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The Model T: The Car That Started It All

The Model T came on the scene in 1908 as a reasonably priced, reliable automobile created for use by the average family. The 1200-pound Model T was helpful to people who lived on farms and were accustomed to travelling long distances on horseback. Between 1908 and 1927, the revolutionary assembly line process allowed for the construction of 15 million Model T automobiles. This novel means of transportation gave the average person an entirely new perspective on travel.

The Model T was a practical automobile that served its purpose well. The 20 horsepower Model T had four cylinders and the ability to move over rough roads at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. In addition, a family could travel for 25 miles on a gallon of fuel. In terms of its features, a Model T had a planetary transmission as well as three pedals that controlled its ability to brake, go forward, and move in reverse. These foot pedals allowed the driver the freedom to maneuver the steering wheel. The Model T of 1908 with its durable, steel chassis was the epitome of a practical automobile with its lack of windshield wipers, radio, or even driver doors. Five people seated in a popular Model T touring car were surely treated to a fun, speedy ride!

Most likely, the new owner of a Model T put in many hours of practice in order to get its operation down pat. The process of operation involved grasping the crank at the front of the car and winding it until the engine caught. Another step in the process involved the release of one brake and, then opening the throttle. A driver would have to apply pressure to another floor pedal to get the car into gear. The brake pedal situated at the far right on the car floor would need to be coordinated as well.

Through the years, the Model T saw changes such as the replacement of its acetylene lamps with electric lights in 1915. Also, in the late 1920s the weight of a Model T rose to approximately 1500 pounds due to it pure steel construction. In addition, around the year 1919 there were Model T automobiles made with an electric starter as opposed to the crank starter. 

The Model T was an automobile that suited the needs of its owners. A practical invention sold at a reasonable price, it gave many people the first time experience of freedom and independence that goes along with automobile travel.

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