevent them from leaving the rim at speed. Horseshoe nails on the roads, together with the high pressure, made flat tires a common problem.

Balloon tires became available in 1925. They were 21x4.5 in (53x11.4 cm) all around. Balloon tires were closer in design to today's tires, with steel wires reinforcing the tire bead, making lower pressure possible – typically 35 psi (2.4 bar) – giving a softer ride. The old nomenclature for tire size changed from measuring the outer diameter to measuring the rim diameter so 21" (rim diameter) × 4.50 (tire width) wheels has about the same outer diameter as 30 in (76 cm) clincher tires. All tires in this time period used an inner tube to hold the pressurised air; "tubeless" tires were not generally in use until much later.

Wheelbase
Wheelbase
In both road and rail vehicles, the wheelbase is the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels.- Road :In automobiles, the wheelbase is the horizontal distance between the center of the front wheel and the center of the rear wheel...

 was 99 inches (250 cm); while standard tread width was 56 in (142 cm), 60 in (152 cm) tread could be obtained on special order, "for Southern roads".

Design changes


Early Ts had a brass radiator and headlights. The horn and numerous small parts were also brass. Many of the early cars were open-bodied touring car
Touring car
A touring car, or tourer, is an open car seating five or more. Touring cars may have two or four doors. Often, the belt line is lowered in the front doors to give the car a more sportive character. They were often fitted with a folding roof and side curtains. Engines on early models were either in...

s and runabouts, these being cheaper to make than closed cars. Prior to the 1911 model year (when front doors were added to the touring model), US - made open cars did not have an opening door for the driver. Later models included closed cars (introduced in 1915), sedans, coupes and trucks. The chassis was available so trucks could be built to suit. Ford also developed some truck bodies for this chassis, designated the Model TT
Ford Model TT
The Ford Model TT is a truck made by the Ford Motor Company. It was rated at one ton. It was based on the Ford Model T, but with a heavier frame and rear axle.The rear axle had a worm drive and crown wheel,unlike the Ford Model T's Crown wheel and pinion. The worm was located at the end of the...

. The headlights were originally acetylene
Acetylene
Acetylene is the chemical compound with the formula C2H2. It is a hydrocarbon and the simplest alkyne. This colorless gas is widely used as a fuel and a chemical building block. It is unstable in pure form and thus is usually handled as a solution.As an alkyne, acetylene is unsaturated because...

 lamps made of brass (commonly using Prest-O-Lite tanks), but eventually the car gained electric lights after 1910, initially powered from the magneto until the electrical system was upgraded to a battery, generator and starter motor, when lighting power was switched to the battery source.

The Model T production system, the epitome of Fordism
Fordism
Fordism, named after Henry Ford, is a modern economic and social system based on industrial mass production. The concept is used in various social theories about production and related socio-economic phenomena. It has varying but related meanings in different fields, as well as for Marxist and...

, is famous for representing the rigidity of early mass production systems that were wildly successful at achieving efficiency but that could accommodate changes in product design only with great difficulty and resistance. The story is more complicated; there were few major, publicly visible changes throughout the life of the model, but there were many smaller changes. Most were driven by design for manufacturability considerations, but styling and new features also played more of a role than commonly realised. In fact, one of the problems for the company regarding design changes was the T's reputation for not changing and being "already correct", which Henry Ford enjoyed and which was a selling point for many customers, which made it risky to admit any changes actually were happening. (The idea of simply refining a design without making radical visible changes would resurface, and score even greater production success, with the VW Type 1
Volkswagen Beetle
The Volkswagen Type 1, widely known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Volkswagen Bug, is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003...

.)

Colors


By 1918, half of all the cars in the US were Model T’s. However it was a monolithic bloc; Ford wrote in his autobiography that he told his management team in 1909 that in the future “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”.

However, in the first years of production from 1908 to 1914, the Model T was not available in black but rather only grey, green, blue, and red. Green was available for the touring cars, town cars, coupes, and Landaulets. Grey was only available for the town cars, and red only for the touring cars. By 1912, all cars were being painted midnight blue with black fenders. It was only in 1914 that the "any color as long as it is black" policy was finally implemented. It is often stated that Ford suggested the use of black from 1914 to 1926 due to the cheap cost and durability of black paint. During the lifetime production of the Model T, over 30 different types of black paint were used on various parts of the car. These were formulated to satisfy the different means of applying the paint to the various parts, and had distinct drying times, depending on the part, paint, and method of drying.

