1914 Model T Ford
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A black, four-passenger, three-door car, with a black leather top, a two-piece folding windshield, and four black leather seats. On the exterior are two running boards, two headlights, one rear lantern-shaped taillight, four tires, and a hand crank for the engine. The Model T Ford automobile was a very modest, but well-built and practical motorized form of transportation. Originally priced at $850, mass production combined with high volume sales allowed the yearly price to decrease to the very affordable $290 by 1924. The Model T Ford offered seven new advances in automotive design: (1), the en-bloc cylinder with a removable head; (2) the use of pressed housings for the engine, transmission and rear axle; (3) the use of so-called 'three-point' suspension which reduced problems caused by uneven roads; (4), the enclosure of the entire mechanism so that oil could stay in and dirt was kept out; (5) the extended use of premium quality vanadium steel in stressed components making the car stronger and lighter; (6) the adoption of left-hand drive (Seeing the advantages of the left-hand drive, the entire automobile industry adapted this innovation.); (7) the ease of operation. In January of 1914 the Ford Motor Company announced its new five-dollar-a- workday pay schedule for its assembly line employees, while simultaneously reducing the workday from ten to eight hours. Henry Ford, who at the time was little known outside of Detroit, Michigan became a national hero almost overnight. That same year, Ford produced more than 300,000 Model Ts while the rest of the American automobile industry combined produced only approximately 200,000 automobiles. The 1914 Ford slogan was: 'available in any color so long as it's in black.' 1 Previously Model Ts had been available in black, red, blue, green, pearl and French gray. Later models were again produced in a variety of colors. This slogan became one of the many 'Ford jokes.' These jokes became a part of everyday conversation. Henry Ford was delighted with the jokes, saying: 'The jokes about my car sure help to popularize it[;] I hope that they never end.' But as time passed, the Model T by seemed increasingly antiquated. Automobile consumers were becoming more sophisticated and the Ford jokes became an increasing liability. One common joke was 'Why is a Ford like a bathtub? Answer: because you hate to be seen in one.' 3 Ford owners began to realize their critics' barbs were serious, and fewer enjoyed the jokes. By the mid-1920s other automakers like Chevrolet, Dodge, Hudson-Essex and Willy's-Overland moved into the mainstream market. Ford ended production of the Model T in 1927 and replaced it with the more expensive but still relatively affordable Model A. How we learn about communities 16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society
|Ford, Henry, 1863-1947|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
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