Video Tip: Starting Your Semester with the History of OM and the Ford Model T
Many instructors like to start the semester with a bit of OM history (see Figure 1.4). Your students will enjoy this 5 minute video featuring the Ford Model T, which changed the way Americans live, work and travel. Ford’s revolutionary advancements in assembly line automobile manufacturing made the Model T the first car to be affordable for a majority of Americans. More than 15 million Model Ts were built in Michigan, and the automobile was also assembled at a Ford plant in Manchester, England, and at plants in continental Europe.
The Model T was built from 1908 until 1927. It quickly became prized for its low-cost, durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance. Assembly line production allowed the price of the car to be lowered from $850 in 1908 to less than $300 in 1925.
The Model T was offered in several body styles. All bodies were mounted on a uniform 100-inch-wheelbase chassis. The car was mass-produced in only one color—black. The engine was simple and efficient, with all four cylinders cast in a single block and the cylinder head detachable for easy access and repair. The engine generated 20 horsepower and propelled the car to top speeds of 40–45 miles per hour. The engine was started by a hand crank. The transmission, consisting of two forward gears and one reverse, was controlled by foot pedals. Throttle was controlled by a hand lever on the steering column. The 10-gallon fuel tank was located under the front seat. Because gasoline was fed to the engine only by gravity, and also because the reverse gear offered more power than the forward gears, the Model T frequently had to be driven up a steep hill backward.