Automobiles had been around for decades as we entered the 20th century but they were scarce and rather pricy. That was about to change. On October 1, 1908, a new sort of vehicle hit the streets. Known variously as the Tin Lizzie, Leaping Lena or the Flivver, the Ford Model T was the people’s car, affordable because of Henry Ford’s revolutionary assembly line production. Automobile travel was for everyone.
The Model T’s 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine delivered a top speed of about 45 miles per hour. It got from 13 to 21 miles per gallon of gasoline and weighed 1,200 pounds.
Would-be drivers gobbled them up at $850 apiece. (The price actually went down over they years, selling for as little as $260, thanks to savings from production innovations that were passed on to the consumer.) Within days, some 15,000 orders had been placed. By 1918 half of all the cars on America’s roads were nearly identical Model T’s. With over 16 million sold during it’s production years from 1908 to 1927, the Model T still ranks in the top ten of automobile sales.
Therein lies the problem for some critics who maintain that the availability of the Model T ushered in a world littered by automobiles with every American convinced that driving an automobile is a God-given right regardless of pollution, ever-widening swaths of asphalt, road rage, and other attendant ills.
Inspirational Quote for !0/1/16