Diverse applications in a world not yet widely paved, motorised, or electrified


When the Model T was designed and introduced, the infrastructure of the world was quite different from today's. Pavement was a rarity except for sidewalks and a few big-city streets. (The sense of the term "pavement" as equivalent with "sidewalk" comes from that era, when streets and roads were generally dirt (mud during rainy periods) and sidewalks were a paved way to walk down them without getting dirty. In fact, this was a motive for segregating foot traffic from carriage traffic long before the speed of automobiles provided another motive.) Agriculture was the occupation of many people. Power tool
Power tool
A power tool is a tool that is actuated by an additional power source and mechanism other than the solely manual labour used with hand tools. The most common types of power tools use electric motors. Internal combustion engines and compressed air are also commonly used...

s were scarce outside factories, as were any power sources to run them; electrification
Electrification
Electrification originally referred to the build out of the electrical generating and distribution systems which occurred in the United States, England and other countries from the mid 1880's until around 1940 and is in progress in developing countries. This also included the change over from line...

, like pavement, was found usually only in larger towns and cities. Rural electrification
Rural electrification
Rural electrification is the process of bringing electrical power to rural and remote areas. Electricity is used not only for lighting and household purposes, but it also allows for mechanization of many farming operations, such as threshing, milking, and hoisting grain for storage; in areas...

 and motorised mechanisation
Mechanization
Mechanization or mechanisation is providing human operators with machinery that assists them with the muscular requirements of work or displaces muscular work. In some fields, mechanization includes the use of hand tools...

 were embryonic in North America and Europe, and nonexistent elsewhere.

Henry Ford oversaw the requirement
Requirement
In engineering, a requirement is a singular documented physical and functional need that a particular product or service must be or perform. It is most commonly used in a formal sense in systems engineering, software engineering, or enterprise engineering...

s and design of the Model T based on the realities of that world. Consequently, the Model T was (intentionally) almost as much a tractor
Tractor
A tractor is a vehicle specifically designed to deliver a high tractive effort at slow speeds, for the purposes of hauling a trailer or machinery used in agriculture or construction...

 and stationary engine
Stationary engine
A stationary engine is an engine whose framework does not move. It is normally used not to propel a vehicle but to drive a piece of immobile equipment such as a pump or power tool. They may be powered by steam; or oil-burning or internal combustion engines....

 as it was an automobile, that is, a vehicle dedicated solely to road use. It has always been well regarded for its all-terrain abilities and ruggedness. It could travel a rocky, muddy farm lane, ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

 a shallow stream, climb a steep hill, and be parked on the other side to have one of its wheels removed and a pulley
Pulley
A pulley, also called a sheave or a drum, is a mechanism composed of a wheel on an axle or shaft that may have a groove between two flanges around its circumference. A rope, cable, belt, or chain usually runs over the wheel and inside the groove, if present...

 fastened to the hub for a flat belt to drive a bucksaw
Bucksaw
A Bucksaw is a hand saw generally used to cut logs or firewood to length . It usually has a metal frame and a removable blade with coarse teeth held in tension by the frame. Lightweight portable or foldable models used for camping or back-packing are also available...

, thresher
Threshing machine
The thrashing machine, or, in modern spelling, threshing machine , was a machine first invented by Scottish mechanical engineer Andrew Meikle for use in agriculture. It was invented for the separation of grain from stalks and husks. For thousands of years, grain was separated by hand with flails,...

, silo blower
Silo
A silo is a structure for storing bulk materials.Silo may also refer to:* Silo , a 3D modeling software* Silo , a defunct chain of retail electronics stores* SILO , used in Linux...

, conveyor
Conveyor system
A conveyor system is a common piece of mechanical handling equipment that moves materials from one location to another. Conveyors are especially useful in applications involving the transportation of heavy or bulky materials...

 for filling corn crib
Corn crib
A corn crib or corncrib is a type of granary used to dry and store corn. It is also known as a cornhouse or corn house, though this term can refer to any granary....

s or hayloft
Hayloft
A hayloft is a space above a barn, stable or cow-shed, traditionally used for storage of hay or other fodder for the animals below. Haylofts were used mainly before the widespread use of hay bales, which allow simpler handling of bulk hay...

s, baler
Baler
A baler is a piece of farm machinery used to compress a cut and raked crop into compact bales that are easy to handle, transport and store...

, water pump (for wells
Water well
A water well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, boring or drilling to access groundwater in underground aquifers. The well water is drawn by an electric submersible pump, a trash pump, a vertical turbine pump, a handpump or a mechanical pump...

, mine
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

s, or swampy farm fields), electrical generator
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

, and countless other applications. One unique application of the Model T was shown in the October 1922 issue of Fordson Farmer magazine. It showed a minister who had transformed his Model T in to a mobile church, complete with small organ .

During this era, entire automobiles (including thousands of Model Ts) were even hacked apart by their industrious owners and reconfigured into custom machinery permanently dedicated to a purpose, such as homemade tractors, ice saws, or many others. Dozens of aftermarket
Aftermarket (automotive)
The automotive aftermarket is the secondary market of the automotive industry, concerned with the manufacturing, remanufacturing, distribution, retailing, and installation of all vehicle parts, chemicals, tools, equipment and accessories for light and heavy vehicles, after the sale of the...

 companies sold prefab
Prefabrication
Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, and transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the construction site where the structure is to be located...

 kits to facilitate the T's conversion from car to tractor. In a world mostly without mechanised cultivator
Cultivator
A cultivator is any of several types of farm implement used for secondary tillage. One sense of the name refers to frames with teeth that pierce the soil as they are dragged through it linearly. Another sense refers to machines that use rotary motion of disks or teeth to accomplish a similar result...

s, Model Ts filled a vacuum. Row-crop tractors such as the Farmall did not become widespread until the 1930s. Like many popular car engines of the era, the Model T engine was also used on home-built aircraft (such as the Pietenpol Sky Scout
Pietenpol Sky Scout
-See also:- External links :*...

) and motorboat
Motorboat
A motorboat is a boat which is powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit.An inboard/outboard contains a hybrid of a...

s.

Also, many Model Ts were converted into vehicles which could travel across heavy snows with kits on the rear wheels and skis where the front wheels were located. They were popular for rural mail delivery for a time. The common name for these conversion of cars and small trucks was Snowflyers. These vehicles were extremely popular in the northern reaches of Canada where factories were set up to produce them.

Mass production


The knowledge and skills needed by a factory worker were reduced to 84 areas. When introduced, the T used the building methods typical at the time, assembly by hand, and production was small. Ford's Piquette plant could not keep up with demand for the Model T, and only 11 cars were built there during the first full month of production. More and more machines were used to reduce the complexity within the 84 defined areas. In 1910, after assembling nearly 12,000 Model Ts, Henry Ford moved the company to the new Highland Park complex
Highland Park Ford Plant
The Highland Park Ford Plant is a former factory located in Highland Park, Michigan at 91 Manchester Avenue . The second production facility for the Model T automobile, it became a National Historic Landmark in 1978.-Description:...

.


As a result, Ford's cars came off the line in three-minute intervals, much faster than previous methods, reducing production time by a factor of eight (requiring 12.5 hours before, 93 minutes afterwards), while using less manpower. By 1914, the assembly process for the Model T had been so streamlined it took only 93 minutes to assemble a car. That year Ford produced more cars than all other automakers combined, due to an ability to produce a car in 93 minutes. The Model T was a great commercial success, and by the time Henry made his 10 millionth car, 50 percent of all cars in the world were Fords. It was so successful that Ford did not purchase any advertising between 1917 and 1923; more than 15 million Model Ts were manufactured, reaching a rate of 9,000 to 10,000 cars a day in 1925, or 2 million annually, more than any other model of its day, at a price of just $240. Model T production was finally surpassed by the Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen Beetle
The Volkswagen Type 1, widely known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Volkswagen Bug, is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003...

 on February 17, 1972.

Henry Ford's ideological approach to Model T design was one of getting it right and then keeping it the same; he believed the Model T was all the car a person would, or could, ever need. As other companies offered comfort and styling advantages, at competitive prices, the Model T lost market share. Design changes were not as few as the public perceived, but the idea of an unchanging model was kept intact. Eventually, on May 26, 1927, Ford Motor Company ceased production and began the changeovers required to produce the Model A.

Model T engines continued to be produced until August 4, 1941. Almost 170,000 were built after car production stopped, as replacement engines were required to service already produced vehicles. Racers and enthusiasts, forerunners of modern hot rodders, used the Model T's block to build popular and cheap racing engines, including Cragar, Navarro, and famously the Frontenacs ("Fronty Fords") of the Chevrolet
Chevrolet
Chevrolet , also known as Chevy , is a brand of vehicle produced by General Motors Company . Founded by Louis Chevrolet and ousted GM founder William C. Durant on November 3, 1911, General Motors acquired Chevrolet in 1918...

 brothers, among many others.

