FJ - Closing In On The Mystery Of The 1904 Ford Model B Designer(s)

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FreighTer Jim
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FJ - Closing In On The Mystery Of The 1904 Ford Model B Designer(s)

Post by FreighTer Jim » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:03 pm

There have been several threads I have started about
The 1904 Ford Model B that got sidetracked.

I am going to try to keep this one on track with
newly discovered ( to me ) information regarding
who was actually responsible for the Design(s).

“ Alexander “ remains on display at
The Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum
in Auburn, Indiana where it can be viewed
seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.

“ Oliver Barthel “ was a name that came up yesterday
during a scheduled visit to view
The Ralston 1905 Ford B in an undisclosed location
in Michigan with a gathering of folks I cannot disclose.

That name was offered as a possible lead.

So today I did some research:

3F78874F-BFB2-4C8A-9D9B-99549BAD3024.jpeg

A Basic Background:

@ https://detroithistorical.org/learn/enc ... l-oliver-e


FJ

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Famous At 18

Post by FreighTer Jim » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:13 pm

Then I found this:

@ https://www.macsmotorcitygarage.com/oli ... of-motors/

But then I found an archived interview done
with the man himself from The Benson Archive
at The Henry Ford.

The link is to a document of many pages
and the reminisces given are not necessarily
in chronological order - but things start to get interesting
with respect to The Model B around page 40.

There may be some confusion in the recollection
of events - but it appears that C.H. Wills was the
principal designer of The Model K engine in 1904 ?
although Barthel may be confusing that car with
The Model B.

C.H. apparently was unsuccessful .....

But you can read about it for yourself:

@ https://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/dig ... l2/id/1781


FJ

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Barthel Meets Henry Ford In 1895

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:07 am

There are 107 pages to peruse .... 🧐

In the first few - Barthel is working on
a four cylinder boat engine when he meets
Henry Ford in 1895.

Barthel went to work for Charles Brady King
in November of 1894 and was with him until April of 1901.

This is a famous image of King & Barthel driving
the first automobile on the streets of Detroit
in March 7th, 1896:


3C6030AD-AD97-4D4C-8EA9-F273521D899A.jpeg


You can make out the text on the pages
by enlarging them with your cursor ....

Or you can visit the link I provided ....

E9156AE9-7A6F-4328-970A-0C88CB8E7B49.jpeg

7EF578BB-389A-4450-A8E1-6EF02D05DA87.jpeg

5C874F4A-4DA3-4CC7-9CE0-35C1C7B21BA3.jpeg

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The Major Players In 1904

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:47 am

Ford Motor Company receives no mention
here in popular four cylinder touring cars


FJ

219C76B3-3FAC-440B-84C3-867D1DF64AB8.jpeg

8795743E-0767-49EA-B9F1-382A6BA6FAAC.jpeg

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It Appears There May Be Three Model B’s That Run & Drive

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 8:02 am

At my Wednesday meeting In Michigan
I was able to visit with a gentleman who
has worked on The Henry Ford Model B
with his son.

It appears that Model B runs and drives.

The 1905 Ralston B that Wayland Henry built
the engine for also runs & drives - I have seen
the video(s).

And “ Alexander “ runs and drives now thanks
to Kim Dobbins .... 😉

That Makes The Three Amigos 😊

07597106-EAC0-4B4C-9528-3AA739918A1A.jpeg


FJ

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Re: FJ - Closing In On The Mystery Of The 1904 Ford Model B Designer(s)

Post by Rob » Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:06 am

Oliver Barthel was brought in to address issues with the six cylinder racer motor that is the prototype for the Model K. The Model B evolved from a prototype air cooled four cylinder model Ford originally intended to bring out. There was a lot going g on in the design room in 1904, air cooled four cylinder, six cylinder racer, Model B and C.

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Historic Timeline

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:36 pm

The engine referenced in the post above
I believe is this one:

1DB00C4C-1015-4599-927C-9141F238572E.jpeg

E10F076E-A652-4273-B65C-299914A4F926.jpeg

It was to be installed in this FMC chassis
which - to my research - never was built
as a FMC production model:

E1683F60-2921-4DBA-9ED5-5235CC51E9DD.jpeg

This article appeared in this publication issue:

AE24A6C3-FB8F-4974-891A-2DECBACDFA99.jpeg


I can make out the issue but my research shows
this was published sometime in 1904.

