The Model T, sold by the Ford Motor Company from to , was the earliest effort to make a car that most people could actually buy. The Model T was actually affordable and it became so popular at one point that a majority of Americans owned one, directly helping rural Americans become more connected with the rest of the country and leading to the numbered highway system. By day he was chief engineer at Edison Illuminating Company of Detroit, but at night Henry Ford labored over a gasoline engine. He successfully tested one on Christmas Eve, , with the help of his wife, Clara, taking a break from Christmas cooking. The engine worked for 30 seconds, long enough to confirm for Ford that he was on the right track.
Veloce Publishing plc. The Internet got automoobile start in the United States more than 50 years ago as a government weapon in the Cold War. In recent years Ford has also used virtual crash testing to maximize the quantity and availability of crash data. A large part of the success of Ford's Model T stems from the innovative strategy which introduced a large network of sales hubs making it easy to purchase the car. Fogd 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. The flathead was a hit. In today's terms it Breast reduction san jose be considered a two-speed, Model a ford automobile one of the three speeds was reverse. The smaller platform debuted in response to rising oil prices and new fuel economy regulations. Retrieved August Model a ford automobile, Martin were also part of the team.
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Henry Ford conceived a series of cars between the founding of the company in and the introduction of the Model T. Retrieved August 29, Although Henry Ford resisted some kinds of change, he always championed the advancement of materials engineering, and often mechanical engineering and industrial engineering. Retrieved March 28, This marked the famous automobile's official last day of production at the main factory. October The meet is over. Retrieved March 18, Rochester, United Kingdom: Grange Books. This lump charcoal was modified and pressed into briquettes and mass Model a ford automobile by Ford. Cars portal. Byall cars were being painted midnight blue with black fenders. Namespaces Article Talk.
Although automobiles had been produced from the s they were still mostly scarce, expensive, and often unreliable at the Model T's introduction in
- Although automobiles had been produced from the s they were still mostly scarce, expensive, and often unreliable at the Model T's introduction in
- We are an active, family-friendly organization whose members share a passion for these historic vehicles, plus other aspects of life in that era, such as fashions.
- The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford , beginning production in
- First produced on October 20, , but not introduced until December 2,  it replaced the venerable Model T, which had been produced for 18 years.
Although automobiles had been produced from the s they were still mostly scarce, expensive, and often unreliable at the Model T's introduction in Positioned as reliable, easily maintained, mass-market transportation, it was a runaway success. In a matter of days after the release, 15, orders were placed. Henry Ford conceived a series of cars between the founding of the company in and the introduction of the Model T.
Ford named his first car the Model A and proceeded through the alphabet up through the Model T, twenty models in all. Not all the models went into production. 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.
The 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. The Model T was Ford's first automobile mass-produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts , marketed to the middle class. I will build a motor 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.
Although credit for the development of the assembly line belongs to Ransom E. Olds , with the first mass-produced automobile, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash , having begun in , the tremendous advancements in the efficiency of the system over the life of the Model T can be credited almost entirely to the vision of Ford and his engineers.
Galamb  and Eugene Farkas. Smith, Gus Degner and Peter E. Martin were also part of the team. This is a retroactive classification scheme; the concept of model years as understood today did not exist at the time.
The nominal model designation was "Model T", although design revisions did occur during the car's two decades of production. The Model T had a front-mounted cubic-inch 2. The engines of the first 2, units were cooled with water pumps ; the engines of unit 2, and onward, with a few exceptions prior to around unit 2,, were cooled by thermosiphon action.
The ignition system used in the Model T was an unusual one, with a low-voltage magneto incorporated in the flywheel, supplying alternating current to trembler coils to drive the spark plugs.
This was closer to that used for stationary gas engines than the expensive high-voltage ignition magnetos that were used on some other cars.
This ignition also made the Model T more flexible as to the quality or type of fuel it used. The system did not need a starting battery, since proper hand-cranking would generate enough current for starting.
Electric lighting powered by the magneto was adopted in , replacing acetylene and oil lamps, but electric starting was not offered until The Model T engine was produced for replacement needs, as well as stationary and marine applications until , well after production of the Model T had ended.
The Fordson Model F tractor engine, that was designed about a decade later, was very similar to, but larger than, the Model T engine. 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 was controlled with three floor-mounted pedals and a lever 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 transmission. With the floor lever 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. If the left pedal was released, the Model T entered high gear, but only when the lever was fully forward — in any other position, the pedal would only move up as far as the central neutral position.
This allowed the car to be held in neutral while the driver cranked the engine by hand. The car could thus cruise without the driver having to press any of the pedals. The first units were sent in reverse with a lever; all units after that were sent in reverse with a pedal between the clutch and brake pedals.
The right pedal operated the transmission brake — there were no brakes on the wheels. 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 utilized a wet clutch , this condition could also occur in cold weather, when the thickened oil prevents the clutch discs from slipping freely. Power reached the differential through a single universal joint attached to a torque tube 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.
The heavy-duty Model TT truck chassis came with a special worm gear rear differential with lower gearing than the normal car and truck, giving more pulling power but a lower top speed the frame was also stronger; the cab and engine were the same. A Model TT is easily identifiable by the cylindrical housing for the worm-drive over the axle differential.
All gears were vanadium steel running in an oil bath. Two main types of band lining material were used: . Model T suspension employed a transversely mounted semi-elliptical spring for each of the front and rear beam axles which 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 through eight full rotations degrees 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 brakes acting on the inside of the rear brake drums, which were an integral part of the rear wheel hubs.
