When was The Ford Model T made? The Model T was introduced to the world in 1908. Henry Ford wanted the Model T to be affordable, simple to operate, and durable. The vehicle was one of the first mass production vehicles, allowing Ford to achieve his aim of manufacturing the universal car. The Model T was manufactured on the Ford Motor Company’s moving assembly line at Ford’s revolutionary Highland Park Plant. Due to the mass production of the vehicle, Ford Motor Company could sell the vehicle for between $260 and $850 as Henry Ford passed production savings on to his customers.
When was The Ford Model T made?
The Model T was introduced to the world in 1908. Henry Ford wanted the Model T to be affordable, simple to operate, and durable. The vehicle was one of the first mass production vehicles, allowing Ford to achieve his aim of manufacturing the universal car. The Model T was manufactured on the Ford Motor Company’s moving assembly line at Ford’s revolutionary Highland Park Plant. Due to the mass production of the vehicle, Ford Motor Company could sell the vehicle for between $260 and $850 as Henry Ford passed production savings on to his customers.
The Model T was first tested by Henry Ford himself who took the vehicle on a hunting trip to Wisconsin and northern Michigan. The Model T became famous for the stunts it could perform including climbing the stairs of the Tennessee State Capitol and reaching the top of Pikes Peak. After the test of his own product, the vehicle was shipped to its first customer on October 1, 1908.
The revolutionary vehicle saw the placement of the steering wheel on the left side, allowing passengers easy access to and from the cars. The vehicle was also the first to have its engine block and the crankcase cast as a single unit, the first to have a removable cylinder head for easy access, and the first to make such extensive use of the lightweight but strong alloy known as vanadium steel. The Model T’s agile transmission made shifting gears easy for everyone. These improvements and innovations allowed the world to move towards a more urban way of life. The early Model T came with a tool kit, packed the gas tank under the front passenger seat, provided a windshield as an option (before it was standardized), and had to be cranked to get it going.
A common myth is that all model T’s were black. While Henry Ford did say “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it’s black,” the policy was in place solely for efficiency and uniformity. The car was only offered in black from 1914-1925, however before and after that various models of the vehicle could be purchased in a variety of colors including blue, red, grey, and green.
The Beginnings of Ford Motor Company
Henry Ford’s Model T was the visionary breakthrough that brought motor vehicle ownership to millions of ordinary middle class people and opened up a new era of mobility for people and goods. In an era when the horse and the railroad reigned supreme as the means of land transport the Model T had to overcome a host of obstacles in order to obtain the success it enjoyed.
The turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries was an era when roads were mostly dirt tracks traversed by horses pulling carts, wagons, stage-coaches, and the occasional “Surrey with a fringe on the top”. Automobiles had been around for a couple of decades or so but were rare, expensive, and a lot more temperamental than the average horse.
The technological expertise for maintaining a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine was not widespread: and supply of fuel and oil was not so widespread either. When we think about the environment Henry Ford decided to market his automobiles in we can see that he took an enormous risk. The gamble paid off and the Model T would prove to be successful far beyond what most, including Henry Ford, could have hoped for or expected.
Mass Production Of The Model T Ford
The Model T entered small scale production in the fall/autumn of 1908. When first introduced the Model T was made using much the same methodology as the other cars of that era. It was made by hand piece by piece. In the first month just eleven cars were constructed. These early hand built cars were available in a variety of colors and this would remain true through until 1912.
The Model T was also made in a range of body styles; the six seat town cars were painted gray, five seat touring cars were in red, and green was available for touring cars, town cars, two seat coupes/runabouts, and Landaulets. All models were built on the same chassis with a wheelbase of 100″. By 1912 all Model Ts were painted in midnight blue with black fenders, and in 1914 Henry Ford decided that customers could have any color they liked as long as it was black, and so the cars produced after that time were black.
Paint technology was a developing science and the black paint is said to have been faster drying and therefore more convenient to use in the Ford production line environment at that time. We should also remember that the price of the Model T was constantly going down as mass production became more efficient.
By 1910 12,000 Model T cars had been produced but Ford were straining to keep up with demand. New methods of building the cars were needed and so Ford moved to a new production facility, the Highland Park Complex. For this new facility a production team comprising Childe Harold Wills, Clarence Avery, Peter E. Martin, and Charles E. Sorensen set about creating a production line that would dramatically increase output.
Henry Ford and his team understood the principle of “Practice makes perfect” and thus that if a worker had a simple set of tasks to perform then they would become very practiced and expert at what they did. So Ford and his team analyzed the process of building a Model T and broke it down so that each worker had a limited range of skills to learn and apply, and thus could become very practiced at their job.
With these new production line methods the build time for a Model T was reduced from 12.5 hours to 93 minutes by 1914. The price of the Model T was also rapidly coming down from its original hand built cost of $825 in 1908 down to a mass produced cost of $360 by 1916.
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