After Hours

Rail, auto, and aviation innovations at The Henry Ford history museum

Tech of the past: Model T Touring

Up through the Model S in 1908, Ford still used stationary assembly areas -- he had not yet invented the moving assembly line method. However, beginning around 1910 certain portions of the new Model T were being put together on moving assembly lines. By 1913, nearly the entire vehicle was assembled on a moving line.

In 1914, Model T touring cars like this one were fully assembled on a moving line. This had advantages (faster assembly, more focused jobs) and drawbacks (more boring jobs). Contrary to another popular belief, the black color was not chosen because it dried fastest; in fact, it was simply faster and easier to use only one color, and black was the least expensive and most durable. As Henry Ford said, "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black." This 1914 Model T cost $550 (10.5 months average salary) and had 20 horsepower.

Photo by Wally Bahny for TechRepublic