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Ford Model T

Model Year: 1914

Location of Manufacture: Walkerville, Ontario

View of the dashboard and transmission

Dashboard and transmission

The Model T was controlled by the use of three foot pedals, a lever to the left of the driver’s seat, and a throttle attached to the steering wheel.

The left pedal, in tandem with the lever, was used to engage the gears. The middle pedal put the car in reverse, and the right pedal operated the engine brake.

View of the front seating

Passenger seating

In the days before plastics, car manufacturers regularly used materials which would now be considered luxuries – seats covered with leather, and horns and lamps made of brass.

View of the Ford brand mark


The brand style of the Ford Motor Company has changed little in the 107 years since the company was incorporated. The stylized script used for the word “Ford” is itself based on Henry Ford’s own signature.

Archival photograph of Henry Ford standing in front of a Model T, Buffalo, New York, 1921

Henry Ford and the Model T

Buffalo, New York

Henry Ford (1863-1947) was the founder of the Ford Motor Company. He was also an accomplished inventor, eventually being awarded 161 U.S. patents.

Despite being fervently anti-union, Ford saw the value of a contented workforce. He doubled the minimum wage of his employees, reduced the number of hours in the work week, and instituted a program of profit-sharing.

From the Collections of The Henry Ford, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply

Archival photograph of the Ford Motor Company Plant in Walkerville, Ontario, ca. 1909

Ford Motor Company Plant

Walkerville, Ontario
ca. 1909

In 1904, Ford purchased the existing Walkerville Wagon Works and turned it into a motor car plant. In the first year of operation, 17 workers produced 114 cars.

The small factory was replaced by a larger facility in 1910. Eventually, the factory expanded to cover hundreds of acres of land. By 1913, the plant employed 1,400 people.

Ford Motor Company Ltd. Archives

Archival photograph of paint being applied to Model T’s on the assembly line, March 30 1915

Paint being applied to Model Ts on the assembly line

30 March 1915

Assembly-line mass production was one of the greatest industrial legacies left by Henry Ford. And yet it also revealed one of the weaknesses of the system. When cars were individually hand-made, a range of paint colours could be applied. Cars made on the assembly line from 1914 to 1925 could only be painted black as this colour dried faster thus allowing the workers to meet their quotas of producing a new car every 93 minutes. However, for the 1926 model year, colour options were again introduced.

From the Collections of The Henry Ford, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply