Model T: The Everyman’s Automobile

1920 Model T Touring (Photo by I, Lglswe via Wikimedia Commons)
1920 Model T Touring (Photo by I, Lglswe via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1908, the first Ford Model T left the factory.

Here are some things you may not have known about the iconic car.

Contrary to popular belief, the Model T wasn’t the first car built on a modern assembly line. That honor goes to the Oldsmobile Curved Dash in 1901. Henry Ford didn’t begin using his conveyer-belt style assembly line on the Model T until 1913.

The price for a Model T Runabout in the first year of production was $825, which is worth roughly $22,000 today . By 1925, the price dropped to $260, which would be about $3,500 today.

Henry Ford was famous for saying, “Any customer can have a car painted any color he wants so long as it’s black,” however this wasn’t always the case. The Model T was originally available in gray, blue, green and red. By 1912 it was available only in midnight blue. Between 1914 and 1927, black was the only option.

Eventually more than 15 million Model T’s were produced, which was the most of any model until it was surpassed by the Volkswagen Beetle in 1972.

The last Model T produced in the U.S. rolled off the line on May 26, 1927, although some factories around the world continued making them. Ford continued building Model T engines until 1941.

Ford retooled the assembly lines to begin building new Model A’s.

Today’s question: What popular summertime product was manufactured by Ford as a byproduct of the production of the Model T?

Today is World Tourism Day and the French Community Holiday in Belgium.

It’s unofficially National Voter Registration Day, National Corned Beef Hash Day, and National Chocolate Milk Day.

It’s the birthday of Hiram R. Revels, the first African-American U.S. senator, who was born in 1827; musician Meat Loaf, who is 69; and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who is 44.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1983, the top song in the U.S. was “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler.

The No. 1 movie was “Mr. Mom,” while the novel “Poland” by James Michener topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.

Weekly question

Who was the third U.S. presidential  candidate in 1980, whose presence resulted in the cancelations of one presidential debate, and the only vice presidential debate?



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