1908 Model T, with passengers
Whatever catches your fancy amid today's evolving automotive technology--the Chevy Volt, the Roadster or the sedan from Tesla, perhaps a hydrogen-equipped BMW, or something in the X Prize realm--you'd do well to pause and reflect on the legacy of the Model T. It was 100 years ago--on October 1, 1908, to be exact--that Ford Motor built the very first of the iconic gasoline-powered automobiles to be sold. By the time formal production halted in May 1927, more than 15 million had been built, and American lives and landscapes had been set on a very new road.
Early adopters of the Model T got a simple, durable, low-cost machine. Like owners of other cars from the early 20th century, they also got a bit of exercise with the hand-cranking required to start the engine. (And they sometimes got an arm injury if the car backfired, throwing the crank back in the opposite direction.) The Model T got updated to an electric starter in 1919.
September 29, 2008 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: From the collections of The Henry Ford and Ford Motor
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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