Flivver Era Trivia
Timeless Words of Wisdom from Henry Ford
"It is not the employer who pays wages - he only handles the money.
It is the CUSTOMER who pays wages."

Customers like to do business where they are treated right. When they're neglected, or get a raw
deal, they take their business somewhere else. They also spread the word among their friends.
That's why employees who are customer conscious are so valuable to their company. Their good
work helps protect everybody's paycheck.

Many employees never meet, see or speak to a customer from one year to the next. Some of them
lose sight of the customer completely - the only important things in their lives are their own
department, their own particular jobs, and their own convenience. They forget that the customer, in
the final analysis, pays the bill for every bit of work done by everyone in th company. Each
employee, by doing his or her job well, has an opportunity to give the customer good value for his
money. If he doesn't do a good job he gives the customer poor value.

They also forget that you don't have to meet customers face-to-face to please or displease them. A
late or mixed-up delivery, a poorly typed letter, a faulty or slipshod piece of work, a mistake in
billing - things like these can make customers a thousand miles away blow their top.

CUSTOMERS bring us their needs and wants. Our job is to fill them profitably - to them and to us.
CUSTOMERS are affected by the way each of us does out work no matter how far away they seem.
CUSTOMERS' good opinions of us and our work are our most valuable assets. Anything that we can
do to improve their opinions of us is important. CUSTOMERS' good opinions cannot be bought -
they are given freely in response to good value and good service. CUSTOMERS' expect value for the
money the spend with us. If we don't give them good value, they'll go elsewhere to get it.
CUSTOMERS are the bosses behind our bosses. If we serve them well, they'll be glad to pay s well.
If we don't, nobody's paycheck is safe. A CUSTOMER conscious employee is always a better
employee. He or she recognizes what the business if all about.
What Is Your Favorite Car?
    1. Pick your favorite number between 1-9.
    2. Multiply by 3, then...
    3. Add 3, then again multiply by 3. (Go ahead, get your calculator.)
    4. You'll get a 2 or 3 digit number.
    5. Add the digits together. With that number, check the list below to see what your FAVORITE
    CAR is . . . . . .

    1. Oldsmobile 2. Lincoln 3. Dodge 4. Edsel 5. Chrysler 6. Volkswagen 7. Mazda 8. Pontiac
    9. Ford Model T 10. Hudson Was there ever any doubt?

    From Texas Touring Ts (Dec 2008)
Henry Ford and the Soy Bean
    Soybeans originally traveled to the United States by ship when Samuel Bowen smuggled
    them from China in 1765. But it was Henry Ford who put them in cars. When the Great
    Depression hit, it hit farmers especially hard. Huge farm surpluses meant low crop prices and
    dwindling income. All of a sudden Henry Ford’s best customers, American farmers, could no
    longer afford his cars, trucks and tractors. Ford knew that "If we want the farmer to be our
    customer, we must find a way to be his." He put his chemists to work determining what
    products could be developed from plants. After testing numerous crop plants, they narrowed
    their focus to soybean. Experimentation was soon rewarded with the discovery of soybean oil
    which made a superior auto body enamel. Soybean meal was converted to plastic used to
    make over 20 parts including horn buttons and gearshift knobs. By 1936, Ford was using a
    bushel of soybeans in every car that rolled off the line. But Henry Ford didn’t stop there.
    While his chefs developed a variety of tasty and nutritious American-style foods from soy
    (including ice cream) Henry invented soybean "wool" a fiber half the cost of sheep’s wood.
    Soon a fabric containing 25% soybean wool was being used to upholster many Ford autos.
    And on special media occasions Mr. Ford would sport a suit made of soybean fiber.

    From the Cowtown A
Ten Commandments for the Car Collector
    I. Thou shalt not store thy cars out-of-doors, except for the wife's modern iron.
    II. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's car, nor his garage, nor his battery charger.
    III. Thou shalt not love thy cars more than thy wife and children; as much, but not more.
    IV. Thou shalt not read thy Hemmings on company time, lest thy employer make it
    impossible to continue thy car payments.
    V. Thou shalt not despise thy neighbor's Edsel, nor his DeSoto, nor even his 1947 Plymouth.
    VI. Thou shalt not allow thy daughters nor thy sons to get married during the holy days of
    VII. Thou shalt not deceive thy wife into thinking that thee is taking her for a romantic
    Sunday driven when, indeed, thou art going out to look at another car.
    VIII. Thou shalt not tell thy spouse the entire cost of thy latest restoration, at least not all at
    the same time.
    IX. Thou shalt not promise thy wife a new addition to the house and then use it to store
    cars; thou shalt not store cars in the attic.
    X. Thou shalt not buy thy wife a floor jack for Christmas.