The Model T employed some advanced technology, for example, its use of vanadium
Vanadium
Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal. The formation of an oxide layer stabilizes the metal against oxidation. The element is found only in chemically combined form in nature...

 steel alloy. Its durability was phenomenal, and many Model Ts and their parts remain in running order nearly a century later. Although Henry Ford resisted some kinds of change, he always championed the advancement of materials engineering, and often mechanical engineering and industrial engineering.

In 2002, Ford built a final batch of six Model Ts as part of their 2003 centenary celebrations. These cars were assembled from remaining new components and other parts produced from the original drawings. The last of the six was used for publicity purposes in the UK.

Although Ford no longer manufacture parts for the Model T, many parts are still manufactured through private companies
Privately held company
A privately held company or close corporation is a business company owned either by non-governmental organizations or by a relatively small number of shareholders or company members which does not offer or trade its company stock to the general public on the stock market exchanges, but rather the...

 as replicas to service the thousands of Model T's still in operation today.

Price


The standard 4-seat open tourer of 1909 cost $850 (equivalent to $ today), when competing cars often cost $2,000–$3,000 (equivalent to $–$ today); in 1913, the price dropped to $550 (equivalent to $ today), and $440 in 1915 (equivalent to $ today). Sales were 69,762 in 1911; 170,211 in 1912; 202,667 in 1913; 308,162 in 1914; and 501,462 in 1915. In 1914, an assembly line worker could buy a Model T with four months' pay.

By the 1920s, the price had fallen to $290 (equivalent to $ today) because of increasing efficiencies of assembly line technique and volume. Henry employed vertical integration
Vertical integration
In microeconomics and management, the term vertical integration describes a style of management control. Vertically integrated companies in a supply chain are united through a common owner. Usually each member of the supply chain produces a different product or service, and the products combine to...

 of the industries needed to create his cars.

Recycling


Henry Ford used wood scraps from the production of Model T's to create charcoal. Originally named Ford Charcoal the name was changed to Kingsford Charcoal
Kingsford (charcoal)
Kingsford is a brand of charcoal used for grilling, along with related products. The brand is owned by The Clorox Company.The Kingsford Company was formed by Henry Ford and E.G. Kingsford during the early 1920s. Charcoal was developed from Ford Motor Company's factory waste wood scrap. The...

 after Ford's relative E. G. Kingsford brokered the selection of the new charcoal plant site.

First global car


The Ford Model T was the first automobile built by various countries simultaneously since they were being produced in Walkerville
Ford Motor Company of Canada
Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited was founded in 1904 for the purpose of manufacturing and selling Ford automobiles in Canada and the British Empire. The Ford Motor Company in Detroit transferred the patent and selling rights to the Walkerville Wagon Company, in order to avoid the tariff rates...

, Canada and in Trafford Park
Trafford Park
Trafford Park is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, in Greater Manchester, England. Located opposite Salford Quays, on the southern side of the Manchester Ship Canal, it is west-southwest of Manchester city centre, and north of Stretford. Until the late 19th century it was the...

, Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

, England starting in 1911 and were later assembled in Germany
Ford Germany
-Ford Motor Co. AG:Until 27 January 1950 all Ford's European operations other than in the USSR were run from Dagenham and owned by Ford Motor Company Limited, Dearborn's 55% owned subsidiary...

, Argentina
Ford Motor Company of Argentina
Ford Motor Argentina is a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company and was founded in Buenos Aires in 1913.Its first products were Model Ts assembled from Complete Knock Down kits provided by Ford Motor Company in 1917...

, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan. Ford made use of the knock-down kit concept almost from the beginning of the company.

The Aeroford
Aeroford
The Aeroford was an English automobile that was manufactured in Bayswater, London from 1920 to 1925. The Aeroford was an attempt to make the Ford Model T more attractive by disguising its appearance with a unique bonnet and radiator grille....

 was an English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 manufactured in Bayswater
Bayswater
Bayswater is an area of west London in the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to the west . It is a built-up district located 3 miles west-north-west of Charing Cross, bordering the north of Hyde Park over Kensington Gardens and having a population density of...

, London, from 1920 to 1925. It was a Model T with distinct hood and grille to make it appear to be a totally different design, what later would have been called badge engineering
Badge engineering
Badge engineering is an ironic term that describes the rebadging of one product as another...