I can determine the year by the “ Volume “
number but not the month because “ Number “
is not clearly legible - it might have appeared
in this issue:


0BB36A71-2D58-4D78-8FA8-8C2DA89F632E.jpeg


FJ
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The August 6th, 1904 Test Drive

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:55 pm

On August 6th, 1904 there appears to have been
a test drive on a running & driving 1904 Ford Model B
Chassis taken over a total of 50 miles.

There is no body - Wills drives with Ford in the front
and the author of the article in the back.

It seems article appears in publication on
September 1st, 1904.

4526EB59-05EF-40DA-9947-AD0D54C6A76A.jpeg


20E6E111-4DF1-4DAA-9D60-E87A14D6A30B.jpeg


288EE903-6F62-4AE8-AF25-9C2F4DF46DAE.jpeg


6622D54C-EB79-4095-AD1E-7D6F719C9FE3.jpeg


ACC1917E-7057-4E20-978E-0360FD28A882.jpeg


FJ
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The August 6th, 1904 Test Drive

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:11 pm

Continuing from the article .... 🧐

67305738-7F04-4F90-AE00-F9630D691416.jpeg

598B2BBF-4E15-40A1-9F33-315A2218B773.jpeg

Blowing up the text - Ford is extolling the virtues
of the car - when it comes to the engine he claims
design improvement for the gasket fit of the
copper water jacket surrounding the cylinder
but NOT the engine design.

In fact - nowhere in this article does Ford mention
the FMC as being the designer of the very first four
cylinder production engine in FMC history ... 🧐

This engine is also the first water cooled production
motor - the first four cylinder engine forward of the
driver & passenger seating area.

C78644E3-C933-4FAB-8D72-A01BAAF7B1AD.jpeg

099F92E1-A985-4B84-AAD2-B0A264612FBC.jpeg

6F048125-6733-471F-8187-54BD231EFF18.jpeg

FJ
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The First Recorded Model B Sale

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:28 pm

On October 20th, 1904 the first sale of a
1904 Ford Model B is recorded to
John Wanamaker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Noted as “ Car # 3 “ in the The Ledger.

On February 25th, 1905 - another significant
sale is noted in The Ledger.

“ Car # 55 “ also sold to John Wanamaker
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum in
Auburn, Indiana has on current display
“ Alexander “ which has serial numbers 51-52-55.

Serial number 55 is stamped on the rear end
of the crankshaft along with serial number 52.

Serial number(s) 51 and 52 do not appear
in The Ledger.

FE0498BB-FECB-45F7-BA9A-2FC19659E22A.jpeg


“ Alexander “ has steps instead of running
boards - I viewed The Ralston Ford Model B
on Wednesday.

It has running boards instead of steps.

It has a small hatch door in the center
of the body in the rear.

FJ


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Re: FJ - Closing In On The Mystery Of The 1904 Ford Model B Designer(s)

Post by Dropacent » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:55 pm

AGAIN. Those are assembly numbers from the dodge bro. shop. The serial number is on the flywheel, or would be if it had one.

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Your Point Has Been Addressed

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:27 pm



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Re: FJ - Closing In On The Mystery Of The 1904 Ford Model B Designer(s)

Post by Dropacent » Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:17 pm

So what’s YOUR point? Because of many past restorations of these early fords, WE DO KNOW random numbers on parts are just matchmaking and assembly numbers from the maker, the Dodge Bro.s machine shop. Why do you resist this known info from many actual restorers? Kim knows that as well as anybody. There is likely no significance to what actual serial number the car has or doesn’t have. Just a batch number. Just to keep track of these assemblies that were made and machined one at a time. A couple of months ago you pronounced this B the only running and driving B in the world. Today you announced that 3 of them are running and driving. Hold on while I update the history books.
I sold an original model B crankshaft about 15 years ago to the owner of that B. That could well be the crankshaft in the car, only he knows. Perhaps it has the new cast iron crankshaft Gene Kristoffy made him a long time ago.
Just because a car is titled as a certain number is also insignificant. Most autos didn’t have titles back then, and when they were titled, most any random number would work. Most people would probably pick a number stamped somewhere. That’s logical, but it’s also NOT the serial number.
For FoMoCo, the serial number was stamped on the face of the flywheel for that year. Anything else is just picking a random number. For FoMoCo , the serial number was stamped on the face of the flywheel that year. Anything else is just picking a random number. Yes, I’m repeating myself.