    Terry Plata has furnished us with the above Car Nut's Creed, which he adheres
    to faithfully each and every day without deviation.
    (Come on now, Renée, what's the real story? Does he practice what
    he preaches?) Lone Star Ts Newsletter, 19XX
Ten Other Uses for a Model T
  1. Farm implement: Model T engines were used to power farm machinery, butter churns,
    vacuum cleaners, newspaper presses and more. In this 1917 verse, the Ford is both tractor
    and hired hand.
  2. Railroad car: Ford archives show photos of a Model T on rails transporting passengers to
    Chilean nitrate fields, and in the U.S., a man who fitted a rail car around a Model T chassis
    and engine.
  3. Fishing vessel.
  4. Pumper truck protected Wayne County General Hospital west of Detroit, and another Model T
    put in decades of service as a ladder truck in Annandale, N.J.
  5. Mountain climber: A Model T was driven to the top of rocky Ben Nevis, at 4,406 feet the
    highest point in the British Isles in 1911. Not to be outdone, a party of Americans drove a
    Model T to the top of Pikes Peak (14,108 feet in 1913).
  6. Stair climber: A Model T climbed the steps of a YMCA in Columbus, Neb., in 1910; to win a
    $100 bet, another traveled up three flights of stairs at a Duluth, Minn., courthouse; another
    climbed 66 steps to the Tennessee State Capitol in 1911.
  7. Chapel: The Rev. Branford Clarke, a New York City preacher, made a chapel out of his Model
    T, including gothic stained-glass windows, organ, and folding steeple. Clarke died in 1952,
    and his chapel died in the 1960s after it was hit by a plane.
  8. Taxi cab or a precursor to the phone booth: Dealers sent Ford photographs with the little car
    bristling with full-grown men. One 1914 photograph showed 28 men piled into one.
  9. Snowmobile: The Mailman's Special, a Ford fitted with caterpillar treads on its back wheels
    and skis in lieu of its front wheels may be the first recorded photograph of a snowmobile.
    Northern farmers and loggers also made use of it.
  10. RV:A 1921 "house car" mounted on a Model T truck chassis drove from Connecticut to Florida
    and back six times by 1929 before it was acquired by a Maine couple, who lived in it for 34

    Author Unknown
Best Seller List
The Best Seller List was dreamed up in 1895 by editor Harry Thurston Peck. What was on that list in
the days of the Flivver? Following is a sampling:

  • 1911 THE BROAD HIGHWAY by Jeffrey Farnol: This spicy epic of love lost and love regained
    in early 19th Century England was said to combine "the spiritual type of swashbuckler
    adventure with the idyllic tale of the open road."
  • 1912 THE HARVESTER by Gene Stratton Porter: In her tale of life in the swamps of Indiana,
    the author  created a hero pure of mind and heart "in the hope that a likeness will be seen
    to Henry David Thoreau."
  • 1913 THE INSIDE OF THE CUP by Winston Churchill: St. Louis born Mr. Churchill related the
    story of a priest's struggle to comprehend the complex problems of modern life.
  • 1914 THE EYES OF THE WORLD by Harold Bell Wright: Supposedly a righteous protest against
    "patrons of the arts" and artists who prostitute their talents, this work was labeled
    "pornographic" by the Boston Transcript."
  • 1915 THE TURMOIL by Booth Tarkington: The spokesman for adolescent America turned
    from light-hearted fare to produce a deeply-felt indictment of a ruthless businessman and
    "any city, every city, that makes Bigness its god."
  • 1916 SEVENTEEN by Booth Tarkington: Back in the world of awkward adolescence, Tarkington
    told how it was "to be a boy, and seventeen, and in love, and to have a small sister who eats
    bread spread with apple sauce."
  • 1917 MR. BRITLING SEES IT THROUGH by H.G. Wells: After losing a son in the war, Mr.
    Britling was compelled "to look beyond personal love, beyond the borders of nationalism to
    find a meaning which would justify the sacrifice."
  • 1918 THE U.P. TRAIL by Zane Grey: The joining of East and West by rail was told on a "big
    canvas, a canvas lurid, volcanic, burnt with human passions at their best and their basest
    and human energies strained to their tensest."
  • 1919 THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE by V. Blasco-Ibanez: As war, conquest,
    famine and death laid waste the earth, wealthy ne'er-do-well Julio Desnoyers tangoed his
    way through life in the bistros of Paris.
  • 1920 THE MAN OF THE FOREST by Zane Grey: The theme this time was - can a poor young
    man accustomed to the solitude of the mountains find happiness as the protector of a young
    girl of property newly arrived from the east?

