A good video

…about Ford’s Model T.
Despite a few mistakes in the narration, I think that this video is informative and enjoyable to watch.

Excellent Video.

Best car video I’ve ever seen. A definite keeper. Thanks a million.

One thing about the video I really thought was funny…

Remember a few years ago when GM was designing an all fuel cell vehicle. They interviewed the head of the project and he was patting himself on the back about this new concept.

“We build the Chassis and have the complete drive system in it…then we put what-ever body we want on it. This is revolutionary on how vehicles are built.”

Yet Henry Ford was doing it nearly 100 years earlier.

LOL. Yeah, Mike, I often see these kind of stupid statements from auto executives, who should know better.

Thanks for the link. I enjoyed it too. My favorite video of this type is C7 Corvette assembly, including engine build. But I’m a big fan of the C7. Now that the kids are moved out, maybe I’ll buy one. Anybody want to buy a drawer full of buttons?

Great video. another reason I don’t watch much TV nowadays is that you can find great stuff on the net.

"We build the Chassis and have the complete drive system in it...then we put what-ever body we want on it. This is revolutionary on how vehicles are built."

Uh, Body-on-frame???

Cool video!

I would like to see a debate among qualified individuals as to which transformed society more: Henry Ford and the subsequent availability of automobiles to the common man or Steve jobs/Bill Gates and the equivalent availability of personal computers.

Or we could discuss it right here! Haha, why not?

If you want to try that comparison you’ll have to add Eli Whitney, Madame Curie, and a long list of other geniuses who have changed the world in substantial ways throughout the centuries. These great people changed the world as much as Henry Ford or Jobs/Gates, just in different ways.

That debate is difficult to bring to a conclusion. There are many exquisite inventions over the millennia that people have been alive. We might include inventions like metal refining and the wheel. Without them, Ford’s invention of the high volume assembly line for automobiles would not have been possible. I’m happy just to acknowledge that Ford made a very valuable contribution to us all, as did the countless others that made life the great thing it is for most of us.

As opposed to the concept of how much certain people and inventions have changed the world in general, I was thinking in narrower terms as to how much the PC vs the auto has increased social connectivity or synergy. The idea of the world having been made a smaller place by these developments–connectivity. You know how they say that in Europe 300 years ago, no one traveled more than 10 or 20 miles from their village in their lifetime. Henry sure changed all that, at least in America.

Even if you narrow the discussion to the above, jt’s point that it’s still hard to bring the debate to a conclusion is valid. Kind of like naming the top 100 movies, etc. It’s impossible to get a consensus but the debate it provokes is worthwhile.

Everyone has their hero they worship. The industrial evolution could not have happened without James Watt and his steam engine, Richard Arkwright’s loom, Bessemer’s steel making process, etc. Thomas Edison ranks as one of my greatest heroes, as does George Stephenson, builder of the first practical locomotive.

Henry Ford abhorred any kind of waste, and touring the Chicago slaughterhouses where he saw an animal being “disassembled” on moving line with a clear division of labor and minimal wasted effort, gave him the idea of assembling cars by a reverse process.

Henry Ford simply applied known knowledge and reduced manufacturing costs, increased efficiency, so that the car became affordable for at least “middle class” folks who would previously had a horse and buggy.

Bill Gates and Apple’s founders made computers affordable and usable for ordinary citizens.

Outside the USA, Henry Ford’s name is mentioned much more often that those of Carl Benz (inventor of the automobile) or Rolls & Royce.

Finally, the Wright Brothers applied aerodynamic information readily available and applied motive power to finally achieve flight. The aerodynamic part dates from the 1800s and originated in England.