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The Speedboat Engine

Post by FreighTer Jim » Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:44 pm

I had some time to read more of the Barthel interview
which was done in 1952 when he was 75 years old.

He lived until 1969 so he was around 92 when he died.

It was interesting to note that King quickly chose
individually mounted water cooled cylinders on
a separate crankcase in 1895 for an internal
combustion engine design.

It was the purchase of a speedboat named “ Dawn “
by King’s friend ( John S. Newberry ) that necessitated a further change to King’s design based on an
existing steam motor already in the Dawn.

King changed it to his improved four cylinder
water cooled engine with further modifications.

The Central Foundry Company was tasked to cast
this new engine design & it was expensive.

It was a thIs time that Barthel met Henry Ford
riding his bicycle - Ford had sought out Barthel.


FJ
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Henry Ford’s Interest In King

Post by FreighTer Jim » Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:03 am

Barthel showed Ford some magazine articles
which influenced Ford’s very first primitive
engine design that Barthel assisted him with
in running by sprinkling gas in lieau of a carburetor.

This recollection is proving to be a fascinating read.

In April of 1896 - Ford follows a test wagon
powered by a King built twin cylinder horizontal
engine that had been sold to
The American and Fisher Company to power a
Wagon to be used in the Robinson Brothers Circus.

Ford follows the wagon on his bicycle ( he had no car ).


FJ


632B168A-4E94-4CA9-B65A-BEC823EB0EE2.jpeg

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Barthel Starts Work On The 999 Racer

Post by FreighTer Jim » Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:45 pm

In the Fall of 1901 - Barthel starts work on
The 999 Racer at the request of Henry Ford
while both are at The Henry Ford Company.

Barthel does this against the express wishes
of William Murphy who is arguing with Ford
about the company time Ford is spending on
his second racer and not on the small car he
was supposed to be working on instead.

999 was to be powered by an in line 4 cylinder engine.

Barthel goes against Murphy’s wishes and does
the design work on his own time.

Barthel is never compensated for his work
at this time or at at any future date.

Why is Oliver E. Barthel so important ?

Barthel was involved with Henry from the
actual beginning - he gave
his interview in 1952 - Ford has died in 1947.

Henry Ford could not change Barthel’s recollection
of history from the grave.


FJ

663E5A71-D2D7-453F-8ADE-2D99B99EF877.jpeg

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Barthel Designs The First Ford Race Car

Post by FreighTer Jim » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:45 pm

Barthel creates what he believes is the first
“ porcelain “ spark plug with the assistance
of a dentist.

Barthel is the sole designer of the first Ford
racing car from the ground up - both the motor
and the race car - the block is cast offsite
but all the machining Is done in house.

All of the building & testing for this race car
is done by Barthel.

On October 10th, 1901 at Grosse Pointe ..

Ford defeats Winton in this race car 🏎


FJ


C498A99C-7522-4706-9F67-FF741E88A04C.jpeg


17F0965B-F608-4E52-BF12-F7C55636D702.jpeg

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Re: FJ - Closing In On The Mystery Of The 1904 Ford Model B Designer(s)

Post by Rob » Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:11 pm

Jim,
My limited review of history reveals one thing, individuals sometimes aggrandize their contributions, or involvement. I don’t know if Oliver Barthel was so integrally involved in Henry Fords amazing early successes with both racers and automobiles. I do believe Henry Ford had an incredible ability to surround himself with people who helped him change, and ultimately create automotive history. Thank you for bringing early Ford history to the forum.

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First Person Narrative

Post by FreighTer Jim » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:05 am

I am independently researching the history
Of The Early Ford Model B.

The first person narrative of Oliver Edward Barthel
is available online for anyone to read.

I believe what was recorded in 1952 when he was
75 years old is the accurate account of events that
occurred.

FJ


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The Henry Ford Company Is Born

Post by FreighTer Jim » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:39 am

Based on the win at Grosse Point in 1901
The Henry Ford Company is born and
Barthel is hired on as a designing engineer.

The purpose is to build a small affordable car
and bring it to production.

But Henry Ford has racing fever.


FJ


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Oliver Barthel Rejects Ford’s Offer Of A 10% Stake

Post by FreighTer Jim » Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:09 am

So we are up to 1901 - keep in mind that Henry Ford
has known Oliver Barthel now for six years - having
first met him when he worked for King.

Ford has repeatedly sought out Barthel for
design engineering advice and assistance from
1895 to 1901.


After the win at Grosse Point in 1901 - Barthel is
“ induced “ to close up his independent consulting
shop and goes to work for the newly formed Henry Ford Company as a design engineer.

Capitalized with $150,000 ( 4.7 million dollars today )
the goal of this company is to build a small economical
car with a selling price of $1000.

Like The Ford Early Model A.

That is what Barthel was hired to do - but that will
never happen.

Barthel starts work at the request of Henry Ford on
the second race car - he is the sole designer of this car
which is known as the 999 race car - it is to be powered
by an in-line four cylinder engine.

Barthel is interested in seeing this car built so he works
on it during his own time as I noted in my earlier post.

In March of 1902 - Henry Ford leaves the company.

Barthel speculates on the reasons for Ford’s departure.

I will remind folks again - this is First Person Narrative from Barthel himself - not someone’s interpretation of events that occurred.

An important thing to note can be found on page
42 of the 107 page recollection archived:


04B19B45-154E-4448-B5A2-86D29331132B.jpeg


Henry Ford offers Barthel 10% of any future venture
if Barthel will finish the 999 Racer and get a new group
interested to organize a new company.

Oliver Barthel is just 24 years old.


Why is this important to note ?

Barthel turns down Henry Ford’s offer after careful consideration.

Ford will approach Alexander Y Malcomson in 1902
asking for financial backing to form a new company.

Malcomson will accept and fund the initial partnership
with $3000 of his own money.

That partnership will evolve into The Ford Motor Company.


FJ

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Re: FJ - Closing In On The Mystery Of The 1904 Ford Model B Designer(s)

Post by jmc » Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:33 am

Thanks for posting the information above. Things changed very rapidly during this period and our view of the events changes as more information comes to light. It is important to remember that reminiscences from 50 years later cannot be relied on with certainty, even though there is great value to them. I know from researching another motor that Barthel designed that not all dates in his Reminiscences are accurate, which can be verified from the dates of multiple trade magazines of the period. Still, every bit of information is a piece to the puzzle.

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First Person Narrative

Post by FreighTer Jim » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:19 am

This is a first person narrative that few - if any - folks even knew existed - few folks bother to take the time
to actually read this narrative in it’s entirety.

Mr. Barthel comments from time to time that he consults a diary that he kept to verify dates and pertinent information.

Henry Ford Created The Modern Age.

Henry Ford Edited Actual History In That Process.

Again - this recollection was recorded in 1952.

Henry Ford died in 1947.


FJ

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Thank You Josh & Kendall

Post by FreighTer Jim » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:13 pm

From this link which is available online
to the public:

@ https://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/dig ... l2/id/1781


ED09E1EC-B90B-4386-825D-EF8B3A69C07A.jpeg


You can isolate a page at a time and if you
zoom in you can read it:


DE465F97-0AF0-4120-B52E-6588276723F1.jpeg

Thanks to the efforts of Josh & Kendall
at The Early Ford V-8 Foundation Museum
in Auburn, Indiana - this first person narrative
has been completely re-typed so it is now legible.

So - moving on to the disposition of the
Grosse Pointe Race Car that Ford beat
Winton in back in 1901 - Barthel relates:

84F7237E-F334-418B-8EC7-376E71317E1F.jpeg


FJ

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