    From: This Fabulous Century, Volume II  (Time Life Books
    1970, page 115) Contributor Unknown
Did You Know?
    COTTER PINS A Model T uses a total of ninety-five cotter pins to help keep it together, and a
    cotter pin 3/32" in diameter will fit sixty-nine of the places!
    THE FIRST RACE The first official motor vehicle race in which any contestant finished was held
    in 1895 in Chicago. The winner was Frank Duryea in a Duryea Motor Wagon. He averaged
    7.25 mph over a 55 miles course.
    THE FIRST USED CAR DEALERSHIP The first used-car dealership opened in 1902 in New York
    THE FIRST GAS STATION "FILL 'ER UP!" The world's first drive-in gas station opens for
    business in Pittsburgh, PA on December 1, 1913. Up to this date, motorists bought gasoline
    in livery stables and garages and continued to until the "gas station" caught on. For the
    record, they sold only 30 gallons.
    THE FIRST GAS GAUGE The first gas gauge appeared on cars in 1922.
    THE FIRST FREE ROAD MAPS Free road maps were first offered by Gulf Oil in 1913.
    THE FIRST NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE SHOW The first National Automobile Show was held in
    1900 in New York's Madison Square Gardens.
    TOURING VS. PHAETON The SAE standards committee met in 1922 to adopt nomenclature
    for automobile bodies. The name "touring" had been used by most car manufacturers to
    indicate a four or more passenger open sedan. The SAE chose the word phaeton to replace
    the touring, so in 1928 Ford called their open sedan Phaeton. Phaeton is a Greek word
    meaning the son of Helios, reckless driver of the chariot sun.
    WINDSHIELD WIPERS The inventor of the windshield wiper was a woman. Mary Anderson
    came up with the idea in 1902 after noticing that a street-car motorman had to keep his
    window open on a wet day to see the road. In 1903, she was awarded a 17-year patent for a
    hand-operated wiper that moved in a fan pattern.  In spite of the practicality of her idea,
    some time went by before windshield wipers became popular. "Automatic" fold-down wipers
    were first featured on some cars in 1910. It was not until 1916 that mechanical windshield
    wipers became standard equipment on American cars.
Right Hand Drive
    Q. Why do Americans drive on the right side of the road and the British on the left? (E.H.F.,

    Some historians theorize that the ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman generals ordered their
    chariots to be driven and heir armies to march on the left side of the road so that their men
    could more readily draw their swords if attacked by opposing traffic on the right. It was
    Napoleon, some say, who arbitrarily broke with tradition and decreed that his armies would
    march on the right and all traffic in France would do the same. Each country he conquered
    was compelled to adopt his drive-right rule. The British, however, continue to drive on the left
    -- as do drivers in most former British Empire countries - and their steering wheels are on the

    In the U.S., according to one theory, we drive on the right because Henry Ford refused to
    build his popular Model T with anything but left-hand drive, and by 1915 most U.S.
    automakers had followed suit. Others say the practice began with the covered wagons of our
    pioneer days, whose drivers sat on the left on a perch called the "lazy board."

    From the Spark & Throttle, July 1990
Clara Ford's "T" Parties
    Clara was born on April 11 and she & Henry were married on April 11 (got him off the hook
    for having to remember two dates!). When they lived at Fairlaine, she had a bridge built over
    the Rouge River and a small gate shipped from England that Henry bought her as a surprise.
    The gate was on the house side of the bridge. After you crossed over the bridge, you were
    on a small island, and Clara liked to give tea parties over there...she called them "T"
    parties. When Henry retooled and came up with the Model A, Clara refused to change the
    name to "A" parties, however she did not bend and call them "tea" parties either...she stuck
    with "T".  (Thank you Rene for this bit of fun trivia).