There were a lot of inaccuracies stated in that video. The model T was not the first mass produced car in the country, that would be the curved dash Oldsmobile
Model Ts were available in many colors until Henry Ford discovered that a fast drying black would speed un production and lower costs.
The wooden wheels were only on the early cars.
Despite the assertions in the videos running changes were made to the model T all the time
The early brass era cars had no electric lighting, the last ones had steel wheels and electric lights.
The differentials in the first year were very fragile, they changed to on made by Dodge.
Before 1918 there was a very good chance that your model T engine was made by Dodge.
Until Ford opened the River Rouge engine plant in 1918 he didn’t have enough capacity to build all his own engines and had a contract with Dodge to supply them.
When the new plant was ready Ford declared the Dodge engines were of inferior quality and canceled the contract. Contemporary sources said that wasn’t true and lawsuits ensued. This so angered the Dodge brothers that the decided to build their own cars. They did not compete with Ford on price though, saying that they believed people wanted “proper cars”.
I have asked on Model T forums if there is a way to tell if a model T has a Dodge built engine but they seem reluctant to discuss it.

Oldtimer is 100% correct.
I did mention (without being specific) that there were some inaccuracies in the narrative, and oldtimer nailed all of them.

On the other hand, I have to take issue with a few of Docnick’s points.
Ford may well have seen mechanized disassembly taking place at a Chicago slaughterhouse, but Ford did NOT originate the moving assembly line.

I know it is “common knowledge” that this was a Ford innovation, but the truth of the matter is that Ransom Olds originated that concept, and if not for the fact that Olds’ factory burned to the ground shortly being converted to an assembly line process, perhaps he would have gotten the recognition that he deserved.

As to Benz having been the inventor of the automobile, that is also untrue.
The Nazis began this fable in conjunction with trying to eradicate the earlier work of Siegfried Marcus, who was running his internal combustion carriage around Vienna about 9 years before Benz (and his contemporary, and later partner, Daimler) began their experiments with IC vehicles.

Siegfried Marcus was Jewish, and so it was in the interests of the Nazi agenda to try to eliminate records of his earlier work, so as to make Benz & Daimler (those…“superior” Germans) more relevant. The Nazis were successful in finding and destroying much of Marcus’s written records, but they were unable to destroy his vehicle, which the forward-thinking curator of the Vienna Technical Museum had concealed behind a wall in order to preserve it from destruction.
The car still exists, and it still runs.

Not only did Marcus precede both Benz and Daimler by almost a decade, but his car actually had electric ignition, a carburetor, and mechanical valve actuation–features that some subsequent inventor’s cars didn’t adopt until many years later.

Edited to add:
No less than the American Society of Mechanical Engineers states that Marcus’ vehicle preceded those of both Benz & Daimler by 15 years. Whether it was 9 years or 15 years, the bottom line is that Benz was not “the inventor of the automobile”, no matter what the Nazis (and…more recently, Mercedes commercials) claim.


@VDCdriver Thanks for the historically correct update. Who was first is always difficult to establish. The first self-propelled vehicle was a steam car built by Trevithick of England. This took place in the early 1800s!!! Steam vehicles soon found rails a better way to travel on, as roads were very poor then.

Benz and Daimler probably patented the first car with an internal combustion engine.

@Docnick–Yes, it can sometimes be difficult to establish who was first with something, especially when a group like the Nazis destroyed so much documentation.

However, I hope you don’t mind being wrong about Trevithick’s steam car being the first self-propelled vehicle. In fact, a French artillery officer, Nicolas Cugnot, constructed and drove a steam-powered road vehicle in 1769. He even built an improved version in 1771. In 1800, the second Cugnot vehicle was moved to a museum, so that it could be preserved for posterity, and there it remains.

In any event, Cugnot’s steam-powered road vehicle preceded Trevithick’s vehicle by over 3 decades.

@VDCdriver It’s time I start using Wikepedia or Google. Up till now all the info I’ve put on this site has been from memory or from hard copy in my own library.

My trusted railway reference book has no mention of Cugnot, and shows Trevithick in 1801 as the first one to use a steam “waggon”.

Thanks for the correction!

That was a great video @VDCDriver. Thanks for sharing.


Yes it was a great video. I’ve always been fascinated with Ford and the early days but you take the good part of him with the bad. Like anything else, was it the person or the fact of being the right person at the right time when all the other factors were coming together.

Actually I always wondered about the engines and where and how he got them. Never knew they were from Dodge. And I think you had to keep your hand on your billfold when dealing with Ford.