#On This Day – The Model T

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019


On the 23rd July 1903 Ford motor company sold the first Model T. Completed at the company’s plant in Detroit it was the longest production run of any automobile, assembling around 15 million Model T cars between 1908 and 1927. This record was not surpassed until 1972, when the Volkswagon Beetle over took Ford. The Model T famously came in just one colour – black, this was a deliberate choice as it helped to keep costs low, allowing, for the first time, ordinary people to own their own car. Black paint also dried quicker and this was an important factor as Henry Ford introduced a moving assembly line to his plant, this meant that Ford was able to produce 300,000 Model T’s in 1914, whilst competing manufacturers had a combined total of 280,000. However, black was not the Model T’s sole colour as by 1927 buyers had a choice of colours including, grenn, brown, blue and black, but black was the original!

But did you know that the unexpected history of colour is actually all about: loyalty & gender, politics & codification, absence & loss.

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