‘T’ Time

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Dal WolfThe two men on the left position the frame on jack stands
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Dal Wolf1926 Model T Ford parts are laid out for assembly.
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Dal WolfThe front axle assembly is left alone
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Dal WolfBreaker bars to tighten the motor-mounting bolts.
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Dal WolfThe running boards are assembled after the body is bolted down
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Dal WolfThe man in the foreground retrieves the motor side panels
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Dal WolfThe real axle held up
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Dal WolfThe radiator and side panels are tightened down

The assembly line system implemented by Henry Ford in his Highland Park, Mich., production plant, with its constantly moving conveyor belt and minute division of labor, was able to deliver just-on-time parts, subassemblies (parts built on subsidiary assembly lines) and assembly with precise timing. By 1913, his assembly line was so streamlined and precise that the production time of a complete chassis went from 728 minutes to 93 minutes. By 1927, Ford was turning out a Model T every 24 seconds.

To recreate this assembly line feat, a team of five men assembled a 1926 Model T Ford at the Florida Fly wheelers Antique Engine Swap Meet, Ft. Meade, Fla., Jan. 18, 2003. It took 5 minutes to completely assemble the Model T.

– Photography by Dal Wolf, a retired engineer from Naples, Fla., who collects Farmall tractors and, in particular, Farmall F- 12s. He welcomes any questions or comments about his collection. Contact him at (941) 775-9854; or e-mail: dalsfarallsf12@yahoo. com

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