Optional brakes that acted on the outside of the brake drums were available from aftermarket suppliers. Wheels were wooden artillery wheels , with steel welded-spoke wheels available in and Horseshoe nails on the roads, together with the high pressure, made flat tires a common problem. Balloon tires became available in The steering gear ratio was changed from to with the introduction of balloon tires.
All tires in this time period used an inner tube to hold the pressurized air; tubeless tires were not generally in use until much later. Although a Model T could be adapted to run on track as narrow as 2ft gauge Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington RR, Maine has one , this was a more complex alteration.
By , half of all the cars in the U. In his autobiography, Ford reports that in he told his management team, "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.
However, in the first years of production from to , the Model T was not available in black  but rather only gray, green, blue, and red. Green was available for the touring cars, town cars, coupes, and Landaulets. Gray was only available for the town cars, and red only for the touring cars. By , all cars were being painted midnight blue with black fenders. Only in was the "any color so long as it is black" policy finally implemented.
It is often stated Ford suggested the use of black from to due to the low cost, durability, and faster drying time of black paint in that era. Paint choices in the American automotive industry, as well as in others including locomotives, furniture, bicycles, and the rapidly expanding field of electrical appliances , were shaped by the development of the chemical industry.
These included the disruption of dye sources during World War I and the advent, in the mids, of new nitrocellulose lacquers that were faster-drying and more scratch-resistant, and obviated the need for multiple coats;  : — understanding the choice of paints for the Model T era and the years immediately following requires an understanding of the contemporary chemical industry. During the lifetime production of the Model T, over 30 types of black paint were used on various parts of the car.
Although Ford classified the Model T with a single letter designation throughout its entire life and made no distinction by model years, enough significant changes to the body were made over the production life that the car may be classified into several style generations.
Among the most immediately visible and identifiable changes were in the hood and cowl areas, although many other modifications were made to the vehicle. The styling on the last "generation" was a preview for the following Model A, but the two models are visually quite different, as the body on the A was much wider and had curved doors as opposed to the flat doors on the T. 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 and sidewalks were a paved way to walk along them. Agriculture was the occupation of many people.
Power tools were scarce outside factories, as were power sources for them; electrification, like pavement, was found usually only in larger towns. Rural electrification and motorized mechanization were embryonic in some regions and nonexistent in most.
Henry Ford oversaw the requirements and design of the Model T based on contemporary realities. Consequently, the Model T was intentionally almost as much a tractor and portable engine as it was an automobile. It has always been well regarded for its all-terrain abilities and ruggedness. It could travel a rocky, muddy farm lane, cross a shallow stream, climb a steep hill, and be parked on the other side to have one of its wheels removed and a pulley fastened to the hub for a flat belt to drive a bucksaw , thresher , silo blower, conveyor for filling corn cribs or haylofts, baler , water pump, electrical generator, and many other applications.
One unique application of the Model T was shown in the October issue of Fordson Farmer magazine. It showed a minister who had transformed his Model T into a mobile church, complete with small organ. During this era, entire automobiles including thousands of Model Ts were even hacked apart by their owners and reconfigured into custom machinery permanently dedicated to a purpose, such as homemade tractors and ice saws.
For example, Harry Ferguson , later famous for his hitches and tractors, worked on Eros Model T tractor conversions before he worked with Fordsons and others. During the next decade, Model T tractor conversion kits were harder to sell, as the Fordson and then the Farmall , as well as other light and affordable tractors, served the farm market.
But during the Depression s , Model T tractor conversion kits had a resurgence, because by then used Model Ts and junkyard parts for them were plentiful and cheap.
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 and motorboats. An armored-car variant called the FT-B was developed in Poland in due to the high demand during the Polish-Soviet war in Many Model Ts were converted into vehicles which could travel across heavy snows with kits on the rear wheels sometimes with an extra pair of rear-mounted wheels and two sets of continuous track to mount on the now-tandemed rear wheels, essentially making it a half-track and skis replacing the front wheels.
They were popular for rural mail delivery for a time. The common name for these conversions 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.
Design and Culture. Wayne State University Press. Views Read Edit View history. The figures below are US production numbers compiled by R. Scrap wood was distilled at the Iron Mountain plant for its wood chemicals, with the end by product being lump charcoal. Production for balance of calendar year, August 1 through December It was so successful Ford did not purchase any advertising between and ; instead, the Model T became so famous, people considered it a norm.
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Why the Model T Is Called the Tin Lizzie
Model T , automobile built by the Ford Motor Company from until Conceived by Henry Ford as practical, affordable transportation for the common man, it quickly became prized for its low cost, durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance. The automobile was also assembled at a Ford plant in Manchester , Eng. At such prices the Model T at times comprised as much as 40 percent of all cars sold in the United States.
The Model T was offered in several body styles, including a five-seat touring car, a two-seat runabout, and a seven-seat town car. All bodies were mounted on a uniform inch-wheelbase chassis. A choice of colours was originally available, but from to the car was mass-produced in only one colour—black. The engine was simple and efficient, with all four cylinders cast in a single block and the cylinder head detachable for easy access and repair.
In most models the engine was started by a hand crank, which activated a magneto connected to the flywheel, but after some models were equipped with battery-powered starters. The transmission , consisting of two forward gears and one reverse, was of the planetary type, controlled by foot pedals rather than the more common hand lever used in sliding-gear transmissions.
Spark and throttle were controlled by a hand lever on the steering column. The gallon fuel tank was located under the front seat. Because gasoline was fed to the engine only by gravity, and also because the reverse gear offered more power than the forward gears, the Model T frequently had to be driven up a steep hill backward.
Such deficiencies, along with its homely appearance, less-than-comfortable ride at top speeds, and incessant rattling, made the Model T the butt of much affectionate humour in innumerable jokes, songs, poems, and stories.
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