. The Aeroford sold from £288 in 1920, dropping to £168-214 by 1925. It was available as a two-seater, four-seater, or coupé
Coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

.

Advertising, marketing, and packaging


Ford created a massive publicity machine in Detroit to ensure every newspaper carried stories and advertisements about the new product. Ford's network of local dealers made the car ubiquitous in virtually every city in North America. As independent dealers, the franchises grew rich and publicised not just the Ford but the very concept of automobiling; local motor clubs sprang up to help new drivers and to explore the countryside. Ford was always eager to sell to farmers, who looked on the vehicle as a commercial device to help their business. Sales skyrocketed – several years posted 100% gains on the previous year.

Sales passed 250,000 in 1914. By 1916, as the price dropped to $360 for the basic touring car, sales reached 472,000.

Car clubs


Cars built before 1919 are classed as veteran cars and later models as vintage car
Vintage car
A vintage car is commonly defined as a car built between the start of 1919 and the end of 1930 known as the "Vintage era". There is little debate about the start date of the vintage period—the end of World War I is a nicely defined marker there—but the end date is a matter of a little...

s. Today, four main clubs exist to support the preservation and restoration of these cars: The Model T Ford Club International, the Model T Ford Club of America and the combined clubs of Australia. With many chapters of clubs around the world, the Model T Ford Club of Victoria has a membership with a considerable number of uniquely Australian cars. (Australia produced its own car bodies and therefore many differences occurred between the Australian bodied tourers and the US/Canadian cars). In the UK, the Model T Ford Register of Great Britain celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. Many steel Model T parts are still manufactured today, and even fiberglass
Glass-reinforced plastic
Fiberglass , is a fiber reinforced polymer made of a plastic matrix reinforced by fine fibers of glass. It is also known as GFK ....

 replicas of their distinctive bodies are produced, which are popular for T-bucket
T-bucket
A T-bucket is a specific style of hot rod car, based on a Ford Model T, but extensively modified, or alternatively built with replica components to resemble a Model T....

 style hot rod
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

s (as immortalised in the Jan and Dean
Jan and Dean
Jan and Dean were a rock and roll duo, popular from the late 1950s through the mid 1960s, consisting of William Jan Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence...

 surf music
Surf music
Surf music is a genre of popular music associated with surf culture, particularly as found in Orange County and other areas of Southern California. It was particularly popular between 1961 and 1965, has subsequently been revived and was highly influential on subsequent rock music...

 song "Bucket T," which was later recorded by The Who
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey , Pete Townshend , John Entwistle and Keith Moon . They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction...

).

In popular media

  • John Steinbeck
    John Steinbeck
    John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men...

    's Cannery Row
    Cannery Row (novel)
    Cannery Row is an English language novel by American author John Steinbeck. It was published in 1945. A film version was released in 1982. A stage version was produced in 1995....

    contains a passage about the Model T:



"Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and esthetic effect of the Model T Ford on the American nation. Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than about the clitoris
Clitoris
The clitoris is a sexual organ that is present only in female mammals. In humans, the visible button-like portion is located near the anterior junction of the labia minora, above the opening of the urethra and vagina. Unlike the penis, which is homologous to the clitoris, the clitoris does not...

, about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars
Solar System
The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...

. With the Model T, part of the concept of private property disappeared. Pliers ceased to be privately owned and a tire iron belonged to the last man who had picked it up. Most of the babies of the period were conceived in Model T Fords and not a few were born in them. The theory of the Anglo Saxon home became so warped that it never quite recovered."
  • In Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

    's Brave New World
    Brave New World
    Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

    , where Henry Ford is regarded as a messianic figure, graveyard crosses have been topped off and become T's.

  • Lizzie a character of the Cars
    Cars (franchise)
    Cars is the second film series created by Pixar and distributed by Disney after Toy Story. Cars was released on June 9, 2006 and Cars 2 was released on June 24, 2011. Both films were directed by John Lasseter, the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios...

     franchise is an Ford Model T.

See also

  • New Zealand RM class (Model T Ford)
    NZR RM class (Model T Ford)
    The NZR RM class Model T Ford railcar was a type of railcar that operated on New Zealand's national rail network. Only two were built, classified as RM 4 and RM 5, and they were experimental railcars designed in an attempt to offer improved passenger services on quiet country branch lines that...

    – a 1925 experimental railcar based on a Model T body

External links