Thursday, April 7, 2016

Progress on the Model T Engine Exhibit!

If you've been to the museum lately you have seen the original Noble & Cooley 1923 Ford Model T panel truck. It was discovered sitting in a field by a friend of the museum who happened to notice the ancient, barely visible "Noble & Cooley" lettering on the side, and gave the museum a call. A deal was struck with the owner and the truck has been back "home" where it is gradually being returned to operating condition by a dedicated volunteer.

1923 Ford Model T originally purchased by Noble & Cooley
for $625 including spare wheels and chains.
The exhibit plan includes displaying a Model T engine next to the truck so museum-goers, especially kids, can see the major parts of an engine and understand the principles of operation. The ideal engine was located in Townshend, VT and picked up yesterday. It even has the original hand crank so the engine can be turned over by hand to show the moving parts.

Loading was easy thanks to the help of the engine owner and his Kubota tractor.

Loaded up and  ready for the trip.
The engine will be cleaned and partially disassembled to show the crankshaft, pistons and other moving parts. We could use a Model T radiator if you have one sitting around doing nothing. Doesn't have to be good since this will be a non-running display. Work on the display will take place over the '16/'17 winter with expected display in late spring 2017.

UPDATE: In addition to the Model T truck and engine exhibit there will also be a body-off exhibit showing the running gear of a 1925 Model T. It is not at the museum yet but here is how it looks right now:

What were old Model T engines used for? Just about everything. Even after the car fell apart people would convert the engines for use in sawmills and to mechanize all kinds of processes on the farm and at work. Keep in mind that the era of the Model T was followed by the Great Depression in the 1930's. Money was tight and everything had to be repurposed. That was followed by World War 2 when steel and other materials were reserved for the war effort, so old equipment continued to be used well past their normal lifetimes. Here's a great example that's still operating today: