1909 frame evolution and build sheets

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Scott Rosenthal
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1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:51 pm

Hello All:
Curious what the earliest 09 was where the frame was no longer modified with reinforcing Fish Plates. I've heard estimates on this, but not seen or heard of actual surviving documentation?

Ford Build Sheets show a date for chassis assembly inspection, and a date for finished car inspection. Anyone know what a typical duration between these two events was? Curious what owners of these cars with the build sheets may be able to share about this?

Regards,
Scott


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Trentb » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:22 pm

The fish plate frames were used on the first 2500 cars. They were required because the frame steel used was only 1/8” steel (the same as used on Model NRS frames). After the first 2500 cars the frames were built using a thicker grade of steel. Most early frames (am tempted to say all, but don’t have the documentation to back that up) were made by Parish-and Bingham company of Cleveland Ohio.

Respectfully submitted,

Trent Boggess


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:20 pm

Many thanks Trent. Do you happen to have an opinion as to my second question regarding the duration(s) between chassis assembly and final assembly of the whole car? Also can you speak to whether final inspection assumed that all finishing work was completed. For instance, would a function like pin striping had to have been completed prior to final inspection?
Regards,
Scott

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by DanTreace » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:09 pm

Would be good to examine more Build Sheets from 1909.

The 1908 sheet was fairly brief compared to this one from 1910. This is the 1910 front side, the back side of each build sheet of these later contain the shipping info.


637235.jpg
Note the assembly was on Sat. Oct 29, 1910, and completed on Monday Oct 31. The painting is checked, and the trimming (uphol) is checked, so inspection was done on the paint, and any paint stripes at that time one could assume.


1908 sheet for famous T # 1.
74371.jpg
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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:08 pm

I have a Build Sheet that lists the date of Dept. "D" chassis assembling as 3/22/1909, with the Dept. "C" car assembling on 5/22/1909. Others have suggested that the 3/22/1909 may be an error where 5/22/1909 is the correct Dept. "D" date. I'm not the expert, but seems improbable to me that this entire car was assembled, tested, inspected, and approved all on the same day. I have asked others to check 1909 and 1910 build sheets, and so far, those too show a period of days between these 2 assembly functions. Another theory presented was that the Build Sheet may have been tampered with. Possible I guess, but to what end and by whom? Build Sheets have never left the possession of Ford Motor Co., so any alteration seems unlikely. My Build Sheet notes no exceptions such as a water pump engine, or a Fish Plate frame, both of which would have been period chassis components of this car, had it left Piquette Plant somewhere near the 3/22/1909 date. This sheet also notes a McCord radiator installed, where Brisco was the supplier in March, but appear to have been fully gone by May.

If assuming the dates I have are for whatever reason(s) correct, and assuming the 35XX serial number is correct (original patent plate says it is) curious what was actually delivered to this dealer? Would this later car have retained the earlier chassis components...would the chassis have been exchanged for a later 09 frame, thermo-syphon motor, and various other mechanical updates from May, such as the McCord radiator and possibly a revised engine pan? And if so, was there another Ford document that may have recorded a replacement with later chassis?

The Build Sheets referenced here show familiar names Lewis and Spangler. In addition to mine, these names also show up on (2) 1910 Build Sheets that I am familiar with.

Many Thanks for taking your time to answer my post.

Regards,
Scott


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:49 pm

Scott R, I do not consider myself to be an expert on the first year of model T production, although I have read quite a lot on the subject, including many long threads on the subject over the years on this forum. I am a bit confused by the dates and numbers you give.
Trent B is a much an expert here as anybody. He gives the number at 2500 first Ts getting the fish-plate frames, which is the number I recall seeing in the past. With some of Ford's usual crossover issues (which if anything were worse in the early years than they were later), the last fish-plate frames would have been assembled into automobiles around the first week of May 1909. There of course could have been a few straggler exceptions.
Serial (engine?) number 35XX would have been produced on May 22 1909 according to the charts in Bbbb (Bruce's big black book, said with all due reverence). Would that number have been assigned upon completion of the engine, or the chassis at that point? If as an engine, it could be days or weeks before an engine became a completed car.
I know that completed engines were sold WITH serial numbers that first year, and generally understand that the engines received their serial numbers upon completion of the motor. However, I recall reading opinions that this first year, serial numbers were given (stamped) upon completion of chassis. I do NOT "know" the answer. Regardless, I would expect with a serial number above 3500, the car should not likely have a fish-plate frame. Also, Bbbb says the first non-water-pump T was number 2455, although there was known to be considerable crossover when both pump and non-pump cars were being produced. Some of that has been confirmed in the past by researchers reading the original build sheets.

I also find the "March" date confusing. With a serial number of 35XX, it doesn't make sense to me that a "March" date of any kind should be significant to the car. Of course all the various components took from days to months to be prepared for final assembly of each car. And even final assembly itself often covered several days.

It is a possibility that the car somehow failed a quality control test along the way. Many chassis were actually drive tested before the body was installed. Engines were required to run in for a given amount of time or until it settled in properly, no over-heating, excessive smoking, etcetera. Engines or chassis that failed such tests were usually set aside to be checked out more thoroughly later. And "later" may have been hours, or weeks later. If a "fish-plate" chassis failed an engine test, would they have replaced only the engine? Or maybe the frame also? And what would that do to the serial number? Could that maybe account for the March date?

If you have a good clear scan of the build sheet for your car? It would be very interesting (and maybe helpful?) if you could post it here.
Certainly a fascinating car at least!


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:35 pm

Thanks Wayne:
Attached is the Build Sheet portion that shows these inspection dates, along with the customary BFA translation sheet. These micro-fish copies are very poor quality, so unless the hard copy was retained somewhere, this is it. The full dates are fuzzy, however the days shown here are comparably legible.
file:///C:/Users/Owner/Documents/1909%20ford%20stuff/inspection%20sheet%2010-11-2019.jpg
I assume the chassis would not have been run-in before this inspection, since nothing mentioned here pertains to functionality. Assuming there was some serious mechanical issue, I could see the practicality of swapping out a complete chassis for the sake of time and complexity, but again, nothing on either Build Sheet portion implies this. Seems excessive that this appears to have ensued over a period of over two months.

Regards,
Scott


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by ModelT46 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:14 pm

Lewis and Spangler signatures are n may inspection/build sheet dated March 7, 1910. This T was then shipped on March 8, 1910.


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:16 pm

Scott R, I see file numbers in your previous post, but no scan of your sheet?


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:47 pm

Hello Wayne:
You can copy the link "file:///C:/Users/Owner/Documents/1909%20ford%20stuff/inspection%20sheet%2010-11-2019.jpg" then paste this in your Browser, then click ENTER.
inspection sheet 10-11-2019.jpg
Shortly after your post, I received notice that another car from similar time frame #626X, where chassis assembly happened on 5/16/1909, car assembly and tested both on 8/17/1909, and also shipped on 8/17/1909. I have not yet requested permission to display that Build Sheet here, but will make this request.

Regards,
Scott


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:51 pm

Apologies gentlemen....serial number typeO....that should read "car number 926X" shipped on August 17, 1909.
SR


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:37 pm

9269 build sheet  10-16-2019.jpg
Attached is the #9269 Build Sheet that shows this build having drug out for an amazing 3 months. Given that it took me a week and (3) 1909 cars reviewed to come up with a similar delayed production example, seems unlikely this type of delayed production condition was rare. Would be nice to know what standard Piquette protocol would have been for examples like this. I will assume that these issues would have been mechanical in nature, as opposed to cosmetics for instance. Gotta wonder whether a situation like this was terminal to the point where an entire chassis would have normally been swapped-out for expediency?
Regards,
Scott

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by DanTreace » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:10 pm

Scott

Seems odd to have delays as the builds for the first new Ts were rapid with customers and dealers clamoring :D

Do you have any of these Build Sheets with Mr. Kings handwriting to compare perhaps the numerals?

Each column is by a different employee, and IMO, which isn't expert in analysis, King's number of the month looks like an "8" . A "5" would have more pronounced curve to the belly of the numeral. And an "8" is normally written from the top with heavy left to right with a right handed person. The number could really be an 8, and that would make sense in comparison to the other build sheets.

Dan
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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by jagman6 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:07 am

did both Lewis and Spangler work at Piquette and the new plant?


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:29 am

Hello Jagman:
Not certain that Spangler and Lewis relocated to Highland Park. I've looked at a few 1910 Build Sheets where both appear to have been regulars. A Foreman named "King" also shows up on a number of these sheets.

Hello Dan:
Certain is that the cars were processed as rapidly as the process would permit. Would not have been practical to have fix-it work cluttering up this busy plant, and I would not be surprised if that work was managed remote from the busiest Plant activity. I saw a Ford memo somewhere that mentions a Bernard Street site...possibly an offsite rework or storage facility?

This number 5 could be an 8, however, and that's not what #9269 BFA translation sheet reports. No researcher name from BFA on this sheet, so anyone's guess how practical it may be to track who did the research and what references they used.

I do not have other 09 build sheets that display a 5 or an 8 for Dept. "C" reference. I question whether there are other surviving Ford ledgers that list the Customer Order and the Dealer Order numbers, and presumably when these were received/processed.

Regards,
Scott

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Peter Martin » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:16 am

Scott, I'm interested in your comment about "Bernard St" could that be the source of the B engine numbers during 1912 and 1913?
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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by jagman6 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:34 am

hi scott
the reason i asked about lewis and spangler is that their names appear on the
build sheet for my feb 1911 touring.

cheers
stu


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:31 am

Hello Stu:
Highland Park Plant went on line Jan 1st 1910, where I think it probable that the entire assembly department was relocated there a year later in 1911. I think a fair question is whether King, Lewis, and Spangler actually filled out these documents. I would not be surprised if they signed off as concurrence.

Regards,
Scott

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by TonyB » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:34 pm

I finally located the build sheet for my 1909, I knew I had it somewhere. Indeed there was some confusioin as to whether the number was 11150 or 11750. The latter was shiped to London Eng so its quite unlikely that is was my car which was in Michigan area in the 1950's.

Some interesting reading from the shaets
11150 Chassis assemby date 10-4-09 Forman King
11150 Car Assembly 10-4-09 Foreman Spinger
11150 Car testing 10-4-09 Tester Barn?
11150 General Foreman Lewis
11150 Shipped 10-4-09 by Fishbeck?
According to the Encyclopedia, this was the second car assembled on Monday Ocoober 4, 1909 so it is quite reasonable that it was completed in a single day.

11750 Chassis assemby date 10-14-09 Forman ?
11750 Car Assembly 10-15-09 Foreman ?
11750 Car testing 10-15-09 Tester ?
11750 General Foreman Lewis
11750 Shipped 10-16-09 by Fishbeck
As this was being shipped overseas there is a good deal of info regarding the shipping crate
The weight is interesting
Gross 2245
Tare 850
Net 1415, presumably in pounds.

Now Im stuck as I only have copies of the original build sheets in *.pdf format and the Forum will only display *.jpg.
Any ideas to solve this one?
Last edited by TonyB on Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tony Bowker
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1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Jem » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:24 am

Tony, some image programs will read PDF and let you output as JPG. Or you could go analog, print it and then scan it back in!

Here's the sheets for my car #9267. It's a poor copy sent to me in 1994 by Mark Herdman, I wonder if a better print could be made now.

My car has an aftermarket top, so I think the N/S next to top may mean 'not supplied'. The engine was assembled 8/16/09, that is stamped on the trans shaft, so it looks like it was sent out the door pretty quickly. I am pretty sure it went to Boston - there is a flyer from a Boston Docks welding company stuck in one door pocket.

Does anyone know if any vehicle registration records for Mass. survive from that time?
Shipping Record Piquette.jpg
Assembly Record Piquette.jpg
DSC01723.JPG

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by TonyB » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:24 am

I’ll try the copy method but the existing quality is very poor and it can only get worse.
By the way the date on my transmission shaft is “09 30 09” which corresponds to the build dates noted in the Build Sheets
Tony Bowker
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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:43 am

Hello Jem:
Do you have the original engine block in yours, and if so, is there a FORD script cast into the lower drive side of the block casting? I have a photo somewhere of the #9269 block, and it has this feature. Also, would you happen to know approximately how many 1909 Model Year survivors there are? Sometime back you were restoring your no-rivet rear end housings...hope this has turned out well for you.
Regards,
Scott

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Jem » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:14 am

Here's the block
IMG_20191021_135149378.jpg
DSC02011.JPG
I have too many projects lined up, the no-rivet rear end is about halfway down that list.....

Kim probably has a better handle than I on survivors. I've seen the Don Hess' #2 up in Scotland, and there's a water-pump car (# in the 1600s I believe) in Surrey which arrived here a few years ago via Holland, I think. The late Bruce Lilleker had a very sharp US-restored Touring (around #6xxx) for a short while, don't know if that's still here. I do not know of any survivors of cars originally supplied to the UK (I bought my car at Hershey in 1979).


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:35 pm

Hello Jem:t
Your block looks identical to the #9269 block, where both have the Ford scrip, and neither has an embossed casting date. Thanks for this info. Sorry to hear the no-rivet rear end is on hold. I'm curious how these repairs are to be executed, but am certain this is a salvageable situation. I asked about the number of 1909 survivors as a percentage of the number of these cars that were built. It would be interesting to know which model year T has the highest percentage of cars existing.
Regards,
Scott

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Jem » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:10 pm

Talking to Neil Tuckett, he tells me that a nice car he brought from California some years ago has been nicely restored (but in yellow with tan leather!) and is alive and well in Surrey, England, serial no 33xx. Also the car I mentioned which Bonhams sold was a pre-1000 serial #, (738?) although not totally authentic and has gone to Ireland. He thinks there may be half-a-dozen 09s in Ireland. I have also been told of a waterpump car in OZ and rumours of a two-lever in NZ.


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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:26 pm

Many thanks Jem:
The Yellow Touring with Tan interior sounds like it may be one that Harrah's had, matching this general description. I sent a note to my SA connection today, where I believe there may a SA club member who was creating a registry for Model T's. Seems I recall this was maybe 2 years ago, however I have not heard anymore about this recently.

If Neil is a friend nearby, please pass along my Best Regards to him and his Mrs. Very nice people who were kind enough to hook me up with early parts for my 09 project.

Regards,
Scott

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Re: 1909 frame evolution and build sheets

Post by TonyB » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:28 pm

I found an on-line program to convert the build sheets from *.pdf to *.jpg
The quality is poor but is as good as the original they sent me.
11150 Original Build sheet
11150 Original Build sheet
Tony Bowker
Ramona, California
1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.

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